Lawrence J. Stortz, age 73, of rural Mabel, died Friday, February 8, 2019, at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.
Lawrence was born September 23, 1945, in Preston, Minn., to Henry and Bernadine (Gossman) Stortz. He grew up in the Newburg area and graduated from the Mabel High School in 1963. Lawrence graduated from the Agricultural Mechanics program at Austin Technical School. He worked for John Deere dealerships in Cannon Falls and Preston before returning home to Newburg Township to operate the family farm. On May 27, 1978, he married Gayle Tripp at the All Saints Catholic Church in Lakeville, Minn. Together they raised three children: Rebecca, Dianna, and Eric. He farmed until 2000. Lawrence was a lifetime member of the St. Olaf Catholic Church and a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus. He was known for his dry, witty sense of humor. He enjoyed woodworking, watching baseball and football, being outside and volunteering at the food shelf. He was always willing to help his neighbors, especially with fixing machinery. He was an advocate for the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA).
Lawrence is survived by his wife Gayle of Mabel, three children: Rebecca (Matthew) Salmela of Maplewood, Minn., Dianna Stortz of Woodbury, Minn., and Eric Stortz (Jaime Young) of Waukon, Iowa; three sisters: Marjorie Welscher and Dorothy (Harlan) Gjere, both of Mabel, and Nellie Kruse of Fort Atkinson, Iowa; a brother, Darrell (Sharon) of Independence, Iowa; sister-in-law Sue Stortz of Mabel, and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant daughter, Karyn; two brothers, Joseph and Erwin; and a sister, Mary Lucille Bahr.
Funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, February 14, 2019, at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel, with Father Stephen Abaukaka officiating. Burial will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Canton. Visitation will be 4–7 p.m. Wednesday, February 13, 2019, at the St. Olaf Catholic Church in Mabel with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. and one hour prior to services at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to ACHA.