In respectful Honor of the Memory of our Brother Joey Johnson. May all of our combined support assist in defeating cancer. MJ's Sales and Service (Matt & Stephanie Johnson & the Johnson Family).
Derrick John Schmitt
Derrick was a graduate of the River Falls High School Class of 1986 and was a good friend of the Rhino. He was born in Saint Paul, MN and lived in River Falls his entire life. Derrick served our country with Honor for over 22 years in the Air Force. He joined in 1991 and was the first Minnesota National Guardsman to become a member of the Phoenix Ravens (#333), an Elite Air Force Security Forces unit trained in anti-terrorism. He participated in many operations fighting terrorism, including Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Anaconda, and Enduring Freedom. He was also involved in many humanitarian efforts including Operation Joint Guard, Operation Coronet Oak, and Operation Panama Airlift. In 2003 he transferred to the Minnesota National Guard Headquarters and was a part of the Minnesota Counter Narcotics Task Force. He worked in this area in many different capacities until his retirement in 2013. His love of the military was only surpassed by his love for his family. His wife Jessica, son DJ (Derrick John II), daughter Brittani, grandson Aiden, mother Mary, and father Larry will miss him forever, like his many many friends. He had a great sense of humor and his laughter was contagious. His smile will never be forgotten.
In respectful Honor of the Memory of our Mother, Loey Johnson. May all of our combined support assist in defeating cancer. MJ's Sales and Service (Matt & Stephanie Johnson & the Johnson Family).
David Dean Knott was born on July 19, 1938, to Harry and Bess Knott. He lived in River Falls all his life and loved it. He graduated from River Falls High School and UWRF, and spent two years in the National Guard in Ft. Lewis in Washington State. He worked in the family business, Melgard Monument Company, on and off through his growing up years and became a co-owner with his parents, which he, as of late, co-owned with his son, Korey. He married Kathryn (Anderson) in 1964 and they had two sons: Kevin and Korey. He enjoyed family, summers at Balsam Lake, fishing, tennis, Boy Scouts and hockey. He was a Mason and a Shriner. He was a life-long member at Ezekiel Lutheran Church and devoted almost 50 years to being an usher. He also enjoyed the Prime Time group. In his later years, he looked forward to cruises, Arizona and hiking. Recently, he loved being a grandpa to his only granddaughter, Zoey. David passed peacefully during a courageous battle with cancer.
Stephanie S. Gramberg
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Clark and Helen (Foose) Vier. Steph grew up in River Falls until sixth grade when her family moved to Afton. She graduated from Stillwater High School in 1994, then moved to Spooner. Steph was married to Wayne Schultz Jr. for a little over a year until he died tragically. She worked for several years at Holiday, Beaver Manufacturing, and Becky’s. Steph worked with the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office as a dispatcher/jailer for 11 years prior to her death from Cancer. After a lengthy courtship, she was married in Shell Lake on August 10, 2013, to Lee Gramberg. Steph loved animals of all kinds, especially horses, which she has always had. She was a talented cook and baker and was active in her community including FFA and 4-H. Steph tended to take care of others before herself, and was generous with her time, energy, and resources. Her children are Danielle Kuechle of Rice Lake, Austin Schultz of Shell Lake, and Tyler Gramberg of Springbrook.
Scott "The Weasel" Houle
The Weasel, a resident of North St. Paul, graduated from White Bear High School in 1982 and Saint John's University in 1986 with a Degree in Physics. Although Scott was lost to a tragic accident, and not cancer, the Friends of the Weasel organization donates to the Rhino's Foundation each year to support our cause and memorialize him at our golf tournament with a sign. He was a friend of Rhino's volunteer, Keith VanDell. We welcome the Weasel to the Rhino Memorial wall. His favorite band was KISS followed closely by Ted Nugent. Scott was an Organ Donor through LifeSource and his heart and many other organs were passed on to help others live and heal. His friends and family are very proud of Scott for doing this. Clearly the recipients are very thankful. He is recognized electronically in the new "Hall of Donors" at Regions Hospital. Friends of The Weasel run a charity golf tournament every year that donates all proceeds to LifeSource.
Eric "Red" Bjerstedt
Eric Jeffrey “Red” Bjerstedt, a lifelong River Falls resident, lost to a courageous 18-month battle with brain cancer. He was 51. Eric was a devoted family man, auto mechanic, avid outdoorsman, classic car enthusiast, and Green Bay Packer fan. He attended River Falls public schools and graduated from River Falls High School in 1980. Eric, a redhead, was his mother’s “go to kid” whom she said never whined or found no task too daunting. He grew up working in his father’s auto mechanic shop, “Bob and Dick’s Garage,” along Highway 35 in River Falls. After his parents retired, Eric opened shop in 1998 at the same location under the name “Red’s Repair” a successful business he ran until weakened by cancer in 2012. "Red" had many loyal customers who appreciated his skill and honest dealings. Eric married Susan Wilcoxson of rural Hudson. They celebrated 25 years of humor, love & commitment. A devoted family man, Eric was a friend, father and boss to Maxwell. He was proud and honored to share his trade with the next generation. When daughter Leah was diagnosed with Autism at age 2, Eric embraced the challenges, taking repeat Disney family trips because of the joy it brought his daughter. He also rigged up the “Shaggin Wagon,” camper that enabled great outdoor fun for the whole family. Eric loved classic cars, including his favorite a 1976 white Trans Am, and collected old Cockshutt tractors. He once handled the sale of a car to the King of Morocco. He was a social guy with a knack for making you feel valued. His friends and family returned their friendship with building a ramp, helping with meals & remaining committed to the bond they all shared as cancer took its toll.
Mother of the Original Rhino, Mike "Rhino" Prine. Colleen loved her Green Bay Packers, animals, country music, puzzles, and of course her friends and family. She was always thinking of others; that is why so many people love her. She was also quick to have a witty response, and make people laugh. You couldn't help but to smile and laugh with her. Colleen worked for 22 years at the River Falls State Bank, where many people considered her to be their favorite teller. Prior to this she worked at Sears for many years. Throughout this time, she met many lifelong friends.
Brian Olson, also known as "Ole" or "Big Boy" was a very kind and generous guy. He showed his incredible faith and strength of character during his almost five year battle with Stage IV colon cancer. At just 39 years old, he left behind his wife Amy & his young son Finn. Brian was loved by his family and a huge amount of friends and co-workers from Courage St. Croix in Stillwater. He loved hockey, softball, golf, bowling & fishing. He will be remembered for many things, but especially his huge heart and his incredible sense of humor.
Tom Van Dell
Graduated from White Bear High School 1971, played hockey at St. Scholastica, Married to Jody (Hurd) with son Shane and daughter Jamie. We lost Tom to a courageous battle with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Tom loved his wife and his family and enjoyed his three grandchildren. Tom also had 4 sisters and three brothers (Barbara, Patricia, Tim, Bill, Mary Jo, Bev & Keith). Tom could be found enjoying a round of golf with friends at Bristol Ridge in Somerset, WI any Saturday morning when there wasn't snow. A bench of granite was constructed in his honor by friends and family on the 10th Tee Box at Bristol for all to enjoy for years to come. A tournament will be held in his name each spring at Bristol, called the Sponge Bob - Tom Van Dell Memorial Tournament. At this writing in 2016, 2 tournamanets have been held. If you were not laughing and having a good time around Tom, you were probably not with Tom, but with his less funny brothers Tim or Keith. Cheers Brother!
Mike "Rhino" Prine
Mike Prine was a young man struck down by cancer in 1991. He was 22. Mike’s nickname to all of us was "Rhino". Mike was loved by many and a group of his friends played softball in his memory for a number of years. Once that group began to get too old for the softball diamonds, they relinquished bats for golf clubs. Since that time, an annual Rhino’s Golf Tournament has taken place on the Friday of River Falls Days to always remember our friend and brother, Rhino.