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Warren Edwin Koxvold

Warren Edwin Koxvold, 88, of Walker, died Monday, Dec. 22, 2008.

A funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at Dennis Funeral Home in Walker with the Rev. Mark Widman officiating. Visitation will be held for two hours prior to the service. Burial will be in the spring in Silver Creek Cemetery in Clearbrook.

Honorary pallbearers will be Glen Koxvold, Orvis Koxvold, Leroy Ellis, Larry Schroth, Jerry Merhar, Dick Quibel, Romaine Powell, Greg and Donna Gaston, Danielle Gaston and Rose Gaston.

He was born Aug. 11, 1920, to Oscar and Jerdine (Jensen) Koxvold in Clearbrook. He graduated from Clearbrook High School in 1938. He had a passion for the guitar and hitchhiked from Clearbrook to Minneapolis, Minn., to take lessons from Kenny Spears of the WCCO staff orchestra. He studied guitar at the McPhail School of Music in Minneapolis in 1938 on a full scholarship. He studied at McPhail for two years. He moved to Los Angeles, Calif., with his brother, Glen, and joined the Musicians Union, playing jazz guitar and piano. He walked the streets of Los Angeles and Hollywood, Calif., with his guitar, leaving his name at various clubs. He studied jazz guitar at Music Conservatory in Los Angeles. He spent his time playing guitar and listening to Big Band musicians at various clubs there, most often, the Hollywood Palladium. During this time, Pearl Harbor was bombed.

He enlisted in the United States Army Air Corp and was stationed for a year in Alabama. Following that stay, he was stationed at Rattlesnake Bomber Base in Pyote, Texas. While there, he played tuba in the Air Force Band. He played with Marty Masters. He played piano and guitar in the 2nd Air Force Band in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Following his time in the service, he returned to Minnesota and lived in Bemidji. He dedicated his time and talent to teaching young as well as older students his knowledge and gift in music. He opened a music studio called Warren's Accordion and Guitar Studio where he taught accordion, guitar, piano and steel guitar. He also sold Excelsior accordions and Fender and Gibson guitars. He enjoyed playing with other musicians in area clubs. He taught many of the young guitar players who played in local bands throughout the 1960s and '70s.

In October 1961, he married Florence Aggers. In 1963, they bought and operated the Big Fish Supper Club in Bena. He played there often with his jazz groups while people dined and danced. They moved to Bemidji in 1972. While living there, he played for years as the house pianist for Noel's Supper Club and Jack's Supper Club. He went on to play with a jazz/swing group called the "Memories" of Walker. The group played numerous supper clubs and had a local following. He spent his final years at May Creek Lodge and Golden Living Center in Walker.

He is survived by his brother, Glen (Leona) Koxvold of Laporte; stepchildren, Rita Wichmann of Grand Rapids, Minn., and Russell (Rose) Johannsen of Grand Rapids; 10 stepgrandchildren; two adopted grandchildren and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence; stepdaughter, Audrey Dee Dunhan, and special friend at May Creek Lodge, Dorothy Murphy.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts in Bemidji.

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