Ben Sauter, age 90 passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, July 21, 2011 surrounded by his family. He was born on Jan. 29, 1921 in Foxholm, N.D. When he was two, his family moved to Morris where he was raised on a farm west of town. He attended country school and lived the farm with his parents, two brothers and nine sisters.
He married Irene Lesmeister of Morris on Jan. 16, 1945. They made their home in Alberta, Minn. He worked at Greens Milling Company and Chandler-Wilbert Vault Company during the winter months while on the farm. In 1961, they moved to Pine City.
In Pine City, Ben joined the United Farm Agency, a national real estate firm and sold real estate for 28 years. He was elected to the city council and served for 16 years as councilman, acting mayor and mayor. He was civil defense director for a number of years, served on the Pine County agricultural society for 16 years and was chairman for 12 years. He together with Albrecht Erhart was instrumental in starting the demo derby for the Pine County Fair. He served on the Snake River Conservation club for 16 years and was chairman for 12 years.
After retirement Ben and Irene spent their winters in Arizona for many years and enjoyed camping with their family in the summer.
Ben is survived by Irene, his wife of 66 years and also six children: Jane Doran, Tom (Sue) Sauter, Ed (Shelly) Sauter, all of Pine City, Bill (Jacqui) Sauter of Minneapolis, Sue (Wally) Smetana and Mary (Dave) Spinler all of Pine City. He is also survived by 24 grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, one brother Bill Sauter of Morris, eight sisters Marie Meyer of Apple Valley, Dorothy Meyer of Jefferson, Oregon, Carol Woolridge of Morris, Eleanor Logan of Chokio, Lorraine Woolridge, Catherine Logan and Delores Koplin, all of Morris, and Rosie Juergenson of Sun City, Ariz. Ben was preceded in death by his parents William and Catherine (Heinen) Sauter, a brother Joseph, a sister Irene Schuster, a grandson Zeno Sauter, and son-in-law Jim Doran.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, July 25 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pine City with Msgr. Aleksander Suchan presiding. Interment was in the Hilltop Cemetery of Pine City. Wake prayers led by Deacon Gene Biever were held Sunday evening at Swanson Funeral Chapel of Pine City.