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Lyle Tibbetts

Feb. 28, 1941-June 24, 2008

Lyle E. "Punky" Tibbetts, 67, of Bemidji, died Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at his home.

Lyle Earl Tibbetts was born to Frank and Flossie (Collins) Tibbetts on Feb. 28, 1941 in Zerkel, Minn. He was raised and attended school in Bagley. Lyle began his military career during the Korean War. While serving his country, he met and fell in love with Monika Anna Kraus; they were married on Dec. 22, 1964 in Bonbaden, Germany. Lyle continued his active service through the Vietnam War, receiving numerous medals including Bronze Stars, a Silver Star, and Purple Hearts. He finished his patriotic career through the Army Reserves in Walker, Minn. He remained a proud veteran his entire life.

Lyle worked for many years, utilizing his degrees as a welder and diesel mechanic, and as a school bus driver (known to the children as The Wolfman) in Detroit Lakes while raising his family. During those years, he was active with the Boy Scouts of America as a troop leader. For health reasons, he changed careers and received a degree in sales, later retiring from that field.

Lyle enjoyed camping, fishing, board and card games, and spending time with his family. He and Monika retired in Becida and then Bemidji in the early 1990s, where they continued to enjoy family and friends. Lyle filled his life with children, grandchildren, family and friends. He enjoyed a good conversation as well as challenging game of Cribbage, grilling, baking bread and pies as well as his famous homemade pizza. The stories of his life captivated audiences young and old.

Surviving Lyle are his four children, Corina (Darrin) Bronczyk, of Laporte, Minn., Sylvia Tibbetts of Frazee, John (Kelli) Tibbetts of Detroit Lakes and Anton Tibbetts of Bemidji; seven grandchildren; a sister, Beulah Stenerson of Bagley; a sister-in-law, Doris Tibbetts of Bemidji; as well as many family members and friends.

Preceding Lyle in death were his loving wife of 42 years, Monika (Dec. 6, 2007); his only brother, Allen Lee; an infant sister, Freida; a brother-in-law, Willard; one great nephew and two great nieces; his mother and father-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, all of Germany.

Memorial services were held Monday, June 30, at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Bemidji, with the Rev. Mark Kindem officiating. Interment was at the Hubbard Cemetery in Hubbard, Minn., under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji.