Cover photo for James Howard Dahlen's Obituary
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1941 James 2024

James Howard Dahlen

June 24, 1941 — March 31, 2024

Pelican Rapids

James Howard Dahlen passed away March 31, 2024, at Pelican Valley Care Center in Pelican Rapids, MN, at the age of 82. He was born on June 24th, 1941, the son of Ralph and Isabelle (Jensen) Dahlen. James grew up on the family farm 12 miles south of Fergus Falls. He attended rural country school through the eighth grade. He also attended Sunday school and was confirmed at Aastad Lutheran Church, which was less than a quarter of a mile from the family farm.

While growing up, James loved to play with his two younger brothers: riding bike, throwing horseshoes, playing in the hay mow, and building forts in the grove. He helped his brothers and his uncle Martin mow the Aastad graveyard during his teen years. In his teen years James learned how to roller skate and became quite good at it, even learning how to skate backwards. As he grew older, working with his dad on the farm was what he enjoyed very much. James was an important part of his dad’s custom baling business. 

After his dad died, James worked on the farm for many years with his brother Doug. He later worked with an excavating business, at the Regional Treatment Center in Fergus and as a house painter. His favorite winter activity was ice fishing. He owned several ice houses and speared many northern pike. 

Later in life James and his late partner, Margie, resided in Dent with their beloved cats. James had said that he and Margie were a “team.” James loved and took pride in his pickup and stated that the only good vehicle was a Ford. He also enjoyed going up to the local café for his pancakes. James had numerous friends in Dent and spoke highly of them all. He was especially blessed by a special caretaker, Heidi, who looked after him and Margie in their later years. Whenever James had the chance, he would check on his nephew Cody. James was very proud to know Cody had a love for farming and was continuing the family farm.  

Preceding him in death are his parents, Ralph and Isabelle Dahlen, stepfather, Elmer Tordsen and his partner Margie Nelson.

James is survived by his brothers: Douglas (Karen), of Fergus Falls, MN and Joel (Renee) of Mason City, IA; along with a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends. 

Memorial Service: 2 PM, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at Aastad Lutheran Church, 19383 Co Hwy 110, Fergus Falls, with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Interment in the church cemetery following the service.

Glende-Nilson Funeral Home Fergus Falls

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