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Oscar Birkeland

Oscar Birkeland

Jan. 18, 1933-June 26, 2014

Oscar C. Birkeland, 81, of Frazee, died Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Essentia Health in Fargo.

Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9 in David Donehower Funeral Home, Detroit Lakes, with visitation held for one hour prior to services.

Oscar Charles Birkeland was born to Anton and Elsie (Hovland) Birkeland on January 18, 1933 in Ada. He was raised and educated in Twin Valley, graduating from Twin Valley High School in 1951.

After school he was drafted into the U.S. Army and proudly served his country from 1951-54. Following his honorable discharge, Oscar moved to Minneapolis. He accepted a position with Dayton's Department stores as a salesman.

On April 6, 1957, Oscar was united in marriage to Lucille Rudebeck in Dent. Together they resided in Denver, Colo., and after a short time moved back to Minneapolis.

Oscar started working as a salesman for the Surge Milking Machine Company. In 1963 they relocated to West Fargo, where Oscar started working for Quaker State Oil.

In 1970 they moved to a farm near Detroit Lakes. Oscar and Lucille raised fruits and vegetables on the farm and built the first lunch wagon. While on the farm, Oscar was very active in 4-H as a leader and was also involved with the local snowmobile club in helping to build the first trail system in Becker County.

In 1984 they moved to Frazee. Oscar attended Minnesota State Community and Technical College, taking courses in the catering and chef business.

In 1986 Oscar bought the Vergas Sportsman Center and expanded Birkeland Catered Affairs, known to many as the "Lunch Wagon." In 1988 they sold the restaurant but continued operation of the lunch wagon. Many miles were traveled to powwows.

Oscar retired in 2006. During retirement Oscar and Lucille enjoyed travelling south during the winter months and during summer you would often find them at the farmer's market in Detroit Lakes.

Oscar also dabbled in his imprinting business and had a love-hate relationship with his computer.

Oscar cherished the family camping trips through the years, and the annual Birkeland family reunion. He was a wonderful cook; his lefse and kumla were always a treat.

Oscar will be remembered and missed by his wife Lucille, of Frazee, and four sons, Mark (Jennie) of Walker, Rick of Perham, Ken (Lynda) and Terry (Paula), both of Frazee.

He is also survived by three grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, nine step-great grandchildren and two sisters, Florence Johnson of Warren and Elaine (Dennis) Forsell of Detroit Lakes.

He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Eleanor Griffith and Audrey Heiraas.

David-Donehower Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.