Daniel Funeral Homes

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John A. Spanier – Obituary

Name: John A. Spanier

Age: 86

Born: 09-05-1931

Died: 09-13-2017

St. Margaret's Catholic Church, Lake Henry, Minnesota

St. Margaret's Catholic Church, Lake Henry, Minnesota

Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Lake Henry for John A. Spanier Jr., age 86, of Lake Henry who passed away peacefully with family by his side on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Koronis Manor Care Center in Paynesville. Burial with military honors will take place in the parish cemetery.


Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday and after 10:00 a.m. on Thursday at St. Margaret’s Catholic Church in Lake Henry. Catholic United Financial along with St. Joseph’s Mens Society, St. Margaret’s Rosary Society and the Knights of Columbus will pray a rosary at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the church.

John was born on September 5, 1931 in Lake Henry to John and Helena (Meyer) Spanier. Per his request, he took the 7th and 8th grade exams together and graduated at the age of 12. He farmed with his dad and also later worked at the Cold Spring Granite sheds. He purchased the old Helmstetter place and farmed until being drafted in the US Army in 1956. He served two years, being stationed most of the time as a radar operator on Taboga Island, Panama. While there, he reported he learned a little Spanish and how to “really” drink beer.

He married Armella Braegelmann on May 12, 1959 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Richmond. They made their home on the old Helmstetter place where they farmed and raised six children. They enjoyed 50 years of marriage and spent many hours enjoying their children and grandchildren. John was active in the Othmar Braun American Legion Post #612 as a member of the drill team and resident piano player. He was also active with St. Margaret’s Parish, serving in the choir and as Eucharistic Minister, Rosary Society, Catholic United Financial, St. Josephs Men’s Society and the Knights of Columbus Council #3820. John was a charter member of the Lake Henry Lions and a stalwart member of AA; attending meetings faithfully and providing mentorship and support.

John had a love for music at an early age and began playing piano by ear at the age of six. Music was important all of his life and much of his retired life was spent playing the piano and bringing joy to others. He belonged to the Toot’n Tappers in Belgrade for many years and later had a monthly four gig circuit providing musical entertainment for assisted living and manor care facilities. Once a resident of Washburne Court and later of Koronis Manor, he continued to play piano whenever asked or “not asked” up until a few days before his death.

John is survived by his children, Jonelle (Roger) Heinen of New London, Julie (Dale) Schlangen of Lake Henry, Jane (Robert) Bertram of Spring Hill, James (Cindy) Spanier of Lake Henry, Joyce (Wayne) Borash of Sobieski, and Jeri Ann (Steve) Mathison of Willmar; 21 grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; and siblings, Rosetta Olmscheid, San Diego, CA; Hubert Spanier, Lakota, ND and Carol (Mark) Zaczkowski of Pine River; and brother-in-law, Mel Hagen of San Antonio, TX.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Armella in 2009; granddaughter, Rebecca Borash in 1998; parents; and siblings, Joe Spanier, Marie Olmscheid, Julietta Fuchs, Dorothy Olmscheid, Adelbert Spanier, and Odelia Hagen.

A heartfelt thank you to the staffs of Washburne Court and Koronis Manor for their loving, compassionate and creative caregiving.

Guestbook for John A. Spanier

Theresa Lieser
, Neighbors on the farm
September 19, 2017, 4:08 pm
Remember all the piano playing John and my Mom did. John always smiling or laughing. Sorry for your loss.
Brenda Lieser
, Friend of Jane (and rest of family, neighbors growing up)
September 16, 2017, 11:15 pm
Many memories of his humor and jokes. Families helped each other out with making silage and he always played on our piano after each meal. He so enjoyed life!!

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