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Donald Westby Gjerdrum


Mon, Sep 24th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Donald Westby Gjerdrum was born July 25, 1921, to John Bernard and Mildred (Westby) Gjerdrum at their farm north of Mabel, Minnesota. He died September 21, 2012, at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at the age of 91 years. Don attended elementary school at the little brick schoolhouse that still stands within sight of the Gjerdrum farm. He is a graduate of Mabel High School and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and received a M. Ed. in Music from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

Don was proud of his service in the Navy. Following his graduation from Luther College in the spring of 1943, he received three months of officer training at Columbia University in New York City and was commissioned on July 28. He participated in the invasion at Salerno, Italy, aboard an LST (Landing Ship Tank), as well as the D-Day invasion of Normandy at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. He spent three months in Hong Kong, China, working with a British marine commando to assist in the LST transport of the remnants of Chiang Kei Shek's Nationalist First Army from Hong Kong to North China. He was discharged from the Navy in June, 1946. His years in the service left him with a lifelong love of travel and an interest in the whole world.

Following his service in the Navy, Don enjoyed a rewarding career in high school music. he was a greatly respected band director and educator, and was also appreciated for his fine clarinet playing. He continued playing his clarinet into his 90th year. We have a sweet video of him playing a clarinet/piano duet in 2010 with his step granddaughter, Klara (then age 6), and in the summer of 2011 for his 90th birthday, we celebrated at the Gjerdrum farm with a "Band on the Lawn" afternoon. Don, family, friends and musicians, including fellow band directors, enjoyed playing music obtained from the Chatfield Brass Band and Music Lending Library in Chatfield, Minnesota.

His career as a band director began in Independence, Wisconsin, where he taught for two years and also met and married Doris Mae Olson on June 18, 1948. After leaving Independence, he became an instructor in the reed section of the Luther College Band. From 1950 to 1956 he continued on as a part time instructor at Luther, where he taught woodwinds, band management, and directed the Varsity Band for two years. In 1953 Don became director of bands in Spring Grove, Minnesota, where he taught until 1967. Between 1953 and 1959 the n .....
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Edna B. Anderson

Tue, Sep 4th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

EDNA B. ANDERSON, age 93, of Mabel, Minnesota died Saturday, September 1, 2012 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel. Edna was born April 15, 1919 in Newburg, Minnesota to Roy and Clara (Skorgen) Iverson. She attended the Newburg School an ..... 
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Clarence M. Hegna

Tue, Sep 4th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

CLARENCE M. HEGNA, age 94, of Mabel, Minnesota, a former longtime farmer from the Amherst area, died Sunday, September 2, 2012 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel. Clarence was born March 10, 1918 in rural Whalen, Minnesota to Christ and ..... 
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Gary J. Nierling

Mon, Aug 27th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

GARY J. NIERLING, age 48, of Dumont, Iowa died Friday, August 24, 2012 at the Dumont Wellness Center. Gary was born February 14, 1964 in Cresco, Iowa to Earl Francis and Crystal (Van Horn) Nierling. He lived in different ..... 
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Vernon Allen

Mon, Aug 27th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

VERNON ALLEN, age 93, of Mabel, Minnesota died Friday, August 24, 2012 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel. Vernon was born October 23, 1918 in Winneshiek County, Iowa to John Thomas and Emma (Forde) Allen. He attended the Grindeland Sc ..... 
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Earl R. Wernet

Wed, Aug 15th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

EARL R. WERNET, age 86, of Caledonia, formerly of the Mabel area, died Monday, August 13 at the Caledonia Care and Rehab. Earl was born June 30, 1926 in Decorah, Iowa to George and Lydia (Qualley) Wernet. He attended ..... 
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Michael Scott Aske

Fri, Jun 29th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Michael Scott Aske, age 67, of Mabel passed way Wednesday, June 27, 2012, at home with his family by his side after a 2 ½ year battle with prostate cancer. Mike was born July 30, 1944 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Richard and Mary (Lobland) Aske. He ..... 
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Leland “Cap” Sagdalen

Mon, Jun 11th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Leland “Cap” Sagdalen, age 83 of Mabel, died Sunday, June 3, 2012, surrounded by his family at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel . Leland was born July 10, 1928, in Spring Grove, Minnesota to Melvin and Eva (Garness) Sagdalen. On Febru ..... 
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Madison Carla Holten

Mon, Jun 11th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Obituaries

Madison Carla Holten, stillborn daughter of Stephanie Folstad and Nick Holten of Mabel, was born Thursday, May 31, 2012, at the Gundersen Medical Center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Madison is survived by her parents of Mabel; brothers Aiden and Taylor ..... 
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