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Stephen Asselin, 91 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
 Brooks - With his family at his side, Stephen Asselin went peacefully to his rest on Saturday, August 13, 2005 at the age of 91.   
  Mass of Christian Burial will be held at  10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 17 (today), at St. Joseph’s Church, Brooks, with Father Tim Bushy officiating. Interment will be held at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Brooks. 
  Visitation will one hour prior to the services on Wednesday at the church. 
  Stephen Louis Asselin was born to Cleophas “Clifford” and Elzema (Lessard) of Oklee, on April 17, 1914. One of five children, Stephen grew up on their small farm, taking over the heavy work of rural life when his father died unexpectedly, forcing Stephen into adulthood at a very young age.  Stephen attended the small country school near Oklee and went on to marry Verla Rose Morinville on June 16, 1941 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Brooks. Soon after, America entered the Second World War, and Stephen enlisted in the armed forces. He served his country in the Army Air Corps, and later the American Air Force.  During the 10 years of his service, he was stationed in California, Texas, Alabama, and Massachusetts, and later went overseas to Japan and North Africa.  After his honorable discharge in 1952, he and Verla returned to Brooks, where they resided for three years. 
 St. Louis, Missouri was their next home where Stephen worked as a factory technician for Dutch Boy Paints.  The Family then moved to San Rafael, California in 1960 where he worked in the public school system. The urge to return to Minnesota was strong however, and in 1971 they moved back to Brooks where Stephen took a position with the Brooks Cheese Factory, and later, the Crystal Sugar plant in Crookston. He and Verla owned the Brooks Hartz Store for a short time until health forced them to sell. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World and the American Legion, and was active in St. Joseph Catholic Church. 
  Fluent in French and conversant in Japanese, Stephen often brought a smile by singing a Japanese folk ballad, or telling a joke in French, making everyone laugh despite no one being able to understand the punch line. He was well read and stayed abreast of current events, politics and local news. He was always curious about the goings-on in the community, and greatly enjoyed the times he was able to visit with the neighbors and friends he had spent a lifetime getting to know. 
 Closer to home, his seven grandchildren were a joy to him, and he always celebrated the visits of his three great-grandchildren. An avid collector of antiques, Stephen could never pass a flea market or auction sale without stopping. Gardening was another of his hobbies, and he made his talent nurturing flowers and vegetables seem natural and effortless. He truly lived a full life as a devoted husband, respected father, and valued member of the community. 
  Stephen is survived by his two daughters, Mary (Leroy) Mercil of Brooks, and Monica (Kent) Wentzel of Baxter; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren;  and a cousin who was particularly close to Stephen, Gloria Taylor of Roseville, Mich.
  He was preceded in death by wife, Verla in 1992; three brothers, Eugene, George and Homer; and his sister, Doris Assselin-Loranger.   
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