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Rev. Stuart Fankhanel

June 10, 1942-July 22, 2010

Rev. Stuart K. Fankhanel, 68, of Detroit Lakes, died Thursday July 22, 2010 at his residence, after a 10-year battle with cancer.

Stuart Fankhanel was born to Kurt and Charlotte (Hinze) Fankhanel on June 10, 1942 in Detroit Lakes. He grew up and attended elementary school in Vergas. As a young boy, he helped his parents at Fankhanel's Tavern and Corner Sweet Shop. It was there that he learned to listen to people and how to tell a good story. He was confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Vergas.

After graduating from Frazee High School in 1960, he attended the University of Minnesota. From 1962-66 he served in the United States Air Force as a medic. Following his discharge from the Air Force he attended Mankato State University, graduating with degrees in elementary education and political science.

On February 8, 1975 he was united in marriage to his best friend, Judy Aykens in Steen, Minn. He taught school for five years in Mentor, Minn., and Sturgeon Bay, Wis. Stu then attended Luther Seminary, graduating with a Master's Degree in Divinity. He served parishes in western North Dakota for eight years, including Christ Lutheran Church in Lignite and St. John's Lutheran Church in Killdeer. He then served in parishes of the Northwest Minnesota Synod, including St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Audubon, Hamar Lutheran in Rothsay, Central Lutheran in Pelican Rapids, and Immanuel Lutheran in Osage. He retired in 2008, after 26 years of parish ministry.

Stu loved to write about his childhood memories and his parish life. He enjoyed conducting "Tell your own story workshops." He was also an avid Paul Bunyan collector. He served on the Becker County Extension Board and also on the Synod Call Committee.

Surviving Stu are his wife, Judy; one daughter, Christine (Matthew Meyer) Fankhanel of St. Paul; three sons, David (Betsy) Fankhanel of Minneapolis, Charles Fankhanel of West Fargo and Martin Fankhanel of Moorhead; one granddaughter, Neva Fankhanel; mother, Charlotte Fankhanel of Detroit Lakes; and one brother, Tom Fankhanel, also of Detroit Lakes.

His father, Kurt Fankhanel, preceded him in death.

Preceding him in death were He was preceded in death by his Father, Kurt Fankhanel.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 26 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, with interment in the Vergas Village Cemetery.

Arrangements were entrusted to West-Kjos Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes. Those wanting to share memories and condolences may use the messages of sympathy section at