Elmer Kaardal

Elmer Kaardal

Elmer Kaardal

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.

25 thoughts on “Elmer Kaardal”

  1. Dear Mr Kaardal ,
    You were my first State Farm agent at 16…you took care of all of us Johnson’s knowing some of us had a led foot…I may have been one of them !
    You accomplished a life time of work with Julia raising an amazing brood of successful & talented kids . You have left such an incredible legacy and a love for the entire community of Redwood ! My mom & dad thought the world of you ! Rest I’m peace ….

  2. My sympathy on the passing of your father Elmer. He was our (Jack & Cheryl ) insurance man all of our years together and is still mine (Thor)! Such a great guy and a very happy man!

  3. My mother Clara Johnson (nee Olson) was Elmer’s cousin. They both spoke Norwegian and had a common interest in the Kaardal/Olson family history. Every Christmas we would receive a letter from Elmer and Julia Kaardal. Elmer would often quote Psalm 118:24

    This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us will rejoice and be glad in it.

    I even received a birthday card with this verse on it. Thus I think if Elmer were here, he would cite this same verse about September 10, 2017. Elmer has been blessed with wonderful wife and family. Although he will be missed by those who knew him, he lived a life that needs to be celebrated.

  4. Dick and Sue Nelson

    Praise the Lord! The angels are certainly welcoming Elmer in heaven. Know family and friends will miss him. Blessed be his memory.

  5. My sympathy to all of the family. I worked for the Kaardal Agency for quite a few years and they were great to get to know and work for. Hugs to you all. RIP Elmer.

  6. Tom and Jan Keaveny

    Elmer was an inspiration to so many. His faith and his commitment to his family, to his country and to his community have been exemplary beyond description. We will miss his wisdom and insight. Whether it was a one-line comment or a measured and tempered view or position on a pressing issue of the day, Elmer’s insights were always appreciated. He was always respectful and compassionate. We will miss him . Cherished be his memories.

  7. Raymond M. Pederson

    Elmer gave me my 16 yr old lecture as he did to so many first time drivers. I took that to heart my whole life. Life works in strange ways. When I finished college I worked for State Farm Ins and was assigned to handle claims for Elmer in 1975. I continued to service Elmer’s agency till his retirement and his sons agencies till I retired in 2003. I have vivid memories of Elmer and his wife Julia and all of Elmer and Julia’s children. They all made me feel part of their family. I could go on and on about my memories of Elmer. We will all miss him and just want to express our sincere condolences with the passing of a dear friend. Elmer.

  8. I got to know Elmer when he would bring his granddaughter to ECFE. He was a kind man and had so much to add to our conversations on raising children. His experience was so appreciated by me and the other young parents. Always remember him telling us it was ok to be a strict parent- you can and should be strict, but also kind.

    He talked with pride about his entire family. His talking so highly of his wife, Julia made an impression on me. Such a good man.

    My sympathy to the entire Kaardal Family.

  9. Judge Wayne Farnberg

    It was good to hear from Ray Pederson. Elmer was a good friend. I was a State Farm policy holder when he took over the agency and still with them, agency and company. Elmer swore me in as a Captain, Army Reserves and years later we both retired as full Colonels. He loved his family and Country. He will be missed by family and friends.

  10. Diane and John Woodford

    Our sympathy to the Kaardal family. Elmer will be missed by family and friends. He was a good leader in church and the community. He set a good example to follow. May God comfort you and give you the strength for the days ahead.
    John and Diane Woodford

  11. Jerry & Mary Lou Iverson

    Standing with the Kaardal family during this time. May you find comfort in great memories shared with each other and pass down to the next generation that spirit that is described so adeptly in the obituary. God bless and keep you.

  12. Clem and Betty Brau and family

    We are thinking of the Kaardal family and extend our sincerest sympathy. May your joyful memories of Elmer be abundant.

  13. My sincere sympathy to you, Carol and your family. It is so hard to lose a parent so I am with you in thought and prayers…love to you and your family…he sure sounds like a great Dad…you will have fond memories…Jo Gascoigne

  14. My condolences to you, Carol, and your family. Your father sounds like a wonderful man who had a huge impact on so many people. I know how much you enjoyed having him live by you in recent years. You and your family will be fortunate to have so many fond memories to share.

  15. I am so sorry. To learn of the loss of your father, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God’s peace give you comfort during this time.

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