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Debs Turner Lake Sr.


Fri, Jan 26th, 2001
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Debs Turner Lake Sr., 96, former Chatfield mayor, died Thursday, January 18, 2001, at Bear Creek Care and Rehabilitation Center in Rochester, where he had lived since March 21, 1999.

Born November 27, 1904, in Gettysburg, SD, he moved to rural Preston as a young child and then to Chatfield when he was 7. He graduated from Chatfield High School in 1922 and from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, IA, in 1926. On June 18, 1931, he married Ann Marie Nelson in Clinton, Minn.; she died Dec. 4, 1998. Mr. Lake was secretary of Northwest Underwriters Inc., a general insurance agency, for 45 years; was a former alderman and mayor of Chatfield, and was a member of the fire department for 15 years. An active member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church, he served on the church board and as treasurer for many years.

He was president of the former high school alumni association, secretary of the Commercial Club, rewrote the city charter while serving as chairman of the Charter Commission, and was a member of the original development corporation. He was secretary and a founder of the first golf course in Chatfield in 1927, was secretary and manager of a former area softball league and, during World War II, was county chairman of the USO war fund and editor of a servicemen's letter exchange.

During retirement, he served as chairman of the Senior Nutrition Committee and arranged transportation for local seniors. He conducted a survey of abandoned wells in southeastern Minnesota for the Department of Health and served as chairman of the Chatfield Planning and Zoning Commission for two years. In 1981, he was named outstanding senior citizen of Fillmore County at the county fair.

Survivors include a son, Turner of Rochester; a daughter, Sally (William) Paulsen of Arnold, CA.; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

The funeral for Mr. Lake was held Tuesday, January 23, 2001, at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Chatfield, with the Revs. Nicklas Mezacapa and Anne Scheible officiating. Burial will be in Chatfield Cemetery in the spring. Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield was in charge of arrangements.

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