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Published August 29, 2012, 12:00 AM

Raymond Grefsrud

Raymond Grefsrud, age 93, of Hawley, MN, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at the Viking Manor in Ulen, MN.

Raymond Bernard Grefsrud was born on December 1, 1918 to Gust and Martina (Bratlien) Grefsrud. He was born and raised in the Rollag, MN area. He was baptized and confirmed at Parke Lutheran Church, rural Rollag. He attended school at District No. 109 in rural Clay County, MN through grade 8. Due to the onset of the Depression, he then left school to help his family on the farm and to earn additional income working for area farmers.

Raymond Grefsrud

Raymond Grefsrud, age 93, of Hawley, MN, died peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, August 25, 2012 at the Viking Manor in Ulen, MN.

Raymond Bernard Grefsrud was born on December 1, 1918 to Gust and Martina (Bratlien) Grefsrud. He was born and raised in the Rollag, MN area. He was baptized and confirmed at Parke Lutheran Church, rural Rollag. He attended school at District No. 109 in rural Clay County, MN through grade 8. Due to the onset of the Depression, he then left school to help his family on the farm and to earn additional income working for area farmers.

In 1942, he was drafted to fight in World War II and served in the 95th Infantry Division. He fought in the European Theater, ultimately being severely wounded in November 1943 during the Battle of Metz. He received an array of medals, most notably the Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1946. After serving in the military, he returned to farm in the Hitterdal, MN area.

In 1950, he met the love of his life, Joan Meyer. They were married on March 22, 1952 in a major spring blizzard. They returned to the Hitterdal farm where they began their family. Five years later, they moved to the Rollag area and took over the family farm. They remained there until Raymond retired in 1981. At that time, they built an earth-sheltered house near the family farm. In March 2012, they celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Raymond was a man of great faith and rarely missed a Sunday service. His kindness and compassion toward others were admired by many. He was a long-term member and local officer of the Farmers Union Organization and a director on the boards of Wild Rice Electric and Lake Park and Cuba Insurance. He kept busy in retirement with many passionate interests, including horseshoes, woodworking, bowling and traveling.

He is survived by his wife, Joan; his children, Jody (Paul) Benshoof, Bemidji, MN; Jolee (John) Habedank, Twin Valley, MN; Roddy (Shanna) Grefsrud, Hawley, MN; Rollin (Tracye) Grefsrud, Hawley, MN; and Joni (Joseph) Walker, Plymouth, MN; 12 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

Raymond is survived by brothers, Earl and Ardean; sisters, Ardelle Nelson, Glenda Bengtson, Lorraine Grefsrud and Wanda Erickson; and many nieces and nephews.

Raymond was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Orvald, Vernon and Norris; and sisters, Mamie Peterson, Thelma Peterson and Myrtle Olson.

Visitation: Thursday, August 30, 2012, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., with prayer service at 7 p.m., in Wright Funeral Home, Hawley, MN.

Funeral: Friday, August 31, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., in Solem Lutheran Church, Hawley, MN.

Interment: Solem Lutheran Church Cemetery

Online guestbook at www.wrightfuneral.com

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