NORMAN KEITH AHRENDT
August 20, 1930 – March 7, 2019
Norman Keith Ahrendt, age 88, of Park Rapids, MN, formerly of Hackensack, MN peacefully entered the glory of heaven in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 7th, 2019 at the Heritage Cottages in Park Rapids with his loved ones at his side.
Norman was born on August 20, 1930 in Luverne, MN to Louis and Cora (Nelson) Ahrendt. He attended public school in Luverne where he was a stellar athlete. While a senior in high school, he entered the Army National Guard. He graduated from the Luverne High School with the Class of 1948. Norman went on to attend the Worthington Junior College where he received his associate's degree. He then went on to continue his college studies at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. On June 24, 1951, Norman was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Jean Ellen Juhl. Norman’s college education was interrupted by the Korean War. He proudly and bravely served his country in the United States Army on the battle lines of Korea. Norman’s courageous military service was honored with his being awarded the distinguished Bronze Star. Upon receiving his honorable discharge, Norman returned to Augustana and earned his bachelors of education degree. He and his young bride made their home in Slayton where Norman taught and coached numerous sports. While teaching and coaching, Norman spent his summers earning his Masters degree at Mankato State University. He then accepted the position of principal of Inver Grove Heights Junior High School where his career spanned 17 years. Norman was a member of the Minnesota National Guard and had earned the rank of Major serving until his retirement in 1968. Norman and Jean retired to a lake home at Hackensack, MN where they enjoyed time with their family at the lake. For over 20 years, they spent the winters in Arizona with family and friends. They also enjoyed traveling and trips to Norway and the Holy Lands were among their travel highlights. In 2009, they moved to Park Rapids where they could be closer to family. Norman enjoyed golfing and following his favorite sports. He was a man of faith and began each day by reading his Bible. Norman was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids where he enjoyed worship and participating in Bible studies.
Norman will be lovingly remembered by his five children: David (Mary) Ahrendt of Park Rapids, Dr. Mark (Dr. Madeline Gartner) Ahrendt of Valley Center, CA,, Christine (Arne) Haugen of Oslo, Norway, Nancy (Robert) Hammerstrom of Akeley, MN, and Thomas (Angela) Ahrendt of Nevis, MN; 14 precious grandchildren: Sarah, Ryan (Elizabeth), Nathan and Michaela Ahrendt; Benjamin and Hannah Ahrendt; Ole Christian and Thomas Haugen; Brandon Hammerstrom; Cambria, Katya (Kyle), Annalise, Ian and Austin Ahrendt; three great-granddaughters: Mabel Grace, Mary Kate and Carolyn Michelle Ahrendt; one brother, Ronald (Lois) Ahrendt ; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Norman is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Jean Ellen in 2014; one granddaughter, Michelle Ahrendt and one great-grandson, Matthew Ahrendt.
Funeral services will be held 11 AM Friday, March 15, 2019 at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Park Rapids with the Reverend Stephen Norby officiating. The organist will be Martha Thompson. Special music will be provided by Angela, Cambria and Annalise Ahrendt. The casket bearers will be Norman’s grandsons. Military honors will be provided by the Star of The North Marine Corps League under the command of David Free. Interment will be 11 AM Monday, March 18, 2019 with a private ceremony, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery at Ft. Ripley, MN. Memorials are preferred to the Deep Portage Learning Center (Hackensack MN), an outdoor learning center where they volunteered many hours.
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