|Clarence Offerdahl, 91|
|Written by TRF Times|
Fosston - Clarence Offerdahl, 91, of Fosston, died on Friday, October 22, 2004 at First Care Nursing Home in Fosston.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 27 at Kingo Lutheran Church in Fosston, with Rev. John Dalen officiating. Casket bearers include Bryan Rud, Derek Rud, Collin Rud, Brandon Rud, Joe Offerdahl, Gabe Schouviller, Doug Hoialmen and Craig Brink. Honorary casket bearers include Sid Hoialmen, Dr. H.B. Roholt, Arvid Clementson, Wayne Omundson, Rodney Myhrum, Kenny Larson, Mark Offerdahl and Don Beaumont. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service on Wednesday at the church. Military rites will be provided by Tangen-Walstrom American Legion Post 114 of Fosston.
Clarence James Offerdahl was born on January 3, 1913 in Thief River Falls, to parents Ole and Ragna (Knuthseth) Offerdahl. He grew up and attended school in Thief River Falls, graduating from Lincoln High School in 1931.
Following school, Clarence began work for Mr. L.B. Hartz, working as delivery boy and clerk at L.B. Hartz Store No. 1 in Thief River Falls. Clarence rapidly advanced to positions of greater responsibility and in the mid 1930s was promoted to assistant manager in Bemidji, and relief manager in other stores.
He also helped start up new stores all over northwest Minnesota, training new managers in McIntosh, Greenbush, Badger, Roseau, Warroad, Baudette and Bemidji. In the late 1930’s, he was named manager of the Fosston store. He then was transferred to Thief River Falls where he was general manager at the main store, a position that he held for the next three years.
In 1941, Clarence became owner of the Fosston store. In addition, while his brother Melvin, who owned the Bagley store, served in the U.S. Marines, Clarence managed that store. In 1942, Clarence entered the United States Army, faithfully serving his country until his honorable discharge in 1946. L.B. Hartz arranged for management of the Fosston store while Clarence served in the Army. After his military service, Clarence returned to Fosston and resumed his ownership of the Fosston store.
He was united in marriage to Janet Espeseth on December 27, 1947 at Lake Harriet Lutheran Church in Minneapolis. Following their marriage, Clarence and Janet made their home in Fosston and continued to own and operate the Hartz store. He also owned the Lengby Hartz store for several years. Clarence retired in 1978 when his son-in-law, Dennis Rud took over the business. During Clarence’s tenure of Hartz ownership in Fosston, he became known as the “Lutefisk King”.
During his years in Fosston, Clarence was a very active member of the community and area. He was on the Fosston Hospital Board for 14 years, a Charter and Lifetime Member of the Fosston Rotary Club of which he was past president; he was an active member of the Fosston Community Club, a member of the Girl Scout Council in Grand Forks, N.D., for two years, Civil Defense Director of Fosston for four years, and served on the Fosston School Board for 16 years, including 10 as treasurer. In addition, Clarence was a member of the American Legion for 55 years and was past Post Commander for Tangen-Walstrom Post 114 of Fosston; he has been a devoted member of Kingo Lutheran Church for many years and served on its Board of Trustees; he also was a member of the Sons of Norway, the Mason’s and Shriners for decades.
During their retirement years, Clarence and Janet traveled to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Hawaii, Trinidad and Tabago, Germany and Spain and wintered in Texas for 14 years. They also owned a cabin at Roy Lake for many years and a farm near Fosston where he grew fresh produce to sell in the store. In recent years, he enjoyed shaking dice at T-Bears, going to Rotary and Community Club meetings as well as spending time with family and friends.
Survivors include his daughter, Mary Jo (Dennis) Rud of Fosston; his son, Jim (Ann) of Fosston; six grandchildren; two younger brothers, Melvin “Red” Offerdahl of Bagley, and Ray (Kay) Offerdahl of Orlando, Fla.; and Clarence’s 100 year old aunt, Minnie of Wisconsin; several cousins, nieces and nephews also survive.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janet and his parents.