HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries


Donald Maynard Opsahl

Donald Maynard Opsahl, age 78, of South Haven, died Saturday, May 12, 2007 at the Cokato Manor.

He was born Jan. 17, 1929 to Rangvald (Ray) and Esther (Sandlund) Opsahl at French Lake. Donald was baptized at Immanual Lutheran Church, and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church.

Donald was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. He was also a member of American Legion Johnson Kelly Post 483 in Kingston, where he enjoyed making the potato salad for the annual fish fry.

Donald was employed at Johnson Produce and Northland Canning Factory, both in Cokato, before entering the service.

He served as a chef in the US Army from 1951 to 1953, stationed at Eielson Air Force base near Anchorage, Alaska. He always talked about Alaska and commented how cold it was when they had to sleep outdoors.

Upon returning from the service, Donald started working at FMC (Northern Ordinance) in Fridley. He was a superintendent of the foundary in the naval defense plant. He worked there until retiring in 1984.

Don married Elaine Blodgett July 3, 1954 at the North Crow River Lutheran Church (Knapp), rural Cokato. They had two daughters: Carol, born in 1957, and Susan in 1961.

They lived in Columbia Heights, and spent weekends at their cabin near Kingston. In 1974, they built their current home overlooking Mud Lake.

Don loved living in the country and spending time with his family, fishing, gardening, and having fish fries by the cabin. Don would plant a large sweet corn patch and cantaloupes, then he and the grandkids would pack a lunch, sit by Grace Lutheran Church, and sell sweet corn to people going to their lake homes.

Don liked to work on his model A’s, and also had a license plate collection.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine; daughters, Carol Nass of Kimball, and Susan Opsahl of South Haven; grandchildren Jamie, Krista, Jedidiah, and Tayler; great-grandchildren Blake and Jozey; brothers Russell (LeVina) Opsahl of Annandale, and Alfred (Connie) Opsahl of Fridley; sisters Ardis Andrews of Seattle, Wash., Romel Lembke of Litchfield, Grace Grover of Renton, Wash., and Marjorie (Richard) Brummond of South Haven.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Esther; and a sister, Opal.

A memorial service took place Saturday, May 19 at 1 p.m. at North Crow River Lutheran Church with the Rev. Mike Nelson officiating. Music was provided by Lynda Peterson. Urn bearer was Jedidiah Cates. Interment was at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery.

Arrangements were by the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.

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