Obituary for Richard Dahlin

Rev. Richard Albin Dahlin, died August 21, 2018, at the age of 87 in Northfield, MN. Dick leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Joanne, his three children Becky Abel (Paul), Toni Thorson (Steve), and David Dahlin, nine grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren (and counting). He spent his last days surrounded by those who loved him dearly. Dick lived an extraordinary, ordinary life. Dick was born on October 5, 1930, in Cokato, Minnesota to Albin and Mabel Dahlin. Mabel died when he was three years old. A few years later his father remarried and Ruth Schilt (Mabel’s sister) became his mother. […]

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Rev. Richard Albin Dahlin, died August 21, 2018, at the age of 87 in Northfield, MN. Dick leaves behind his wife of 64 years, Joanne, his three children Becky Abel (Paul), Toni Thorson (Steve), and David Dahlin, nine grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren (and counting). He spent his last days surrounded by those who loved him dearly.

Dick lived an extraordinary, ordinary life.

Dick was born on October 5, 1930, in Cokato, Minnesota to Albin and Mabel Dahlin. Mabel died when he was three years old. A few years later his father remarried and Ruth Schilt (Mabel’s sister) became his mother. He had one brother, Robert, and three sisters, Margaret Howe, Kathryn Wright, and Maxine Christ.

After graduating from Cokato High School, Dick worked full-time at the Green Giant Canning Company. He became so highly regarded that he was offered a management job but turned it down to go to college so he could pursue his call to ministry. He became the first in his family to attain a college degree, from the University of Minnesota, eventually receiving his Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary to answer God’s call to become a pastor.

During college, Dick was a leader in the Lutheran Student Association where he met Joanne Elton, who was in nursing school. They made many lifelong friends through this ministry. They were married on May 29, 1954. Together, they served their entire ministry in Wisconsin: First Lutheran Church in Hayward and Stone Lake, Grace Lutheran in Thiensville, Calvary Lutheran in Green Bay and Grace Lutheran in Winchester. Dick and Jo retired in 1993, to Northfield, MN. He was a dedicated and dearly loved pastor.

In retirement Dick and Jo enjoyed traveling to Europe, the Middle East, and many visits to Brazil, along with numerous trips within the U.S. They spent their summers at their cabin near Hayward, WI. He and Jo made a point to attend concerts, plays, birthday parties, and sporting events for their grandchildren, sometimes traveling across the country to Colorado to do so.

Dick was a true Renaissance man. He enjoyed working with his hands and was especially proud of the improvements and additions he built on the cabin. He loved volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and helped many widows with fix-it jobs. Dick was also known for his homemade bread, jams, and desserts. In his later years he was the primary cook in the household. Dick also loved music. He sang with the Northfield Troubadours, and he had deep appreciation for fine music, going to countless concerts at St. Olaf, Carleton College, and beyond. He took great pride in the musical accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.

A lifelong learner, Dick read many biographies and attended collegium classes in the community. Last year he did a lecture series for his retirement community on notable historical figures who made a positive impact on our world. He enjoyed his involvement at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, led Bible studies, and was a role model in the faith for all who knew him. He loved the Lord and he loved his family. He often said that his greatest contribution to the world was through his children and their children.

Though he was sad to leave this life and all those he held dear, Dick was not afraid of death. He approached this journey with the same determination and dignity that he carried with him all his life. In addition, he had hope in eternal life with God.

A Celebration of Life will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, MN on Monday, September 10, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. Visitation begins at 10:00 a.m. Memorials will be given to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Habitat for Humanity, and AFLC World Missions for the ministries of the Abels in Brazil (Paul and Becky, Matthew and Ednay).

Arrangements are with Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

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Funeral

September 10, 2018 - 11:00 AM


Visitation One Hour Before Service
St. John’s Lutheran Church
500 3rd St W Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

1 Comment

  1. Carol Reichert

    Words cannot express how sad and sorry we were to hear of Pr. Dick’s death. He will surely be missed. His time with us in Winchester will
    always be memorable. God be with Jo and the whole family. We know Dick would not have wanted to linger and suffer indefinitely. And we have the hope of his eternal life with Jesus. The Don Reichert family

    Reply

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