Howard Olaf Torkelson
Howard Olaf Torkelson, age 97 of Blanchardville died on Saturday evening, March 4, 2017 at the Pleasant View Nursing Home in Monroe.
He was born on December 21, 1919 in Wiota to Levi & Clara (Gilbertson) Torkelson. He went to school in Argyle, then farmed for Willard Johnson until he entered the army during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater in the 532nd Boat and Shore Engineers in New Guinea and the Philippines, and was in many battles including the invasion of Leyte Gulf. Howard was scheduled to fight in Japan before the war ended. Just before he went overseas, he married Martha Brager in Fort Ord, California. After returning from service they farmed on the Bragger farm with Martha’s parents for several years. Martha died a short time after that. He farmed in rural Blanchardville, and then married Mary Burns in Dubuque, Iowa on December 29,1953 and continued farming until 1981. They later moved to Blanchardville in 1983. Mary died on June 26, 1983. He worked for York Township for 7 years, and then the village of Blanchardville. He later worked for Saether Furniture delivering furniture for many years, and then as a custodian at the Pecatonica High School. Howard is a member of the New Hope Lutheran Church in Blanchardville and Hollandale and a past member of Shepherd Of The Hills in New Glarus. He was a member of the Dobson-Johnson American Legion Post in Blanchardville and the Monroe VFW Post. Howard loved playing cards, having breakfast with friends, and his family. Howard had a great wit and a sense of humor, always cracking a joke and had a great smile. A highlight of Howard’s later years was going on the Badger Honor Flight to Washington DC to visit the WWII memorials.
Howard is survived by four children, Richard Torkelson of Maryland, Mary JoAnne (Paul) Marshall of LaCrosse, Debra (Larry) Allen of Monroe, and Thomas (Lisa) Torkelson of Viola; 12 grandchildren; 14 great grandchildren and 4 more on the way; one sister, Ruth Kolb of Blanchardville, and a brother George (Marilyn) Torkelson of Blanchardville. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Martha, and his wife Mary; his three brothers, Clarion, Ernest and Bertrum; and one sister Geneva Ayen.
A visitation for Howard will be held on Wednesday evening, March 8, 2017 from 4:00 until 8:00 PM at Blanchard Hall at 204 South Main Street in Blanchardville. A funeral service will be held on Thursday morning, March 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the New Hope Lutheran Church in Blanchardville. Rev. Michelle Elfers will officiate. Burial will be in the Old York Cemetery in rural Blanchardville with graveside Veteran’s Honors by the Dobson-Johnson American Legion Post and the United States Army.
The Saether Funeral Home in Blanchardville is assisting the family.
Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at www.saetherfuneralhome.com.
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