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Odvar H. Hjelmeland, 86

Odvar Henry Hjelmeland, age 86, of Buffalo, formerly of Cokato, died Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011, at the Park View Care Center of Buffalo.

He was born in Hanska, MN July 2, 1924, to Krist and Hannah Hjelmeland. Odvar grew up on the family farm in Hanska, and graduated from Hanska High School in 1942.

After high school, Odvar enlisted in the US Coast Guard and served in the North Pacific for 14 months.

Odvar married Lois Knutson June 30, 1945, while still in the service. After his service, the couple farmed in Hanska, then Silver Lake, and in 1954, moved to Cokato.

Odvar was a full-time farmer, but also worked at Green Giant in Cokato, and dug graves in all the cemeteries around Cokato.

He enjoyed playing cards and fishing, and served on the Knapp School Board, and was a member of the Sons of Norway.

Lois passed away Oct. 31, 1987. Odvar then met and married Velda Marie Lane Nov. 11, 1989, at the North Crow River Lutheran Church in Knapp. Velda passed away Aug. 15, 2008.

In addition to his wives, Lois and Velda, Odvar was preceded in death by his parents, Krist and Hannah; and a sister, Ardyce.

He is survived by two sisters, Odney (Alfred) Botten and Helen (Norman) Miller; his children, Steven (Mary Cravens) Hjelmeland of Buffalo, Kathy (Mike) Froslie of Big Stone City, SD, Eric Hjelmeland of Jordan, Rodney (Renee) Hjelmeland of Rapid City SD, Tim (Linda Tillman) Hjelmeland of St. Cloud, Lori (John) Seppala of Buffalo, and Joel (Cheryl) Hjelmeland of Wayzata; and grandchildren Shawn Hjelmeland, Stefanie Hjelmeland, Michelle (Dustin) Ewing, Gordon (Nicole) Froslie, Bethany Froslie, Kris (Sara) Hjelmeland, Erin Hjelmeland, Jason (Amy) Hjelmeland, Blake Hjelmeland, Lisa (Douglas) DeLano, Dustin (Kacie) Hjelmeland, Kelsey Hjelmeland, Devon (Andrea) Mattila, Nichole (James) Landa, Brent (Berit) Mattila, Andrea (Dustin) Davison, Tracie (Darrin) Hoikka, Sherie Seppala, Kyle Seppala, Ryan Seppala, and Matthew Seppala; and 49 great-grandchildren.

The funeral service took place Thursday, March 3 at 2 p.m. at North Crow River Lutheran Church, rural Cokato, with interment in the church cemetery.

Visitation was Wednesday, March 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato, with a prayer service at 8 p.m., and continued Thursday for one hour prior to the service at the church.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.