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Authorities identify man who died in fiery crash on Interstate 29 south of Grand Forks

Stuart Edward Desjarlait, 59

Stuart Edward Desjarlait, 59, of Red Lake, died Saturday, April 18, 2009, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Old Red Lake Middle School Gym in Red Lake with the Rev. George Ross officiating. A wake will begin at 11 a.m. today at the Little Rock Center near Red Lake and will continue until the time of service. Burial will be in St. Antipas Episcopal Cemetery in Redby under the direction of the Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Bemidji Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. Military honors will be provided by the VFW post in Red Lake.

Pallbearers will be Edward Rob Lussier, Gilbert Lussier II, Cory James Desjarlait, Cory William Desjarlait, Loren Lyons, Jason Champagne and Kevin Cook Sr.

Honorary pallbearers will be all his relatives and friends.

He was born Aug. 29, 1949, to Paige and Louise (Dudley) McDonald in Red Lake. He was raised and educated in Red Lake and graduated from Red Lake High School. He spent two years at Haskell Institute in Lawrence, Kan., where he graduated in 1971 with a business associate certificate. He served in the U.S. Army from 1972-1977, which included a tour in Korea with the 2nd Armored Division. He was an expert marksman and earned the NDSM, GCM and AFEM medals.

Following his discharge, he returned to Red Lake, where he worked as a probation officer and a social worker for several years.

He graduated from Bemidji State University with a bachelor's and master's degree and later earned a sixth-year degree from Mankato State University. He worked at Red Lake Schools as a guidance counselor, tutor and dean of students, and was the assistant principal at the Middle School. He took a sabbatical and earned a specialist degree in education administration and a license for K-12 principal and school superintendent.

He married Roxanne Lajeunesse June 9, 2001, in Red Lake. He was superintendent of Red Lake Schools from 2001 to January 2007, retiring due to health reasons.

He enjoyed working with people, especially with youth, and was always willing to help. He enjoyed going to pow-wows, where he was a traditional grass dancer. He liked to travel, ice fish and spend time with his family. He was an avid Red Lake Warriors fan. He was considered a very eloquent speaker.

He is survived by his wife; daughters, Delores (Eddie) Desjarlait of Moorhead, Minn., and Kristie (Lee) Desjarlait of Red Lake; a son, Cory James (Darlyne) Desjarlait of Red Lake; stepsons, Dennis Rice of Rapid City, S.D., Arlen Lussier of Brooklyn Park, Minn., Gilbert (Heidi) Lussier II of Siletz, Ore., and Edward Rob Lussier of Red Lake; six grandchildren; sisters, Sharon (Marvin) Cook of Ignacio, Colo., Adrienne (Ron) Champagne of Eudora, Kan., and Amy (Michael) Desjarlait of Red Lake; brothers, Randall Desjarlait of Redby and Doug (Dorothy) Desjarlait of Red Lake; a stepsister, Vivian (John) Harvath of Minneapolis; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Eleanor Desjarlait; a brother; grandparents; and aunts and uncles.