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Philip Birkelo

May 29, 1927-Feb. 11, 2010

Former Detroit Lakes resident Philip G. Birkelo, 92, of Cresco, Iowa, died Thursday, February 11, 2010 in Cresco.

Philip was born to Peter and Nettie (Gustason) Birkelo on May 29, 1917 in Ferryville, Wis. He grew up on the family farm near Ferryville. He was a farmer for 30 years. After farming, he began hauling cars for Clark Auto Transport Company and drove over the road for 30 years. Philip retired in 1978.

Phil married Hope Deaver on December 25, 1943. They were later divorced. On May 22, 1974, he married Lucille Berkner. Lucille passed away in April of 1996. On October 11, 1997, Phil married Arlene Brickley. Phil and Arlene lived in Detroit Lakes until August 2002. They relocated to Cresco, Iowa, where they were living at the time of his death.

Phil was a past member of the Knights of Columbus, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.  He was a trustee and district president for the Eagles Club.

Preceding Philip in death were his parents; one brother, Rusty; brother-in-law George Ashley; and his wife Lucy.

Surviving Philip are his wife Arlene; stepchildren, Brian (Janice) Berkner, Rosalind (Roger) Landers, Wyonne (George) Bucheit and Tammy Fcalzo; eight grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; numerous step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren; one brother, Gerhard (Geniveve) Birkelo of Viroqua, Wis.; and one sister, Jean Ashley of Soldiers Grove, Wis.; as well as and several nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 17, 2010 at David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes. 

Services for Philip will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, February 18, at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Detroit Lakes.

Interment will be in the spring at Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery.

The David-Donehower Funeral Home is helping the family with arrangements.

Memorials are requested to be sent to Holy Rosary Catholic Church, or a charity of your choice. Written memorials may be left at