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Aaron Elmer Fairbanks, 87

Aaron Elmer Fairbanks, 87, of Bemidji, died on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007, at North Country Regional Hospital in Bemidji.

A funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cass Lake. A wake will begin this afternoon at the Veteran's Memorial Building and will continue until the time of the service on Saturday. Burial will be in Prince of Peace Cemetery in Cass Lake. The Cease Family Funeral Home of Bemidji assisted the family with arrangements.

He was born on May 2, 1919, to John and Anna (Aitken) Fairbanks in Ponsford. He was raised by his grandmother, Sarah Webster. He attended school in Cass Lake and Tomah, Wis. He entered the U.S. Army in February 1942 after Pearl Harbor. While in the Army, he served in the United States, Ireland, Wales and Germany and was prisoner of war in France. He was honorably discharged with the Army and re-enlisted with the Air Force from 1945 to 1970. During that time, he was in the Korean War and then was trained to repair jet engines during the Vietnam War. He also served in England while in the Air Force. He married Laura Folstrom and had two sons. He married Mary Belcher and had one son. He married Marie Thornberg in June 1995. He was a world traveler having served in the Armed Forces. He also lived in Minneapolis, Wahpeton, N.D., West Fargo, N.D., and most recently in Bemidji. He was in assisted living in the home of Arlene and Leon Olson. He enjoyed art and storytelling.

He is survived by his sons, Edward of Bemidji, Aaron Jr. of Cass Lake and Michael of Minneapolis; step-sons, David Belcher of Minneapolis, Michael Thornberg and Ben Thornberg of West Fargo, and Ken Thornberg of Spokane, Wash.; step-daughters, Anna (Milo) Rossow of Horace, N.D., and Margaret Belcher of Minnetonka, Minn.; one granddaughter, 10 step-grandchildren and 15 step-great-grandchildren; one sister; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wives; sisters, Virginia and Doris; and step-daughter, Mary Osborn.