Feb. 9, 1926-Dec. 18, 2007
Robert Garfield Aakre, 81, died December 18, 2007 at his home in Rollag. He was surrounded by his children, and his loving wife of 59 years, Ardis. He had been under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Robert, the son of Carl A. and Mabel J. (Nelson) Aakre, was born on Feb. 9, 1926 on his parent's farm in Parke Township, Clay County. When he was five years old, Robert's mother died, leaving his father with nine children to raise. With the help of neighbors, friends and Grandma and Grandpa Nelson, the children all grew up to be a family to be proud of.
Robert attended school at Woodland School District 3 for eight years. He was a lifetime member of Rollag Lutheran Church, where he was baptized, confirmed and married by the late Rev. S. G. Hauge.
Robert worked on the farm with his dad and brothers. In 1945, he entered the U.S. Army. After completing his basic training, he was stationed in the Aleutian Islands, where he was a mail clerk for his company. He was honorably discharged in 1947 and returned to his home in Rollag.
On Dec. 12, 1948, Robert married Ardis Anderson. They lived a short time with his father and in 1951 they purchased the I.M. Thun farm east of Rollag, where they resided for the past 57 years. Robert farmed the same land his father and uncle, Martin, had farmed before him. He raised shorthorn cattle for many years and took great pride that his cattle blood line had been in his family since the days of his grandpa, H.C. Nelson. His cattle are now cared for by his family members. In addition to his farming, Robert also worked at American Crystal Sugar for 30 years.
Robert was a life member of Hawley VFW Post 1696, where he served as commander for many years. He also served many years on the Hawley Elevator Board, the Land O'Lakes Dairy Association Board, the Rollag Church Council as a trustee and on the cemetery committee. He was a member of the Woodland School Reunion Committee, where he very much enjoyed planning and organizing the yearly reunions. Robert was an officer of the Rollag Senior Citizens, and a lifetime and past board member of the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion.
Robert had many loves in his life. His faith and his family always came first. He was very proud of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He loved his "red" tractors and his cattle. He was very proud of his Norwegian heritage and spent many hours learning about his ancestry. Robert was very honored to be an attendee on the first World War II Honor Flight in May 2007. He was accompanied by his son, Richard, who is a Vietnam veteran.
Robert is survived by his wife, Ardis; their 11 children, Richard Aakre of rural Barnesville, Ronald (Faye) Aakre of rural Rollag, Roger (Debbie) Aakre of rural Rollag, Gary (Virginia) Aakre of Alexandria, Minn., Ellis (Deb) Aakre of rural Rollag, Linda (Ron) Ekre of rural Hawley, Lois (Joe) Pederson of Hawley, Barbara (Jeff) Grunewald of rural Pelican Rapids, Julie (Keith) Hansen of rural Rollag, Patricia (Gary) Jensen of rural Rollag and Carla (Paul) Wendt of rural Detroit Lakes; 28 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren; brothers, Herbert (Clarice) Aakre of rural Hawley and Laurence (Florence) Aakre of Hawley; his sisters, Charlotte Henry of Hawley and Anna (Ted) Herbranson of rural Rollag; and his sisters-in-law, Norma Aakre of Moorhead, Lorraine Aakre of Hawley and Agnes Aakre of Barnesville.
Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, at Rollag Lutheran Church with the Rev. James Greene officiating. Pallbearers are Richard Aakre, Ronald Aakre, Roger Aakre, Gary Aakre, Ellis Aakre and Keith Hansen. Honorary pallbearers are Linda Ekre, Lois Pederson, Barb Grunewald, Julie Hansen, Patty Jensen and Carla Wendt. Interment is at Rollag Lutheran Cemetery, Rollag.
Arrangements are being provided by Dobmeier Funeral Home.