Cover photo for Darrel Ness's Obituary
Darrel Ness Profile Photo
1947 Darrel 2020

Darrel Ness

November 3, 1947 — March 7, 2020


Please note difference in location of visitation and funeral.

Darrel Willard Ness, 72, a lifelong resident of the rural Ashby/Dalton area, died Saturday, March 7, 2020 in a four-wheeling accident doing what he loved.

Darrell was born on November 3, 1947 in Fergus Falls, MN, the first born of Willard and Phyllis (Eggum) Ness.  He attended grade school in Dalton and high school in Ashby.  Darrel was selfless and worked all of his life to support this family.  He started working at age eight for Harold Skarr Hatchery in Dalton, feeding and caring for new baby chickens.  He enlisted in the Army Reserves and served as a cook for the reservists.   At age 17, he started his career in road construction.  Most of his career was spent operating heavy equipment; he travelled all over the country including Florida, Colorado, Alabama, North Dakota, and Kentucky.  He never liked to travel, so he would find companies that could keep him “home”.  Much of the time, he worked in Minneapolis, helping grow their highway systems.  During trips to the cities, he would point out what roads he helped build and there was always a story to be told.  He worked for Johnson Brothers Construction and Ames Construction, each for 20 years, as well as several more.  Darrel was proud to share that he was solely entrusted to operate the largest Wheel Loader ever made, the 994 Caterpillar Loader, for Ames Construction during that time. He would commonly refer to the "loader having 2650 HP and a 27-cubic yard bucket, with three flights of stairs".  He made many friendships during these years that lasted a lifetime. He was proud of his work and received many honors and recognitions for it.  After retirement, Darrel kept himself busy starting a lawn-mowing service and driving tractor for a long-time friend, Mike VanSanten.

Darrel accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior at age 32.  He wasn’t necessarily a church going man, but he had a tender heart and acted as the hands and feet of Jesus to help others.

He met Susan Ann Otteson when they were both in their early teens and helped on her family farm to be close to her.   They were united in marriage on August 1, 1969 and made their home in rural Ashby.  From this marriage came two children, Zoe and Rick.  He was proud of his children and talked about them with whomever would listen.

Darrel will be remembered for his quick humor, willingness to help anyone, and his work ethic.  He was known as one of the best “BS-ers” in the area—most anyone that knew Darrel has a story to tell.  He was always very busy, if you asked him, he would tell you.

Darrel is survived by his wife of 50 years, Susan; two children, Zoe (Matthew) Alaboud of Fergus Falls, MN, and Rick (Niki) Ness of rural Ashby, MN;  the four greatest loves of his life, his grandchildren, Brady (10) and Alivia (4) Alaboud, Willard (5) and Clayton (11mo) Ness; many nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Willard and Phyllis; brothers, Dean and Gary Ness; and sister, Barbara Olson.

We can all have eternal peace by accepting Jesus as our Savior and rest assure life is eternal and we will see Darrel again.  John 3:16

Visitation: 5 - 7 PM Thursday at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Ashby , and one hour prior to services in Fergus Falls on Friday.

Memorial Service: 1 PM Friday, March 13, 2020, at  Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls

Interment:  Knollwood Memorial Gardens, Fergus Falls

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, March 12, 2020

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Glende-Nilson Funeral Home (Ashby)

107 Main St, Ashby, MN 56309

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 13, 2020

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

Glende-Nilson Funeral Home (Fergus Falls)

301 E Washington Ave, Fergus Falls, MN 56537

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