Dwain Beckel, age 86, of Baudette, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on December 31, 2011 at the Lakewood Care Center.
Dwain was born to Jack and Stella Beckel on June 14, 1925 in Austin, Minnesota. He grew up in Austin and at the age of 17 joined the U.S. Marine Corp. serving for 3 years, including the South Pacific in WWII. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Dwain married Evelyn Bustad on November 10, 1945 at Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Austin, Minnesota. Dwain worked as a bricklayer and carpenter until he and
Evelyn purchased Hillcrest Resort in Blackduck, Minnesota in 1949. During those years he traveled back and forth between operating the resort and doing brick work in Austin.
Dwain and Evelyn moved to Baudette in 1959 when they purchased Trails End Resort. Dwain designed and built a new lodge at the resort. They owned and operated Trails End until they purchased Jesme’s Resort and once again designed and built a lodge in 1971, which became Sportsman’s Lodge. Dwain and his brother, John, along with Dwain and Evelyn’s four sons, Kit, Vic, Tony, and Chad, operated Sportsman’s Lodge until 1995. In addition to being a resort owner and fishing guide, Dwain was a contractor. Dwain did a lot of construction in the Lake of the Woods area which included several lodges, resort cabins and family homes. He also built the Lighthouse Café which Dwain and Evelyn operated for several years; which is presently Alice’s Family Restaurant.
Dwain was an avid outdoorsman enjoying trapping, fishing and hunting. He ran a trap line from Blackduck to Baudette which is how he discovered Trails End Lodge. He taught his sons how to trap and did some trapping for the State of Minnesota. Dwain not only enjoyed hunting locally for whitetail deer, fox, etc. but traveled around the world hunting in Africa, Russia, China, Mongolia, New Zealand, Canada, and Alaska. He enjoyed teaching his sons and grandchildren to hunt. He loved to fish for walleyes, northerns and muskies on Lake of the Woods but also traveled to fish in Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. Goose hunting was always a favorite pastime. He made annual trips to Manitoba, Alberta, or Saskatewan with his sons, relatives and friends to goose hunt. This also led to his creation of the Lake of the Woods Chapter of Geese International which relocated Canadian Geese to our area.
Dwain’s other interests included gardening and hobby farming. He took great pride in his garden each summer and enjoyed sharing his fresh grown vegetables and fruits with others. He raised a few beef cattle, wild turkeys, ducks, chickens and geese.
Dwain is survived by his wife Evelyn, and their four sons, Kit (Peggy) Beckel, Vic (Jeri) Beckel, Tony (Patty) Beckel, and Chad ( Melani) Beckel, his grandchildren,
Josh ( Marsha) Beckel, Bonnie (Andy) Harness, Dewey ( Ashley) Beckel, Jack (Katie) Beckel, Anna Beckel, Kristen Beckel, Nicole Beckel, Cole (Stacey) Beckel, and Jake Beckel, 5 great grandchildren, and 2 brothers, John (Jan) Beckel of Baudette, and Richard Beckel of Colon, NE.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jack and Stella Beckel, brothers, Bud Beckel and Dave Beckel, sister Veronica Nelson, and grandson Benjamin Beckel.
Funeral Services were held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baudette at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 5, 2012. Visitation was at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Wednesday, January 4, 2012 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. with a devotional service at 7:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Elm Park Cemetery in Baudette in the Veterans Cemetery.