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Virgil A. Birkholz, 77

Virgil Awalt Birkholz, age 77, of Howard Lake, died Sunday, March 14, 2010, at his home with his wife, Ann, by his side.

He was born Oct. 10, 1932, on the family farm in Middleville Township, rural Howard Lake, the son of Awalt and Frieda (Stueven) Birkholz. 

A lifelong member of St. James Lutheran Church, he was baptized Nov. 13, 1932, by the Rev. C.G. Seltz, and confirmed in his faith April 14, 1946, by the Rev. Theo. Melinat. 

Virgil was married to Ann Peikert Sept. 22, 1951, at Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church by the Rev. Oscar Peterson. Their marriage was blessed with four children.

Virgil and Ann made their home on a dairy farm north of Howard Lake. In 1977, they sold the cows and farmed the cropland, until 2000, when Virgil retired. 

Devoted to his faith, family, farming, and friends, Virgil enjoyed playing cards, sports, hunting, fishing, family vacations, and spending time with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, especially at family Sunday night suppers. 

He served as a Middleville Township supervisor for 20 years.

Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, Awalt and Frieda Birkholz; brother Wilton; great-grandsons Brandon and Dylan Gabbert; and other close relatives.

He is survived by his wife, Ann; children Viann (Alan) Montgomery, Larae (Terry) Ostgulen, Gregory (Cathy) Birkholz, all of Howard Lake, and Mark (Judy) Birkholz of Wayzata; nine grandchildren, Mindy (Rob) Shulfer, Marey (Mike) Woolhouse, Matthew (Leah) Montgomery, Mitchell Montgomery, Angela (Justin) Gabbert, Trisha (Tom) Hempstead, Sara (Justin) Niesen, Adam Birkholz and Jenna Birkholz; and 14 great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Ben Shulfer; Marissa, Madyson, Kobey and Carson Woolhouse; William Montgomery; Taylor, Shelby, Brooke and Gracie Gabbert; and Morgan, Abby and Brody Niesen

Virgil is further survived by sisters Ruby (Don) Drusch, and Wilma Nelson; brother Merrill Birkholz; brother-in-law Dr. Carl (Jean) Peikert; sisters-in-law Elaine (Wesley) Grussendorf and Ruth Maddox; nieces; nephews; and a host of family and friends.

The Revs. Martin Schoenfeld and Michael Nirva officiated at a celebration of Virgil’s life Thursday, March 18 at 2 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in Howard Lake.  Special music was provided by his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends from the St. James Worship Choir. Nancy Butterfass served as organist. Interment was at the Howard Lake Cemetery. 

Serving as pallbearers were Virgil’s grandsons and grandsons-in-law.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Howard Lake.