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Earl Duane Ryden, 82

Earl Duane Ryden, 82, passed away on Saturday, November 8, 2014 at Valley Elder Care, Grand Forks, North Dakota from complications of COPD.  Earl was born on September 19, 1932, at home on the family farm to Arthur and Ella (Fogelberg) Ryden.  He was baptized on October 31, 1932 at East Emmaus Church, Kennedy, Minnesota.  Earl attended country school and graduated from Kennedy High School in 1950, where he played basketball and baseball.  Earl was inducted into the U.S. Army on February 25, 1953.  He served in the 507 Signal Corp in Korea.  He was honorably discharged on February 18, 1955.  Earl and Fay Younggren were united in marriage on June 16, 1956.  They were blessed with four children, Beth, Ronald, Debra and Dane.  Earl attended UND under the GI Bill, graduating in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Education.  Earl’s teaching career included a year at the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston and six years in Kennedy where he taught Jr. High English and Geography.  He aslo taught high school social studies.  His weekly after school WWII Club, with discussions and films, was poplar with his students.  The family then moved to Crookston where Earl was employed by the Office of Economic Opportunity and Fay taught kindergarten at Carmen and Lincoln schools.   Earl served as Director of Tri-Valley Opportunity Council and later worked for the NW Ric Office as Supervisor of Tutors in the Crookston and Climax School systems.  In 1973, the family moved back to Kennedy to the family farm, where Earl resumed farming.  He felt fortunate to be able to live so many years on his beloved farm, residing there until his death.  Earl served as Kittson County Veterans Service Officer for 10 years, retiring in 1994.  He was proud to be of assistance to fellow veterans and enjoyed many visits and cups of coffee with what he called, “His Vets.”  Earl and Fay enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada and made many trips to Seattle.  They spent the past 12 winters in Port Charlotte, Florida.  Earl was a Life Member of the Kittson County V.F.W. Post #3828, where he served as Quartermaster for 40 years.  He was very proud to serve his country and to be a veteran of the Korean Conflict. Earl was also a member of the Halma-Lake Bronson Legion Post #315 and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Hallock, MN.  Earl enjoyed country-western music, reading, a good game of cribbage and watching Twins and Vikings games.  He has a deep, abiding love for his family and all his relatives. He was especially proud of his children and grandchildren and their accomplishments.  He thoroughly enjoyed family get-togethers, including family reunions. Earl and his family attended Younggren reunions and hosted Craig, Fogelberg and Ryden family reunions at the farm.  They also traveled to various parts of the country for reunions.  Earl was a thoughtful, kind, gentle, caring man who often said, “It’s nice to be important, but is  more important to be nice.”  Throughout his various careers in his lifetime, Earl had the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, many who became life-long friends.  He especially enjoyed the faculty and staff during his teaching career in Kennedy.  He cherished all these friendships.  Earl loved the farm; mowing the grass, being by the water and observing the wildlife.  He was grateful to be able to live most of his life on the farm homesteaded by his grandparents, Andrew and Maria Ryden. Earl will be forever in the hearts of his family and friends, who loved and him and will miss him. He was a member of Maria Lutheran Church.
    Earl is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Fay, two daughters, Beth (Rodney) Stark, Kennedy and Debra Ryden, Seattle, WA; two sons, Ronald (Mary) Ryden and Dane Ryden both of Kennedy; five grandchildren, Cameron Mortenson and Jesse Stark, Kennedy, Mitchell and Kayla Ryden, Fargo and Robert Ryden, Hallock; two sisters, Marilyn (Robert) Peterson, Grand Forks and Mary Pinnock, Donaldson, MN; a brother-in-law, Duane (Melba) Younggren, Hallock and sister-in-law, Joan (Lowell) Gordon, Tiburon, CA; 10 nieces and nephews and 15 great nices and nephews..  He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Robert and brother-in-law, Peter Pinnock.
    Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. in Maria Lutheran Church. Interment will be in Kennedy City Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Austin Funeral Chapel on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30.
Pastor Kathy Levenhagen, presiding; special music will be provided by Patti Swanson, Dwight Nelson and Dane’s family. Casket bearers will be Marc Langen, Robert Pearson, Tom Dowdle, Keith Dziengel, Chuck Dziengel and Mike Green. Military honors will be accorded by VFW Post #3828.

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