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Dennis Blackbourn

Dennis Blackbourn, age 67, of Beetown, WI, passed away on February 24th, 2015 at UW Hospital in Madison, WI.  He was born in Lancaster, WI on January 17, 1948.  He was the second son of Edward and Ruth (Eastman) Blackbourn.  Dennis graduated from Cassville High School in 1966, and then joined the Navy attending boot camp in San Diego, CA.  He trained as an Electronic Technician and graduated second in his class, earning a station at Patrick Air Force Base near Cocoa Beach, FL.

On August 31st, 1968, Dennis returned home to marry his high school sweet heart, Cheryl Duncan, at the Beetown United Methodist Church.  They would move to Florida, where Dennis was assigned to a telemetry ship, called the USS Range Sentinel.  Dennis served 6 admirable years in the Navy.  Dennis moved home and worked 36 years at Alliant Energy in Cassville, WI as a Lab Instrument Tech, and moonlighted as a TV repairman, retiring in 2009.

Dennis had a passion for flying and obtained his private pilot's license in 1978, and later his, instrument, multi-engine, commercial, and flight-instructor ratings.  He enjoyed spending time with family, camping, watching airshows, and having cookouts.

Survivors include Cheryl, his loving wife of 46 years, their two children; Tyler (Lynn Christy) Blackbourn of Madison, WI and Travis (Wendy Van Natta) Blackbourn of Kieler, WI.  Dennis was also blessed with four grandsons (Lucas, Colin, Brody, & Gavin);  his mother Ruth Blackbourn, Beetown, WI and also, three siblings; Terry (Donna) Blackbourn, Cedar Rapids, IA; Ken (Ruth Ann) Blackbourn, Dixon, IL; JoEllen Roche (Tom Rupnow), Monroe, WI.

Dennis was preceded in death by his Father, Edward Blackbourn, who died in November of 1969.

Memorial services with military honors will be held on Friday, February 27, 2015, at 12:00 noon at the Lancaster United Methodist Church with Reverend Barbara Cook officiating.  Burial will be at a later date.  Family and friends may call on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until time of services at the church.  Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Lancaster is assisting the family.

Roger D. Ralston

Roger D. Ralston, age 71, of Lancaster, passed away on Tuesday, February 24, 2015, at Orchard Manor Nursing Home, rural Lancaster.  He was born on November 23, 1943, the son of Wayne and Carol (Kleinfelter) Ralston, in Waterloo, IA.  He graduated from Grundy Center High School in 1962.  Roger furthered his education at Morningside College and Iowa State University.  He lived in Indianola, IA and Lancaster the majority of his life.  Roger is a retired farmer and fertilizer salesman.  He had a deep love for animals of all kinds, especially Angus cattle, dogs and cats.  Roger was an active participant and sponsor in AA, having just celebrated 32 years with the friends of Bill W. and Dr. Bob.  He was an active member in Calvary Community Church and had a strong friendship with many at the church.  Roger participated in many local organizations and groups including:  antique tractor rides, Grant County Cattleman's Association, Lancaster F.F.A., and supported many athletic events at the Lancaster High School.  He enjoyed his time spent in the fall at Vesperman Farms giving rides in the pumpkin patch.

Survivors include his son, Michael Wayne (Chris) Ralston, Chaska, MN; grandchildren:  Kasey and Shelby; a sister, Marcyne Heitman, Pensacola, FL; and nieces, nephews, and cousins.  

In addition to his parents, Roger was preceded in death by an infant brother, Gary Ralston and Michael's mother, Judy.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 27, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the Calvary Community Church in Lancaster with Pastor David Arevalo officiating.  Burial will be on Saturday, February 28, 2015, at Alice Church Cemetery, Conrad, IA.  Family and friends may call on Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Lancaster.  Friends may also call on Friday one hour prior to services at the church.  In lieu of plants and flowers, a memorial has been established to create a scholarship in Roger's name.

The family wishes to express a deep level of gratitude and appreciation towards Orchard Manor staff and to his close AA friends, neighbors, and special friend, Kathy.


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