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Caribou Gun Club owner Randy Voss shows one the 23 stations at the club’s new pistol shooting range which features multiple shooting galleries. (Pat Beck/St. Peter Herald)

Improvised Memorial Day services honor those who made ultimate sacrifice

The Lonsdale American Legion Honor Guard and Auxiliary needed to improvise Memorial Day services May 25, and this year, it wasn’t because of inclement weather.

Taking precautions in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, veteran supporters were asked to stay in their vehicles during services at Holy Trinity Cemetery in Veseli, Trondhjem Cemetery and Calvary Cemetery.

The short services included the listing of names of veterans buried in each of the visited cemeteries.

World War I veterans

Calvary Cemetery – Lonsdale: Ed Barta; John Bastyr; Anton Cihlar; Anton Pumper; Emil Vosejpka; Joseph Malecha; Edward Machacek; Frank Krejci; William Barta; Ben Smisek; Charles Mechura; Albert Tum; Myles Jasana; Joseph Prazak; Joseph Hruska; John Tuma; Joseph L. Vosejpka

Holy Trinity Cemetery – Veseli: Frank A. Stepka; James Svoboda; John J. Havlicek; Wencel Bartusek

St. John’s Cemetery – Veseli: Albert Swoboda; Frank J. Blaha; George J. Smisek; Bohumil Barta; Frank A. Rezac; Benjamin J.Frejlach; Bohumil F. Simon; Matthias T. Sirek, Sr.; James M. Tuma

Trondhjem Cemetery – Lonsdale: Albert A. Fossum; Peter Paulson; Sigri Fossum; Ole Berg; William Fossum

World War II veterans

Calvary Cemetery – Lonsdale: Edward Tuma; Frank Hruza; Margaret Walsh; Raymond Sevcik; John Tupy; Emanuel Ziskovsky; John Havlicek; Emanuel Malecha; Frank Kalina; George Sevcik; Alvin Tupy; Stanley Rezac; Ben Vosejpka; George Stahowiak; Bohumil Moravec; Walter Pavek; Myles Jasan, Jr.; James Stage; John Sirek; Francis Cecka; Frank J. Flicek; Eugene Valek; Joe T. Jirik; Frank R. Jirik; Francis Stepka; Roman W. Kalina; Edward J. Hruby; George J. Malecha; Max Salaba; Francis Novak; Joe T. Kes; Robert Skluzacek; Henry Pumper; Elgin Cihlar; Leonard Bastyr; Francis Nohava; Betty Pavek; George Pumper; Emil Uhlir; Lawrence Skluzacek; George Hruby; Alfred Fierst; Myles Kes; James Pavek; Ray Dornfeld; George Jirek; Charles Tuma; Valentine J Kucera; Ralph Flicek; Dolores Roberts; Armand J. Rezac; Edward R. Cleasby; Emil Sticha

Holy Trinity Cemetery – Veseli: William J. Adamek; Mahlon F. Fierst; Beda A. Lapic; Joseph T. Simon

St. John’s Cemetery – Veseli: Albert John Simon; Melvin M Malecha; Lawrence J. Simon; Josph S. Sticha; Albert J. Hanzel; John M. Horejsi; Francis J. Ceplecha; Richard R. Shetka; James C. Simon

Trondhjem Cemetery – Lonsdale: Reuben J. Johnson; Quentin E. Quinell; Leonard Anseth; Burton Fossum; Alvin Johnson; Ralph Arneson; Harry Homeier

Korean War veterans

Calvary Cemetery – Lonsdale: Milton Kalal; Clarence Malecha; Clarence Palma; Elmer Cecka; Robert Pint; Francis Palma; George Voracek; Charles Mach; Richard Malecha; Joseph L. Pavek; George Trnka; George Tuma; Robert Kaling; Donald Malecha; Joseph L. Skluzacek; Harold M. Vosejpka; Robert Vosejpka; John Dolezal; Ray Jirik; Robert Chlian; Francis R. Vosejpka; Ray T. Malecha; Norbert Skluzacek; Frank K. Kes; Donald D. Jasan; Albert G. Kadrlik; C. Patrick Senftneer; John M. Lepeska; Adrian Skluzack; Gilbert J. Skluzacek; Mathew “Mike” Tikalsky; Clarence J. Malecha

Holy Trinity Cemetery – Veseli: George W. Palma; John J. Chlan; Alois Simon; Elmer J. BartusekMilton W. Jasan

St. John’s Cemetery – Veseli: Norbert A. Simon; George E. Ziskovsky; Francis J. Sirek; Arnold W. Tupy; Arnold W. Pavek; Milton C. Simon; Milton W. Jasan

Trondhjem Cemetery – Lonsdale: Duane D. Pflaum; Douglas D. Oster; Myron Zimanske; Maurice Muetzel

Czech National Cemetery – Lonsdale: Elmer Vikla

Vietnam War veterans

Calvary Cemetery – Lonsdale: David Schultz; Daniel Jirik; Vernon Rezac; John Uhlir; John Cihlar; Paul Cleasby; Mark Cleasby; Gerald Nohava; Lester Malecha; Gerald Pumper; Dennis Malecha; Richard Kubes; John Kodada; Ronald Sticha; Leroy Sticha; Reynold Sticha; Joseph Farley; Edwin Jirak; Neil Tuma; David Herda; Dan Malecha; Albert “Al” G. Sempaur

Holy Trinity Cemetery – Veseli: Clarence E. Stepka; Richard M. Bartusek; Eugene B. Franek

St. John’s Cemetery – Veseli: Joseph Kubes; Ernest “Ernie” Skluzacek

Trondhjem Cemetery – Lonsdale: Jerry Wenner; Michael M. Canedy; David E. Vagt

Spanish-American and Civil War veterans

Calvary Cemetery – Lonsdale: Dennis McFadden (Spanish-American War); Frank M. Sevcik (Spanish-American War)

Holy Trinity Cemetery – Veseli: Josef Herda (Spanish-American War); John J. Lapic (Spanish-American War)

St. John’s Cemetery – Veseli: Als’t Albert Hersman (Civil War); Jacob Zahratka (Civil War); Jan Vesely (Civil War); Vaclav Cihak (Spanish-American War)

Veterans buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery

Frank J. Pasek; William Franek; Max F. Sticha; Richard F. Bastyr; Fred Prchal; Francis T. Tuma; Agnes L. Schneller; Jerry Cleland; Arnold J. Chilian; Leonard Malecha; Joseph Pivec; Edward Pexa; Robert B. Smisek; Alois L. Hanek; George M. Kallal; Michael Thompson

Mother, daughter team up to open Main Street cafe

JoAnn Erickson and her daughter, Vicky, wanted to see a new restaurant option on Lonsdale Main Street.

They decided they would be the ones to make it happen.

Somethin’ Tasty, a sandwich shop located at 107 Main St. S., is set to open June 8. The new cafe will have 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. hours Monday through Saturday and offer a variety of cold and hot sandwiches.

“The only thing we’re waiting on is the ice cream and coffee machines, but everything else is ready to go,” said JoAnn.

The century-old building, formerly Herda’s Harness Shop, was most recently Michelle’s Coffee Cafe from December 2017 to March 2019. The building has been vacant ever since, and JoAnn and Vicky have decided to leave the interior walls painted orange and yellow.

Before she opened Something For All, another Main Street business in Lonsdale, JoAnn said she worked in food service for most of her life, mainly in the Burnsville area. Vicky has also worked in food service in Lakeville and Elko New Market and previously managed Dominoes.

JoAnn and Vicky will keep Something For All open regular hours while juggling two Main Street businesses. Just the two of them, with assistance from JoAnn’s nephew, will man the cafe as they determine the amount of business the restaurant receives.

Gauging what the community wants is part of JoAnn and Vicky’s business tactic. To figure out the most popular menu items, Vicky said they plan to offer specials on products like teas as a trial and keep the best sellers as regular offerings.

Using local resources is another priority for this mother-daughter pair. Local artists designed the Somethin’ Tasty sign, business cards and menu. European Rotisserie in Le Center will source the coffee, and Lau’s Czech Bakery in New Prague will provide pastries. In the future, JoAnn plans to offer soups in the winter and special sandwiches during Lent.

Customers can order hot sandwiches or customize their own cold sandwiches. Gluten-free bread is available, and customers can request alterations to the hot sandwiches. In the future, JoAnn plans to offer soups in the winter and special sandwiches during Lent.

Beverages on the menu include regular and decaf coffee, lemonade, soda, water, orange juice, hot and cold iced teas and hot chocolate.

JoAnn said the soft serve ice cream at Somethin’ Tasty should be a hit for all ages. Chocolate, vanilla and swirl are the three options, and customers can decide between sundae bowls, waffle cones and cake cones.

With the restaurant opening at 50% capacity in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Somethin’ Tasty will have a couple tables out front. Eventually, JoAnn said they plan to open a patio behind the business. Carry-out menu options will continue even after the restaurant can safely hold larger crowds.

In addition to offering their menu items at the cafe, JoAnn and Vicky also plan to do pop-ups at local vendor markets.

“We pretty much enjoy working together,” said JoAnn.

The sun sets over the 2018 Rice County Fair. (Photo by Greg Davis)

Johnson prepares to step up as TCU Lonsdale principal


Tony Johnson’s contract as Tri-City United Lonsdale Elementary principal first begins July 1, but he’s already easing into his new role.

After stepping into the TCU Lonsdale building just once to introduce himself to staff, he noted the school has “a good family feel and culture” and believes that environment will lend itself to great possibilities.

“I’m very honored for the opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started in serving the TCU Lonsdale community,” said Johnson. “I’m very excited for it.”

Johnson, dean of students at Red Oak Elementary in Shakopee, will soon replace Mollie Meyer, who accepted a principal job with Mankato Public Schools in April.

Looking forward to his time at TCU Lonsdale, Johnson said he wants to preserve the academic excellence the school has already achieved and also focus on students’ social and emotional growth. This will prepare them for “a lifetime of success,” he said.

The elementary level in general appeals to Johnson because, as he said, “it’s the start of [a student’s] academic journey.”

“This is everyone’s first experience with school, and I want to make it as positive as can be and build the trust with the families as well,” he said.

Johnson developed an interest in education at a young age. He enjoyed participating in athletics, and that too fueled his passion for leadership.

“I had a lot of positive role models who were teachers and wanted to grow up to do that,” said Johnson. “There was never really a question about it for me.”

Johnson attended Iowa State University for his undergrad and obtained his first job in Ankeny, Iowa, where he worked for five years. During his time in Ankeny, he worked as a middle school special education teacher and instructional coach and also coached several sporting teams.

Most recently, Johnson completed two years as a dean of students for Red Oak Elementary in Shakopee. Before that, he served as an instructional coach for Red Oak. These experiences paved the way for his first principalship in Lonsdale, a community not far from his New Prague home.

He and his wife, Erin, who also grew up in New Prague, decided to move back to their hometown to live closer to their parents while starting their family. The couple now has two sons: Jace, 2 ½, and Brooks, 8 months. Johnson refers to his clan as “a very active, outdoorsy family” that enjoys sports, being active on land or in the water and simply spending time with friends.

From one district to another

A memorable piece of advice Johnson received, from Red Oak Elementary Principal Mitch Perrine, is to acquire feedback as an administrator so as to move the school forward as a group, not as an individual.

Perrine himself said he knew Johnson would be a “perfect match” for the Tri-City United school district after Superintendent Teri Preisler explained to him the type of person the district wanted to hire.

“I think that the people at the school in Lonsdale there are going to be very happy they chose him,” said Perrine. “He’s going to be a great leader for that school.”

Perrine described Johnson as a personable man the community can easily get to know and a great listener who thinks carefully before making decisions.

We’re definitely going to miss him, that’s for sure,” said Perrine.