Elmer A. Kaardal age 90 of Redwood Falls, passed away Sunday, September 10, 2017 at the Sunwood Good Samaritan Care Center in Redwood Falls. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, September 15, 2017 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in the Redwood Falls Cemetery at a later date. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Elmer A. Kaardal was born January 20, 1927 to Jetmund and Sofie (Risa) Kaardal in a grass hut in Kosi, Cameroon, Africa, where they were serving as Lutheran Brethren Missionaries. Elmer spent most of his childhood living with family friends in northern Canada, who eventually immigrated to Iowa. He attended Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where he met and fell in love with Julia Christenson. In January 1946, Elmer was drafted into the military and served in Tokyo, Japan. He was discharged in 1948, but recalled in 1950 for the Korean Conflict, and was stationed in Germany until 1952. Following his discharge in 1952, Elmer stayed active with the National Guard and Reserves. He achieved the rank of Colonel of Artillery. His military service qualified him to become a naturalized American citizen. On June 3, 1950, Elmer married Julia Christenson at Stiklestad Lutheran Church in Doran, Minnesota. They were blessed with nine children over the next 21 years. The couple spent the first 2 years of their life living in Germany. Elmer then completed his studies at the University of Minnesota, graduating with a degree in history. After several different jobs in retail, Elmer became a State Farm Insurance agent in 1956. He transitioned to the Redwood Falls agency in December of 1957 and continued to serve insurance clients for 35 years, retiring in 1991. Elmer had passion for his faith, his country, his family, his community, DFL politics, education, traveling and scouting. He cherished time spent with his family, especially the grandchildren, and his trips to Norway to visit his sister, nieces and nephew. He was a member of Sons of Norway, VFW and American Legion, Salvation Army, and Boy Scouts. Elmer received the Silver Beaver Award, which is the highest Boy Scout Council volunteer award; and his 6 sons all achieved the Eagle Scout Award. In 2004, Elmer and Julia moved to St. Paul, but continued to remain active in their church and with Boy Scouts, helping many other Scouts achieve the Eagle Scout Award.
Elmer is survived by his wife, Julia; children: Ivar (Dianne) of Sioux Falls, Loran (Debbie) of Morgan, Thor (Debbie) of Redwood Falls, Jean Kaardal of Willmar, Bruce (Merceday) of Redwood Falls, Erick (Alison) of St. Paul, Carol (Dave) Hokanson of St. Paul, and Paul (Diana) of St. Paul; 21 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; and 3 nieces and one nephew in Norway. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Alice, his brother Ivar in infancy and his son Alvin at birth.