Gene A. Engelstad, 87, of Fergus Falls, died on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the MN Veterans Home in Fergus Falls.
Gene Allan was born on July 19, 1932, in Moorhead, MN, the son of Lars M. and Synneva W. (Gunderson) Engelstad. He was baptized in October 1932 and confirmed in May 1946 in Moorhead, MN. He graduated highschool in Ashby, MN, where he was captain of the football and basketball teams and active in baseball and the class play.
Gene entered the U.S. Army and served in Korea from Dec. 1950 until November 1952 when he was honorably discharged. He earned a Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal and Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars.
He married Virginia on December 27, 1952, at Pelican Lake Lutheran Church in Ashby. He then attended school for 2 years at the North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo and 2 years at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Economics in 1956. Gene joined Western Union in 1956 as a finance department trainee in New York City. He had various positions over the years, (Director of Accounts, Area Controller in Chicago, then Assistant Vice President- National Order Processing). Some of these promotions required moving, 1972 to Chicago, 1973 to St. Louis, 1978 to New Jersey. He had four children, Paul, Vicki, Kari and David. While in New Jersey, Gene joined Virginia in a successful business doing drapery and upholstery until they returned to MN in 1990. Virginia passed away in 2005.
Gene married Alyce on February 18, 2006, at Messiah Lutheran Church in Tampa Bay, FL. Alyce passed in 2012 and Gene later returned to MN. He was a member of the American Legion the VFW, RWUEA (Retired Western Union Employees Association), Messiah Lutheran Church in Tampa Bay, Florida, and a member of Redeeming Grace in Rogers, MN.
His hobbies included bowling, horseshoes and gardening tomatoes. Gene cherished visits with family and friends and looked forward to the yearly Ashby Appreciation Days. He always interjected his wonderful sense of humor at the perfect times to make you laugh.
He is survived by his children, Kari Lee (Joel) Kotila of Terryville, CT, David (Emmie) Engelstad of Fergus Falls, MN; daughter-in-law, Wendy Engelstad of Champlin, MN; three brothers, Sidney (Gerry) Engelstad of Fergus Falls, MN, Robert Engelstad of Crystal Lake, MN and Larry (Ruth) Engelstad of Howard Lake, MN; 10 grandsons; 5 great grandchildren along with numerous nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lars and Synneva; two wives, Virginia and Alyce; a son, Paul; infant daughter, Vicki; a sister, Doris (Russ) Olsen and a sister-in-law, Lu Engelstad.
Memorial Service: 11:00 a.m, Friday, October 25, at Kvam Free Lutheran Church, rural Dalton, with a memorial gathering one hour prior to the service.
Clergy: Pastor Joshua Mayer, Redeeming Grace Lutheran Church
Interment: Kvam Free Lutheran Cemetery, Dalton, MN
Funeral arrangements are with the Glende-Nilson Funeral Home of Fergus Falls for Gene Engelstad.