Howard J. Tengwall passed away on Sunday evening, March 8th, at the Lakeridge Nursing Home in Buffalo MN. He spent the last 2 days of his life surrounded by family.
He was born at home on March 24, 1928, in a humble old farmhouse near Pennock, Mn His first spoken language was Swedish, but he soon forgot all of his Swedish when his parents, Harold and Edythe Tengwall, decided to stop farming and moved to Kerkhoven in 1931. He went to grade school and high school in Kerkhoven, graduating in 1946. He participated in all of the sports program; football, basketball, baseball and track. His favorite sport was basketball.
After high school he worked the night shift at the Great Northern Railroad in Kerkhoven. He also drove bus during the day for Rustad’s Bus Service. In 1948 he started working for the local Standard Oil agent, Sonney (C.D.) Sundeen. After some time serving in the US Army, he returned in 1951 to working for Sonney. In 1963, he took over and became the local Standard Oil agent. In 1975, Standard Oil agents became independent owners, known as “jobbers”. That was the start of Tengwall Oil company. In 1986 Dooley’s Petroleum bought the business and Howard retired from the oil business and his wife Dorothy retired at the same time from teaching.
During his army service, he was mostly stationed at Camp Rucker in Alabama. He also spent time at Fort Belvoir in Virginia being trained in combat construction, and Fort Hood in Texas. Even though the army extended his service by a year during the Korean War, he did not go to Korea as his time left to serve was too short. Many of the guys he trained with did go to Korea and a few of them gave their lives in service to our country.
Howard married a local school teacher, Dorothy Olson, in 1951. Their daughter Sheryl was born in 1955, and son Tom in 1957. After retirement they enjoyed working at Camp Shamineau near Motley, Mn and spent 18 winters going to Texas with many dear friends. Dorothy passed away in 2004 following an extended period of poor health after suffering a stroke.
Howard married Dorothy’s first cousin, Marlyce Nelson in 2005. They had known each other for many years. Marlyce’s husband Roy had passed away two years earlier. After marrying Marlyce, Howard moved to Buffalo, Minnesota where Marlyce had been living. Howard and Marlyce continued the tradition of going to Texas for many winters.
Howard was involved in many community activities in Kerkhoven. He was a member of the Kerkhoven Commercial Club, served on the Hillside Cemetery Board for 33 years, was a member of the Kerkhoven Fire Department for 26 years, served on the Kerkhoven Civic Center Board for 22 years, and spent 9 years on the Pioneer Land Library Board. He also served on the Kerkhoven Golf Club Board and was a member of the Kerkhoven American Legion for over 45 years.
When Howard was in high school, the Kerkhoven Free Church had special meetings with the Rev. Arley Bragg form Central Free Church in Minneapolis. At one of those meetings, he invited Christ to come into his life. He considered this to be the most important decision he ever made. Dorothy and Howard were very active in the Free Church. He was a youth counselor, deacon, church chairman, usher, and also sang in the choir for many years. After his marriage to Marlyce, they attended the Buffalo Covenant church and he enjoyed being a part of ROMEO’s (Retired Old Men Eating Out) along with Bible studies and an outreach to area nursing homes.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Edythe, infant brother Vernell, brother in laws Irving Syverson, Norris Olson and Ken Olson and sister in laws Clarice Swanson and Marilyn Olson, grandson Barry Thomas Tengwall, and wife Dorothy Tengwall.
He is survived by wife Marlyce, sister, Syrene Syverson, daughter Sheryl Schwitters (Brian), son Tom Tengwall (Debbie), grandchildren Emily Anderson (Joe), Becky Thorne (Justin), Kristen Hawkins (Alex), Michael Schwitters (Kelsey), and Peter Tengwall. Also survived by great grandchildren Maddy Anderson, Cole Anderson, Ruby Anderson, Tristin Thorne, and Espen Thorne and brother in law Wes Swanson and sister in law Ruthie (Olson) Frederickson. Many special nieces and nephews will also miss Howard.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 am Monday, March 16th at Kerkhoven Evangelical Free Church in Kerkhoven, MN. Internment was at Hillside Cemetery in Kerkhoven. Arrangements are under the direction of Harvey Anderson Funeral Homes.
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