Alton Rolf Fadness, 92, passed away on June 29, 2014 at LakeWood Health Center in Baudette.
Alton was born July 30, 1921 at Rio, Wisconsin, to Henry and Ella Fadness. When he was six months old, the family moved to a farm in the Wheeler’s Point area. He grew up fifth in a family of eleven children. Walking a healthy two miles each way, he went through the lower grades at the Hackett School, and then boarded in town at the Iley McDonald home to attend high school, graduating from Baudette in 1939.
In 1938, when Alton was 17, his mother passed away and with his father in poor health, he shouldered the responsibility of running the family farm and helping to care for his younger brothers and sisters. It was not until all the children were grown that he was able to start out on his own.
In his youth, Alton trapped, cut pulpwood and worked putting up ice for the local fisheries and resorts. He was skilled with a bow saw and was one of the last to quit using it when the chainsaw became popular. In the 1950s, while working for Ray O’Donnell at Northwest Angle cutting pulp, Alton averaged a cut of 308 sticks a day for 24 days. He also cut for the Spina brothers and Hasbargens. Later in his life he enjoyed competing in local log sawing contests.
In 1950, Alton purchased the first 80 acres of the grain farm that he developed southwest of Baudette. In addition to farming and logging, he ran a trap line along the Rainy River going as far east as Birchdale. He also worked a number of years for local carpenters Chris Sunne and Arvid Christiansen and was known as one of the best sheetrock finishers in the area. Later he worked at Marvin Windows. At age 80, Alton sold his farm and spent his retirement years in Baudette where he enjoyed gardening and raising flowers. His roses were often admired by those who traveled by his home along Main Avenue.
Alton took pride in his work and whatever he did, he did well. He cared deeply for his family, which in addition to his siblings, grew to include his nieces and nephews and their families. He was there for them, especially in times of need. Over the years, his pastimes included fishing, hunting, music and dances.
In December of 2012, Alton moved to the ARC and in the fall of 2013 he became a resident of the LakeWood Care Center. As Alton’s health declined, his days were brightened by his nephew Todd Fadness who oversaw his care and visited him daily.
Alton is survived by two brothers, Quinten (Dorothy) of Boring, Oregon and Dave of Baudette, two sisters Roscille Booomgarden of Baudette and Adelyne Vertheen of Yelm, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, Oralph, Clayton, Abner, and Robert; two sisters, Ora Moorhead and Monica Hilke; and two nephews, Marlo Fadness and James Vertheen. Funeral services were held on July 8 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Baudette with interment in Elm Park Cemetery.
Alton was baptized and confirmed in the Christian Faith in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church and lived out his days under God’s grace. His family takes great comfort in knowing that he is in eternal happiness with Him in whom he believed so strongly. May God bless the memory of Alton Fadness.
A Funeral Service for Alton Fadness of Baudette, MN will be held on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 2:00PM at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Baudette, MN. Visitation will be held on Monday, July7, 2014 from 5-7PM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Baudette, MN. Interment will be held at Elm Park Cemetery in Baudette, MN.