Vernard Haala, Sr. (Updated)

Vernard Joseph Haala, Sr. passed away peacefully at his home on December 15th, 2021 surrounded by prayer and family.

Due to unexpected COVID concerns the services will be private for family only! Funeral Service will be held at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Sleepy Eye, on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 11:00 am.

The clergy will be Father Mark Steffl.

Interment will be at the St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Sleepy Eye.

Arrangements are with the Sturm Funeral Home in Sleepy Eye.

Service can be watched at

Online condolences may be left for the family at

Vernard Joseph Haala, Sr. passed away peacefully at his home on December 15th, 2021 surrounded by prayer and family. Just 89 years prior, he was born in the same home to his parents, Teresa and Henry Haala. He attended school at the Little Red School House just up the road from his home in Albin Township. After school, he helped his father with the family farm; the farm he would run for the rest of his years. He married the great love of his life, Donna Ludewig, on August 3, 1953 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, MN. They made their home at the family farm where they would raise their 7 children.

Dad had many joys in his life. He meticulously tended to his farm and crops, listened to polka music, and maintained his garden. However, there was no bigger joy for him than to see Mom smile and hear her laugh. He adored her everyday through 68 years of marriage; it was an incredible relationship to witness.

Dad lived his life making it a point to be present for his family. He made every visit or phone call a priority. He had a gift of making all feel at our best in his presence. His love for his family radiated through his acts of service, calm demeanor, gentle touch, and sweet sentiments. He will be fondly remembered by his ‘sweeties’ and ‘buddies.’

Dad’s faith carried him through life. He is remembered by his children as spending his nights kneeling in prayer and carrying a ring rosary in his pocket. On the day of his passing, he ensured that the rosary would make it to his pocket as he entered the gates of heaven. While we grieve his earthly death, we celebrate with him his eternal life in heaven with God and his family who went before him.

Vernard is survived by his wife, Donna, and their seven children, Jeanne Helget and her children Nicole, Nancy, Natalie, Nola, Nevada, Neah; Janice (Herb) Veigel and her children, Justin, Lindsay; Vernard (Cindy) Haala Jr. and their children, Brent, Derrick, Clint; Joleen (Jim) Welsch and their children Chad, Jennifer; Jay Haala; Jeffrey Haala; and Jill (Eugene) Sellner and their children Megan, Jaden; and many great and great-great grandchildren; and his sisters, Delores Spaeth and Gladys Reinarts. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Elmer (Mabel) Haala, Walter (Mildred) Haala, Wilbert (Angie) Haala; his sister, Orlene (Harold) Kral; and brother-in-laws, Sylvester Spaeth and Lester Reinarts; and son-in-law, Donald Veigel.