Gatzke - Olaf “Jay” Aune, 67, Gatzke, died Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 at his residence, surrounded by his loving family.
A gathering time for family and friends was held Saturday, Feb. 1 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Military honors were provided by the Hans Lian American Legion Post 444.
Olaf Palmer Aune was born on Nov. 13, 1946 in Thief River Falls, the seventh of 10 children born to Olaf and Paula (Buck) Aune. The family lived on a farm in Eckvoll Township, Marshall County, near Gatzke. He was baptized and confirmed at United Lutheran Church in Gatzke. Olaf attended Gatzke Elementary School and Middle River High School graduating in 1964.
On Dec. 22, 1965, Olaf was inducted into service with the United States Army. He did his basic training at Ft. Leonardwood, Mo., and spent over a year and a half in Vietnam calling in coordinates for the air strikes. Olaf was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Marksman, Good Conduct Medal and was Honorably Discharged on Sept. 24, 1967.
On Nov. 25, 1969, Olaf was united in marriage to Patricia Hanson at Sisseton, S.D. They made their home in Warren for a short time, where Olaf worked in a furniture and carpet store. They moved to Minneapolis where he worked construction and also worked at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
On Dec. 23, 1971, a daughter Leigh was born. Later the family moved to Thief River Falls where Olaf attended the Northland Community And Technical College. Olaf was known as Jay for most of his adult life.
In the fall of 1975 after an invitation to come to work in Alaska from Patricia’s father, Lloyd Hanson, Jay moved to Alaska. His first job was operating heavy equipment with the DEW Line (Distant Early Warning Line). Jay was a heavy equipment operator and foreman out of the Operating Engineers No. 302 and also worked as a general foreman for Peter Kiewit. Jay followed a lot of pipeline construction throughout the United States. Following his retirement at the age of 52 from the 302, Jay was an instructor for the heavy equipment apprenticeship program in Palmer, Alaska.
In August 2001, Jay purchased a farm in Rollis Township near Gatzke, where he has continued to live…and “teach his family how to pay attention.” In 2008, Jay’s daughter, Leigh and son-in-law, Michael moved to the farm.
Jay enjoyed traveling, eating lutefisk, hunting deer, mowing the lawn, napping in the sun in his yard, four-wheeling, playing rook, and was a very competitive person; and he especially loved family gatherings.
Survivors include his loving daughter, Leigh (Michael) Lott and Roscoe of Gatzke; siblings, Janis (Floyd) Jesme of Thief River Falls, Gerald (Val) Aune of Grygla, Orrin (Jackie) Aune of Glenwood, Mavis (Dale) Newton of Thief River Falls, Raymond (Susan) Aune of Gatzke, Connie (Roger) Graff of Anchorage, Alaska, Lyle (Julie) Aune of Anchorage, Alaska; mother of their daughter, Patricia Geer of Mt. Vernon, WA; father-in-law, Lloyd Hanson “The Viking” of Mt. Vernon, WA; and many loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Carol Aune; and an infant brother; grandparents; brother-in-law, Richard Hanson; and several aunts and uncles.
Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.