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John Monson

John Monson


John Monson, 88, Backus, died peacefully Aug. 11, 2013, after several years of gradual decline related to Parkinson’s disease.

John was born in Red Wing and grew up in Wanamingo. He served in the Navy during World War II. He married Barbara Swanson, his wife of 65 years, in Wanamingo in 1948 and attended school in Minneapolis. John and Barb moved to Granite Falls in 1950 where they raised their family. He worked as a rural mail carrier for 30 years. John and Barb, a registered nurse, were active in numerous civic activities from Boy Scouts to the exploration of the idea of starting a college or vocational school in Granite Falls. John and his wife also ran the outpatient TB clinic in Granite Falls once the sanitorium there closed.

In 1980, John and Barbara moved north to a lake near Backus, Minn., where they lived in a new house built for them by the Granite Falls carpenter, Myron Amundsen. They split their year between McAllen, Texas, in the winter and their lake home in the summer. Life was good for John in the last third of his life. He and Barbara volunteered at the local co-op. They were daily monitors of the lake clarity for the DNR, and they spent lots of time with their grandchildren.

John is survived by his wife, Barbara, of Pine River, Minn.; sister, Barbara Kerkvleit of Owatonna; daughter, Ann (Scott) Ledeboer, Willmar; grandson, Nathan Ledeboer, of Milwaukee; granddaughter, Rachel (Ben) Wolthuizen, of Pequot Lakes; great-granddaughter, Ellie Wolthuizen; great-grandson, Andrew Wolthhuizen; son, Craig (Colleen) Monson of Minnetonka; grandson, Andrew (Paula) Monson of Shorewood; granddaughter, Megan, of Chaska; great-granddaughter, Anastazia Willis; son, Todd (Joanne) Monson of Minneapolis; grandson, Tollef Monson of Kodiak, Alaska; and grandson, Ilkka Monson of Minneapolis.

The family is especially grateful for all of the help and kindness they received from the people in Pine River and Backus and the Cass County staff who made life at the lake possible in John’s later years.

Memorials preferred to Hackensack Area Fire and Rescue.

Memorial services were at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hackensack. Burial will be in the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls.

Arrangements were with Kline Funeral Home, Pine River.