David Merlin Ahlgren, age 66, of Darwin, died Friday, July 28, 2017, in rural Darwin.
His funeral service will be Friday, Aug. 4 at 11 a.m. at the Church of Christ in Dassel with Pastor Ronald Ahlgren officiating. Interment will follow at the Dassel Community Cemetery.
There was visitation Thursday, Aug. 3 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Johnson Funeral Home in Dassel, and visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church Friday.
David was born May 5, 1951, at the Meeker County Memorial Hospital in Litchfield, the son of Stanley and Lucille (Radunz) Ahlgren. He grew up on the family farm, helping with chores and the field work.
David attended country school district 1093, before attending Dassel High School, where he graduated in 1969.
As a teenager, David was baptized at the Church of Christ in Litchfield, and he had been a faithful member of the Church of Christ in Dassel for nearly 44 years.
David was united in marriage to Mary Hellwig Sept. 1, 1973, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Ellsworth Township, Meeker County. The couple made their home just down the road from the Ahlgren family home place.
David knew he wanted to farm at a very young age. He started to raise chickens, and later took care of his brother’s pigs. His hobbies then turned to tropical fish, and eventually to raising turkeys, waterfowl, ducks, geese and swans, selling at game shows and to taxidermists.
He shared his passion for farming with his kids and grandkids. David loved tiling, fencing, bulldozing, excavating, clearing land, burning brush, killing weeds, and cutting hay. He had an aversion to trees . . . always clearing them to make more farmland.
David enjoyed collecting antique tractors, as well as model replicas.
He was very strong in his faith and wasn’t afraid to share it with others. “Are you right with the Lord?” was a phrase taken from his mother that he used often. David served on his church board, and as a Sunday school teacher.
David loved God and his family, and would often sneak away to share his Schwan’s ice cream and candy with his grandchildren.
He was known for providing comic relief to those that he was around. He had an innate ability to ask deeply personal questions of people, and get them to open up to him.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ahlgren of Darwin; his children, Heidi (Darrel) Terning of Darwin, Holly (Paul) Niedzielski of South Haven, Heather (Aaron) Hobert of Cokato, and Rick (Sarah) Ahlgren of Darwin; 16 grandchildren; and siblings, Joanne (Ron) West of Joplin, MO, Richard (Jeanne) Ahlgren of Plymouth, Ronald (Barb) Ahlgren of Holton, KS, Robert (Connie) Ahlgren of Dassel, Steve (Pam) Ahlgren, and Galen (Susan) Ahlgren, all of Darwin.
David was preceded in death by his infant son, Zachary; and his parents, Stanley and Lucille Ahlgren.
He will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him.