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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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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 at ..... 
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Letter about election

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in Mabel Letter to the Editor

To the Editor, First Things First. In a recent Commentary a reader listed topics associated with this campaign cycle. The writer then suggested that only President Obama has the wisdom and compassion needed to change the status quo. While readi ..... 
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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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Steuart Labs in Mabel turns 30 this year

Fri, Aug 24th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Features

Gary Steuart started his business thirty years ago in Preston. He later moved to Harmony, and as the company grew, he moved to Mabel in 2001. Steuart Labs now has three locations in the downtown area. The first product Steuart created was a pain ..... 
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Winners at ‘50s-’60s Day in Mabel on Sat. August 11, 2012

Fri, Aug 17th, 2012
Posted in Mabel Arts & Culture

CAR SHOW Best of Show: •Jeff & Chelay Playter of Sun Prairie, WI with a 1930 Ford Model A Other 1st Place Winners in their individual classes: •Duane Peters of Caledonia •Roger Bakewell of New Albin, Ia •Don Gallegher of Waukon, Ia ..... 
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