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February 5, 1937 - January 4, 2016

Erwin was born February 5, 1937 near Henrytown, Minnesota to Henry and Bernadine (Gossman) Stortz. He grew up in the Newburg area and attended the Newburg and Mabel schools. As a child he attended St. Mary’s Catholic Church – Preble and has been a member of St. Olaf’s Catholic Church since its dedication in 1958.  He hauled canned milk while helping on the family farm.  On June 24, 1961 he married VirginiaGwilt at the Assumption rectory.  In 1962 they purchased a dairy farm near Newburg and eventually diversified into beef and hogs also.  They were the parents of five children Teresa, Dean, Debra, Elaine, and Julie. Dean later joined in the dairy and Erwin continued with his beef cattle until a few years ago when his health wouldn’t allow him to continue.   Virginia passed away December 10, 1996.  On January 5, 2002 he married Sue Lowrie Gwilt at St. Olaf Catholic Church.  He enjoyed woodworking and made several furnishings for St. Olaf Catholic Church and numerous items for the Knights of Columbus fundraising auctions. Erwin enjoyed children and was often found with a child or two in his lap.

Erwin passed away  Monday, January 4, 2016 at his home following a courageous 25-year battle with cancer at the age of 78.

Erwin is survived by his wife Sue of Mabel; three children Dean (Deb) of Mabel, Elaine Mengis of Mabel, and Julie (Roger) Mathews of Oronoco, Minnesota; grandchildren Dennise (Dan) Klutts, Danielle Stortz (Brian Schwingle), Derek (Jenna) Stortz, Danette (Matt) Hoff, Kristina and Alexander Mengis, Mason Mathews; great grandchildren Alexis and Frederick Williams, Brooklyn Nelson, and Braylee and BryndleStortz; step-children Steve (Amy) Gwilt of Cookeville, Tennessee, Kay (Jeremy Wangen) Coe of Rochester, and Carol (Pat) Daly of St. Paul; step-grandchildren Valerie and Emilie Coe, and Josephine and Genevieve Daly; two brothers Lawrence (Gayle) of Mabel, and Darrell (Sharon) of Independence, Iowa; three sisters Marjorie Welscher and Dorothy (Harlan) Gjere both of Mabel, and Nellie (Ronald) Kruse of Fort Atkinson, Iowa; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his first wife Virginia, two daughters Debra Stortz and Teresa Mathews, a great grandson Anthony Williams, his parents, a brother Joseph, and a sister Mary Lucille Bahr.

Funeral Mass will be 11 AM Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel with Father Joe Hennen and Msgr. Donald P. Schmitz co-officiating.  Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Canton. Visitation will be 4 – 8 PM Friday, January 8, 2016 at the church in Mabel with a prayer service at 8 PM and one hour prior to services at the church.  In lieu of flowers the family prefers memorials payable to Heartland Hospice, Calvary Cemetery, or the Mabel Lions Cancer Telethon. The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Thomas Habermann, his Mayo oncologist, who cared for him during his for 25 year cancer battle, and also Drs. Markovic, Pulido, and Brennan, and to Heartland Hospice for their excellent care.

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