Ed Pautzke, Jr. was born April 14, 1929 to Edward and Grace (Meierbachtol) Pautzke in Burnstown Township in Brown County, MN. He was raised and educated in Springfield. He then served in the US Army during the Korean War and returned to the family farm. On November 19, 1949, Ed was united in marriage to LaVonne Roiger in Springfield. Together with their five children, they were involved in many community projects which led way to their family being named Brown County’s Outstanding Family in 1987. Ed also received the WCCO Good Neighbor Award for his contributions to his fellow people and community. Ed contributed his time and talents to the Springfield Area Nativity Theatre Association (SANTA) to present the live nativity pageant. He was instrumental in many aspects from the first pageant 30 years ago until 2014. Many of his other ecumenical efforts included Springfield Area Health Care Foundation, Dollars for Scholars, 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, and American Legion. Ed was known for his “heart of gold”, strong faith, his positive, caring, and loving attitude, confidence, and self-esteem. He was a gentle, soft spoken, modest man who spread joy and happiness that spilled over into lives of others. Ed’s talents were seen in his ministry of God. He was a lay speaker for church services and also was called to talk to Gideon’s, Mason’s, Pastor’s Banquets, Faith Fund rallies in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wyoming, and student groups. Ed studied clowning ministry which led him to provide cheer and encouragement to patients and residents of area hospitals and nursing homes. He also was an active member of the Sleepy Eye Hector Camp of Gideon’s International for 35 years, serving in various positions including State Treasurer, State Vice President, and President. Ed was a member of the United Methodist Church in Springfield where he sang in the choir for 70+ years and was also the sound person. He enjoyed making special gifts out of wood for family and friends, with thoughts of them as he made them.
He is survived by his wife LaVonne of Springfield; children - Edward (Becky) Pautzke of Springfield, Jackie (Roger) Schmidt of Appleton, MN, Gary (Rosalyn) Pautzke of Northfield, MN, Sheri (Chris) McGruder of Bloomington, MN, Connie (George) May of Corcoran, MN; 19 grandchildren; 37 great grandchildren; brothers - James Pautzke of Northhome, MN and Donovan (Jeanne) Pautzke of Northfield, MN; sister-in-law Sandy Roiger of Desoto, TX; many nieces, nephews, and friends. Ed was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Grace Pautzke; parents-in-law Robert and Gertrude Roiger; brother Jack Pautzke; sister Jeanne Magochy; brothers-in-law - Andy Magochy and Dennis Roiger; sisters-in-law - Judy and Elaine Pautzke; daughter-in-law Gail Pautzke.
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