ForeverMissed

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Selmer Eugene Hanson.

Born on February 19, 1925 in Minot North Dakota, to Eugene and Sena Hanson. He was the 6th of 8 children.

He was preceded in death by his siblings, Justin, Harold, Eunice, Marion, Helen and Bernard,  son David, and grand-daughter Grace.

He is survived by his wife Doris, sister Ardys (Gilbert), children Cheryl, Douglas (Linda), Dennis (Jan), Thomas (Carol), Gregory (Sandy), and Bette, 13 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

Selmer was orphaned at the age of 6, and was taken in by his great-uncle Tom Beaverson and family. He later went to live with his sister Ardys at the home of Henry and Selma Bartz. He graduated from Downing High School in 1942.

He joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, and was a turret gunner in the B-24 bomber, and flew more than 50 missions over Europe during the latter part of WWII. He was stationed in North Africa and Italy, and was awarded 5 Oak Clusters.

After his military service, he attended Chicago School of Science & Technolgy in Chicago Illinois, and earned an Associates degree in Electronics.

He met Doris Sirotiak from Boyceville, WI at a dance in 1948. They were married in 1952, in Stillwater, MN. 

He was hired by Honeywell Corp in 1950, where he worked until he retired in 1985.

Selmer & Doris made a home in Shoreview, MN where they raised seven children. Son David passed away at the age of 2 years, in 1958.

During his early family days he was involved in the Civil Defense Corps and the church softball team. Later he was heavily involved in boy scouts, where he served as a district leader, and enjoyed many of the activities. He was a little league baseball coach for several years and was involved with the PTA at Turtle Lake Elementary School. He spent many hours driving his children to many sporting events, and was a great fan.

Hobbies included: gardening, wood working, rope making, canoeing, camping, home remodeling, and small engine repair.

Selmer retired in 1985 and moved with his wife to Downing, Wi in 1985 where they built an earth sheltered home. During retirement he enjoyed golfing, bowling, wood working, tapping Maple trees for syrup, darts, and helping his children with home repairs.

He was known for his outgoing personality, funny stories, and his love of the annual Hanson family reunion every August.

He began the "long goodbye" when he started to exhibit the effects of Alzheimer's disease around the turn of the century. Selmer was cared for by his loving wife, and spent the last year of his life at St. Anthony Park Home, where he received compassionate and excellent care. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on January 19, 2012.

We'd love to hear your fond remembrances and favorite stories of Selmer.

Posted by Kristy Hanson on January 19, 2016
I love still receiving this reminder of my wonderful, happy Uncle Selmer. I still have his wood carvings in my home. A paper towel holder, napkin holder. I remember him visiting me in La Quinta with Tom. Always a joy to talk too.
Posted by Kristy Hanson on January 20, 2015
Thank you so much Greg for keeping these thoughts on this website through the years. It is so wonderful to read and re-read the special memories of our Dad's, Mom's, aunts and uncles lives. They shared a special bond that has been passed down to all of us cousins, brothers and sisters. My personal memories grow stronger of the years we shared with them and I always smile.
Posted by Greg Hanson on January 19, 2015
It has been three years since Dad has passed. A lot has changed since then, especially with Mom selling the WI home and moving to Mounds View. Dad is still missed, but has left his legacy in all of his children grandchildren and now great grandchildren. It's funny that I never could see that I looked like him until after he had passed. I've been hearing it more and more, and now I'm seeing it in the mirror. Dad is at peace and we all are left with our memories of him - I hope that you have many fond ones!
Posted by Kristy Hanson on January 24, 2014
Remembering my Uncle always brings a smile to my face. He and my Dad could laugh so hard at their own jokes!
Their teasing was constant. My Dad loved his brothers and sisters and while he lived away from Wisconsin much of his adult life he always called his home where his family lived. I miss them both but hear their voices even more clearly from the other side. What a blessing to have had my Uncle Selmer share so much about my Dad and share his own life stories with me as he got older. I miss them both but they are forever in my thoughts and heart.
Posted by Greg Hanson on January 19, 2014
Time is flying by; I can hardly believe that it has been 2 years since Dad's passing. Life goes on and we get caught up in the busy-ness of our own families and activities, but I enjoy coming back to this website and reminiscing about Dad and my memories of him and our family growing up. As time goes on it seems that it is mostly the best memories that last the longest. It gives me a renewed resolve to rise above the day-to-day sameness of life and try to make new memories with those that I love.
Posted by Orren Lee on March 29, 2013
A tribute well earned! I want to offer condolences on behalf of the 781st Bomb Squadron. Although the families loss is the greatest, we share your loss for he was a fellow member of the 781st. Orren lee, President of the 781st BS Association.
Posted by Kristy Hanson on February 19, 2013
I miss my Dad and Uncle Selmer and love seeing the photos that remind me of their lives. They were so alike in many ways. I know they are having the time of their lives now! A joke or two or three changing hands. . .:)
Posted by PAT OSTMOE on January 19, 2013
Think of you often dear uncle--you brightened many a day for me. Love you always.
Posted by Doug Hanson on January 19, 2013
You have been out of our lives for one year already, I have thought of you many times. You left a painful void in many hearts but we have found comfort in each other.

Doug.
Posted by MIldred Severseike on January 19, 2013
Thinking of you today, Greg, Sandy, Sophie and Seth. I was blessed to get to know Selmer, and am grateful of how he served the country and raised a wonderful family that I can count as friends. May you be at peace today! Mildred, Jeff, David, Ben, Elissa
Posted by Greg Hanson on January 19, 2013
A year ago today Dad left this life for the next. I am reminded of him every day - I only have to look in the mirror to see him. I also see him in my children. Life has a business all on its own , but I love to visit this site and remember my Dad with a sweet sorrow, knowing that I'll not see him again until I reach the other side. I hope that this site brings you fond memories of Dad.
Posted by Doug Hanson on June 29, 2012
Dear Friends,
Please go to the gallery tab at the top of the page and click on video. You can see a video of the internment service that was held on Wednesday June 27th at Bethany Cemetery. Please leave a note for the family if you have enjoyed your visit to this site.
Posted by Doris Hanson on May 15, 2012
Happy anniversary Honey, Today would have been our 60th wedding anniversary. Seems like just yesterday, the years pass so quickly. love and miss you so very much, see you soon in a better place with our savior were we will all be young again.
Posted by PAT OSTMOE on February 18, 2012
Remembering my dear sweet uncle's birthday today--love and miss him always.
Posted by PAT OSTMOE on February 18, 2012
I remember when Selmer lived with us for a time and shared a bedroom with my brother. It was so exciting for me to have a " fun uncle" to play and kid around with. He gave me many great memories of his smiling ,joking ways. Can't forget all those Norweign jokes! Will pass them along.
Posted by Janice Joyce on January 29, 2012
What a beautiful tribune to a wonderful person. My parents, Hubert & Lucille LLoyd and I spent many family get-togethers with Bob & Lorraine Trulen. We had many visits with Doris & Selmer and the family at these visits. He was such a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. Thank You for sharing his life story with me. May you find comfort in the beauitful and lasting memories of Selmer.
Posted by Craig Formoe on January 28, 2012
My fondest memories of Uncle Selmer were formed in my childhood during the great Sunday dinners and family get-togethers at Grandma and Grandpa Sirotiak's. I vividly remember to this day sitting in the living room and listing to Uncles Selmer, Bob T., Bob P., Grandpa Sirotiak and my dad talk about the "old days". I dearly miss those days and those that have gone to Heaven before us.
Posted by Renee Spitzer on January 27, 2012
This is a beautiful memorial! Brings tears and laughter. I will always remember Selmer's great sense of humor and generosity. He gave me a dieffenbachia plant 33 years ago, and it is the only plant that I can keep alive. Every time I walk by it, I think of Selmer. Lately, I added a prayer too.
Posted by Martha Moody on January 27, 2012
This is a very extra special website!! It makes it possible for all of
the people far away to send some very heartfelt sympathy to ALL of
the Hanson family. My special prayers are with all of you and may God bless!
Posted by Janell Newcomb on January 27, 2012
I remember when I was a kid and we all got together at Grandpa and Grandma's house in the summer or over the holidays. The house (and yard) were filled with Uncles, Aunts, and cousins. There was always lots of food, laughter, and love. I remember Uncle Selmer's special sense of humor. I will miss him. Janell
Posted by Susan Nelson on January 25, 2012
I am only one of Uncle Selmer's "favorite nieces" - but I always felt so loved by him with one of his hugs and a kiss on the cheek! Memories of my childhood included SO many things - like pushing on the mole on his forehead and he would say "ZAP!" I will miss him SO much but know we will see him again in heaven and he is at peace now with God.
Posted by Carol Geier on January 25, 2012
I have so many wonderful memories of my dear uncle. I only wish I could have been with him more in his last years.He was like a big brother to me as he lived with us during my teenage years. we had some fun times.
Hope to see u and mom(Eunice) again on the other side
Love  CarolAnn
Posted by Karan Boddy on January 23, 2012
We first met Selmer and Doris in 1988 when their son Greg propossed to our daughter Sandy. It has been a blessing to meet the family through the years, and share Grandchildren with Selmer and Doris. Selmer was an expert woodworker and made us 3 beautiful oak benches to match a table. Our memories are sweet. See you in heaven Selmer. Bob and Karan Boddy
Posted by Sandy Hanson on January 23, 2012
Selmer has been a sweet caring father, fatherinlaw, and grandfather. Very supportive and loving through the years. It was difficult to see him fight through this illness for many years. Even though he lost his memory these past years, his personality would still come through with a funny Selmer gesture or reach out and gently hold your face with his big hands. We will enjoy the memories!
Posted by Bobbie Dunn on January 22, 2012
Selmer was so fun to spend time with, and I still have the wooden teddy bears that he made for me! He always seemed to have a smile, compliment, and story to tell, and I will always remember those things! Rest in peace Selmer!
Posted by LaVonne Harrer on January 22, 2012
I will always be grateful to Selmer and Doris for welcoming me to their home when I first moved to the Twin Cities after college. I have fond memories of wonderful meals in the spacious back yard, watching Greg play hockey, helping Cheri keep her brothers in line, etc. Uncle Selmer was one of a kind and he has been missed..
Posted by Patricia Melius on January 21, 2012
What a beautiful tribute, the song in this tribute is like a prayer from your Dad's heart. What a blessing his life was, passed on so many wonderful memories to all. I pray for God's perfect comfort for each and everyone, who miss and loved him.
Posted by Joan Brown on January 21, 2012
Greg and Sandy, this tribute is beautiful. Your dad led a life with more than it's share of trouble, yet he triumphed and overcame, blessing his family with his love and big smiles! Thanks for sharing his life story with us. May you find the Lord Jesus' comfort in the days and months to come.
Posted by David Bartz on January 21, 2012
Selmer will always have a place in my heart as a dear older friend that I learned a lot from. His faith and love for his wife Doris and his family and friends is something we all need. He was also one of my dad's dear friends having grown up together. His loss will hurt for awhile but we can rest assured that he is in a better place where he will someday greet us with open arms.
Posted by Darlene Hanson on January 21, 2012
Thanks for putting up this website. Selmer was such a wonderful man to so many people and also "stole the hearts" of many too; including mine. I am very sad now, but will be smiling whenever I think of him. Because I could never help but smile whenever I saw him, cause of his funny stories and how he enjoyed teasing me; which always made me smile/laugh. I will miss him.    Darlene
Posted by Doug Hanson on January 20, 2012
I'll see you in heaven, Dad, until then I will miss you so much. 

Doug.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Kristy Hanson on January 19, 2016
I love still receiving this reminder of my wonderful, happy Uncle Selmer. I still have his wood carvings in my home. A paper towel holder, napkin holder. I remember him visiting me in La Quinta with Tom. Always a joy to talk too.
Posted by Kristy Hanson on January 20, 2015
Thank you so much Greg for keeping these thoughts on this website through the years. It is so wonderful to read and re-read the special memories of our Dad's, Mom's, aunts and uncles lives. They shared a special bond that has been passed down to all of us cousins, brothers and sisters. My personal memories grow stronger of the years we shared with them and I always smile.
Posted by Greg Hanson on January 19, 2015
It has been three years since Dad has passed. A lot has changed since then, especially with Mom selling the WI home and moving to Mounds View. Dad is still missed, but has left his legacy in all of his children grandchildren and now great grandchildren. It's funny that I never could see that I looked like him until after he had passed. I've been hearing it more and more, and now I'm seeing it in the mirror. Dad is at peace and we all are left with our memories of him - I hope that you have many fond ones!
Recent stories

Eulogy for My Dad

Shared by Greg Hanson on January 30, 2012

The following are my memories of my Dad, as I shared at his memorial service.

 

I want to add my thanks to all of you who have come to join us this morning. It means a lot to our family. Thank you for your kind words and your remembrances of my Dad.

I want to also thank Pastor Julie for her faithfulness to make the trips to see Dad at the nursing home; to serve him communion and to be with him during his last day here on earth. I also want to commend the owner and staff of St. Anthony Park home for taking Dad into their care, and providing excellent care for Dad over the past year.

I love my Dad, and I will miss him.

As I have been thinking back about my Dad's life I have realized that we have had a lot of great times together, so please indulge me as briefly share some of them with you.

Dad was an active guy and some of my earliest memories are of us kids wrestling with him and dragging him out of bed in the morning. I remember playing soccer, football and softball with him. We had huge games of bombardment in our back yard with the Trulen's and the Mounce's. He would take us camping and canoeing. Dad supported our sports habit by driving us all over town taking us to practices – and he was one our biggest fan. He coached my baseball team for a couple of years, and, if memory serves, we went to the championship game the year that Dad – and brother Dennis were coaching us.

Family was very important for Dad. He & Mom often packed all 8 of us into the station wagon for trips to visits to relatives in MN and here in Wisconsin. Dad and Mom spent hours talking about who-knows-what with their brothers, sisters and in-laws, while we played with our cousins. I loved these extended-family times. The annual Hanson family reunion was an important event in Dad's life – He loved to see the families get together  - and he wanted us to love it also.

Doug told me a story about Dad that happened during our Christmas gathering at Tom's house in 2008. He and Dad were watching about 20 of us playing in the annual Hanson hockey game behind the house,  when Dad exclaimed, "look at that! This is all my family!" He was so proud that all of us got together every year, and that we enjoyed each other's company. Perhaps he realized then that the whole crowd in front of him was his legacy, and the legacy will continue long after he was gone.

 

Dad was the family barber – At least for us boys. During the younger years he would use the buzz-cut attachment on his clippers and would finish the job in short order.  As we got older we graduated to the longer big-boys cut which proved to be more of a challenge:  Dad got pretty good at it, but every once in a while he had some difficulty matching the length of the hair on both sides, and would alternate cutting one side, then the other trying to make both sides look even.  It was tough on us sometimes because we had to live with the results.

The upstairs floor of our home in Shoreview was large and open. All four of us boys slept up there and we had some pretty fun times together.  Sometimes on Sunday evenings we would all go to bed and lie there in the dark as we listened to the National Lampoon radio show. One thing about this show was that it was sponsored by an instrument company named Selmer Clarinets. We thought that it was so funny that there were clarinets named Selmer!  One night I remember clearly that we were making a lot of noise upstairs when we were supposed to be in bed sleeping.  Suddenly Doug said, "Shhhhh!! The clarinet!!!"  We knew exactly what he was saying.  Dad had a way of sneaking up those creaky  stairs, and Doug was warning us to be quiet because he heard Dad coming.  So we all ducked our heads under the covers, pretended to be asleep and snickered to ourselves while Dad yelled at us for making so much noise.

We respected Dad's authority though; He was the head of our home, and he ran a pretty tight ship. He would spank us when he thought that we needed it, but he always gave me a hug afterwards, letting me know that things were OK between us. I hated the spanking, but I loved the hugs.

I remember one hot summer evening when I was about 18. Dad had to repair a broken spring on the garage door and asked me to help.  We got out the instructions for the repair kit, and a 6-pack of Blatz beer and got to work. I remember it as a great evening of talking and working together. After several hours we had finished the repair – and the beer. I remember feeling a little light-headed and stumbling as I climbed down the step ladder. We both laughed. Afterwards I remember a sense of accomplishment and also a sense of validation; that Dad really appreciated the help and appreciated the time that we had spent together.

Dad was there for me when I needed him and was willing to sacrifice to provide opportunities to get ahead in life.  In 10th grade I was offered a scholarship to attend a private school in South Minneapolis and Mom and Dad made it work, even though it was not in the budget. After college Dad would buy me tools for birthdays and Christmas to make sure I had them for home projects. When Dad retired and started making furniture he filled our house with end tables, a bench for our entry way, an entertainment center, and numerous smaller items. Dad was there to help me out with home projects when I needed a hand.

There is one story that I having been waiting to tell and this one is truly amazing. By the Spring of 2009 Dad had been suffering the effects of Alzheimer's for a while and my Mom was wondering how long it would be before Dad could no longer care for himself or even think for himself. Frankly, she knew that Dad was slowly slipping away and was concerned about where his spirit would go after he died. Dad faithfully attended church services as long as I can remember but he never really talked about his faith. Mom wanted to know where Dad stood on these matters so she started to talk with him about faith, forgiveness and heaven.  It was during these conversations that Dad admitted that he did not know if God was real and was convinced that this life on earth was all there is – Nothing more. We have all learned John 3:16. It says that whoever believes in God shall nor perish but have eternal life. This is our hope as Christians, and at that time in his life Dad did not have that hope.

Mom shared these concerns with Doug and I, and on Feb 19, 2009 we took the day off of work to spend the day with Dad. It was his birthday and we had a great day! We had lunch with Mom, Dad, Gilbert & Ardys and Dad was in great form. Afterwards we went back to the house and started to talk to Dad about faith. We told him that God loved him, that Jesus died for his sins and that he could be sure that he would go to heaven when he died. We told him that we loved him, and our hope was that we would be in heaven together someday. Dad was very lucid that day. He listened very graciously. He was not offended, but told us that he loved us, that he was proud of us and of who we had become. He appreciated what we had to say, but he was not willing to accept what we had to say.  At this point I asked Dad if he would be willing to ask God to show Himself to Dad if he was real. Dad said yes and we prayed together. We left with full hearts, knowing that it had been a good day, and hoping that seeds of faith had been sown in Dad's heart

Fast forward a couple of months to Easter Sunday. We travelled to Wisconsin to have Easter dinner with Mom & Dad. As soon as we arrived, Mom said to me, "You will not believe what happened this morning!" Dad took a nap after church. When he came out of his room he said to Mom "You will never believe what I just saw. I just saw Jesus raised from the dead!" Mom asked him how he knew it was Jesus, and he said that he just knew that it was – and that he was not very good looking. Mom asked Dad if he now believed in Jesus, that He was the son of God, and Dad replied, "I guess I have to now – What do I do next?" Mom told him that he needed to repent of his sins and to ask for God's forgiveness. She asked him if he was willing to do this and he said that he was.  Mom & Dad prayed together for the first time in their marriage and Dad asked Jesus into his life!

This is an incredible story of God's love for my Dad. Dad was not particularly looking for God, but he did ask God to show him that He was real. Within 2 months God answered that prayer in a way that few of us will ever experience! It was a gift to Dad and it was a gift to us.  I am confident now that Dad has truly gone on to be with the Lord. It was so sad to see Dad draw his final breaths, yet it was such a joyful time for me, knowing that Dad's suffering was over. That he no longer needed his worn out body and that he was moving on to the eternal life that God had prepared for him.

I love my Dad and I miss him, and I believe that I will see him again.

Ode to Selmer

Shared by J Hanson on January 26, 2012

Each of us has our own memories of Selmer and each is as unique as the relationship. For me it’s important to record some of them as a tribute to Selmer, a great Father in law and wonderful man. 
 I was 19 when I was introduced to Selmer, my soon to be, but I didn't know it yet father in law. Dennis and I were both attending St. Cloud State University when Selmer and Doris drove to St. Cloud in the spring to see Dennis and the campus.
 We went on an outing to Riverside Park near the campus, we walked around and enjoyed the early cold spring in the park. Selmer took photos of the park and the river and me in varying poses behind a tree. He enjoyed photography and made slides out of his photos. Most of his photos of family events, trips and people were preserved in slide form and he bought a projector to view them. The slides were probably because it was less expensive than prints and movies, and you could always print the best photos. The slides could be projected on the wall, they were not quite family movies, but the next best thing at the time to record the history of a life and growing family. Ok, I admit to a very fuzzy recollection of all of this. All I remember is that it was chilly and we were in the park. I was a stranger to everyone, barely dating Dennis...but liked him a lot...so we had all just met. But, Selmer was engaging, warm and friendly. As I observed through the years he had the gift of conversation at appropriate times and he could make small talk for hours. This gift he passed on to Doug and Dennis. This was one of his charms. Selmer would be known to most of those he knew as humorous, kindly and generous.  OK NEW INFORMATION!~It was Dennis, who by the way was crazy about me, taking all those pictures of me in the park with his dad's camera... which makes much more sense. But, still...
 Selmer had lots of hobbies over the years. Besides photography, he enjoyed gardening and botany. It may have been by necessity more than leisure that he had a very large garden, but whatever the reason, he had the greenest thumb I’ve ever seen. He grew large potted plants in the house, had a green house to start vegetables for the garden in the spring. He grew all types of vegetables, plants, bushes, trees and flowers. He liked to experiment with varieties also. Much of the garden was started in the basement greenhouse on the workbench with grow lights, dirt and seed.
 He was well studied in all these endeavors, mostly self study, with magazines, books and manuals. But at times I remember hearing that he took classes to improve his basic knowledge. When his kids grew, he remodeled the small house for his growing family so his boys could have the upstairs for a bedroom and the family TV room would be downstairs. He had the wood rough sawed for the basement and made a fitting family room that would be used for years. A much needed second shower was put in the laundry room in later years when there were 5 teenagers in the house alongside two adults. Selmer did all these things by hand. He was industrious and resourceful all the while he was able to raise a family of seven comfortably.
 

In the early years, I remember the colorful coleus Selmer grew in pots and in the garden and the house plants that always grew and thrived. He also always kept an immaculate yard. The trees were always trim and the yard cut. He put his boys to work to help him in all of these things, I’m told by Dennis these were among his chores. In having his kids help, he was teaching them self sufficiency, discipline and the value of hard work. They are very industrious and resourceful to this day and this is one of the things I admire greatly in Selmer. He raised wonderful, hard working, honorable sons. I have to think this was one of his legacies.

I admire people who self-study in pursuit of a hobby or craft. Selmer grew grapes and made his own wine. He also picked choke cherries, dandelions and other fruit to make all kinds of wines. He wasn’t a drinker, but he loved to experiment with them using all kinds of fruit. Dennis and I both enjoyed a jug of his homemade choke cherry wine one night shortly after we met... but that's a story for another time and place. Selmer also made his own maple syrup later on from the maples on his property in Wisconsin. He ran lines and in the spring he’d haul the buckets of syrup up and down the hills. He enjoyed being outside, his dog Ralph following close at his side.

He loved his dogs, Toby for starters. I’d never met this dog, but it comes back often in sayings through Dennis in the winter when we all hear, “It’s colder than Toby’s butt out here.” But I came into the family when Sam was alive. After Sam passed, there wasn’t a dog around for a while, except those that Betty brought home. This included Ralph, who was Bette’s but when she moved away from home, Ralph stayed on. Ralph became Selmer’s best friend and they walked the hills together for years until Ralph just never came home. Then along came Jack who he also cared for well in his last days on memory.
 I will always remember Selmer working hard. When we’d bring our growing family to Grandpa and Grandma Hanson’s he was hospitable even after a long days work. When we were having our children, his first grandchildren, he and Doris were in the throes of working. They were still raising their own family. But I always felt as if they were there for us. Selmer would help us with our garden, our home repairs and any of the other things that he could help with. He also enjoyed our children while his own children were still home.
 Later after he and Doris retired and moved to Wisconsin, he helped us paint our home, he helped Dennis set up a shop in the garage; he helped us till our garden, he helped us build shelving and whatever else we needed that he could help with. For me he made a wall of book shelves and a cupboard. He made me end tables that would match my bedroom set. He made my girls’ hope chests and many other wonderful wood projects that I treasure today. He also enjoyed golf and bowling. I can only imagine how he enjoyed being with his golfing and bowling teams. He was a great bowler apparently and being new to golf after he retired, he fought hard for a good score. He loved the game and enjoyed being out of doors. When he retired, Selmer was there for our family when we needed his help and he always worked hard on our behalf, never expecting anything in return. He enjoyed helping us build our life and our family; it seemed to give him great satisfaction. He was generous with his time and talents. He did this for all of his kids, neighbors, friends and relatives.
 Selmer loved a cookie or bar in the afternoon with his coffee. It often broke up his day of yard or wood working, or clearing snow or gardening. He actually got a bit testy if he didn’t have something available. Selmer loved lemon meringue pie; lemon bars and he loved rhubarb sauce, which Doris made easily and well. I too love rhubarb and lemon pie and now I make it in his honor. He also grew horseradish and made a crazy hot horseradish that he shared. I may even try my hand at planting horseradish… at least I’ll ask Dennis to do so.
 Selmer enjoyed a drive; he enjoyed a visit with friends. He bowled, played horseshoes, golfed, canoed, and shot archery at different points in his life. He really enjoyed the family reunion. We would hear about it for months and the date was blazoned on our minds, as was the picnic meal of fried chicken and dish to pass. We weren’t always able to attend, and we always got the roll call of who was in attendance. He recounted those who came the farthest distance; often his brother Bunny’s kids from the west coast would make his day. His immediate family and extended family gave him great joy. He took great pride in doing his part in keeping the family in touch at least once a year at the reunion.
 In his final years, the early love and tenderness he had for Doris became evident once again. His eyes glimmered when he saw her. In the work of raising a family and making a living, all through life’s stages, they remained a strong force through thick and thin. They experienced an enduring love and care for each other, enjoying the rewards of the life they worked so hard to build.
 It was just a few months into his disease that he and Doris, Doug, Linda and Dennis and I took a drive to Park Rapids to the Threshing Days. It was a great day and the morning after he came into the kitchen and told me he'd like to call a family meeting to talk about his disease. His memory was already fading and things were a bit confused for him and he was well aware of it. This is the first time I'd ever seen Selmer communicate with his family. I thought it touching that he told me he wanted to call a family meeting. I guess he knew I wouldn't shut up until it was done. We all decided that we should have it now while he remembered asking for it, not until all the family could get together in Wisconsin. Not everyone was present, but we could relay anything he said to the others given the circumstances. We gathered outside in our porch and Selmer had the floor. Linda and I were there too, even though we aren't blood. I guess we were family enough after all these years. Selmer told us that he had about 6 month before he wouldn't be able to know anything anymore. He told us his disease is terminal. This from the man who did much self study. He told us to each read the book on his disease that the doctors gave him. He said he gets angry sometimes and doesn't mean to. He doesn't want to hurt anyone. I was touched as were the others that he was being so honest and vulnerable. He said he so often wanted to get his gun and shoot himself, but he couldn't. (Well, Doris hid the bullets long ago). He expressed all this in such a calm way, his frustration and his heart about what we can expect from his illness. He said he knows Doris won't be able to take care of him, he won't like being put in a home, but he knows it will have to happen. He shared his love for his family with these words of honesty. After the family meeting was over, we were saddened, but relieved at the same time. It was the beginning of his end. That Christmas he entered the home in Coon Rapids. He was there a few months and while there, Dennis and I were able to take him out for an afternoon.
 The photos taken here were of our last real outing with Selmer. He was just in the home for a few months and hated it. He always wondered in his confused state when he was going home. I knew he enjoyed gardening and flowers, so we decided to take him on an outing to the St. Paul Conservatory. It was near his birthday and spring was a way off. But he was feeling cooped up. It really was a beautiful day for all.  We started it out with a huge breakfast at Kays Cafe somewhere near Como Park if I recall. Selmer ate a huge Sunday dinner with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans. He finished it off with a piece of apple pie and ice cream. (At least this is what I recall). We were all full and happy and drove over to the conservatory. Dennis dropped us off and we met to walk around the lovely flowers and greenery. This made Selmer feel right at home. He loved growing things and being outdoors. He could still walk then, and it wasn't a few months later he was confined to a wheel chair. We feel so fortunate that we had this time with him. His mind was not fully there, but glimpses of his personality still shined through. He seemed at peace and enjoyed the outing. We even all had a chance to watch a Sloth move ever so slowly on exhibit in a tree. It was indeed slothful, but moving slowly as it was feeding time.
 Dennis and I both cried together after we dropped him off because we realized that the Selmer we knew, the Selmer we both loved so dearly was already gone and would never be the same. 

Shared by MIldred Severseike on January 21, 2012

This is a beautiful tribute. I am so impressed by Selmer's service during the war, truly a hero.  I can attest to Doris' loving care of Selmer along with the whole family.  Selmer you will be missed but your legacy continues in your beautiful family.