1927 – 2021
The “young” man with the warm smile? That’s our dad and grandpa, Harold R. Kvanvig, a father, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle, cousin, and a friend to many. We captured this photo of dad just after he turned 93. His warm smile and bright eyes reveals much about his heart, faith, inner joy and his passion for life.
Throughout dad’s life whether gain or loss, set-backs or success we always witnessed in dad, renewed hope, faith, an attitude of gratitude, joy, and a genuine smile. To him, tomorrow was another day of opportunity, friendships, work, duty, play, stories, adventures, and living life with all of his heart. And he did just that until the day the Lord called him home. Dad was looking forward to seeing his “Wonderful Savior” and peacefully passed away at his home in Aitkin on December 3, 2021 at the age of 94.
Harold was born to Harry and Myrtle (Bengtson) Kvanvig, April 17,1927 in the little hospital in Sebeka, MN. He was an only child which probably accounts for his fun and games disposition and limitless living. During his formative years and beyond, Harold was occupied with cars and projects, church, cousins and friends, trumpet and piano, road trips and country rides, mischief and more cars. Due to the shortage of bus drivers during WWll, dad at age 16 was the youngest bus driver to be hired by the Sebeka School District. He graduated from Sebeka Public School with the class of 1945.
Following high school, Harold left for Fort Meade, Maryland for Basic Training. For two years he honorably served our country, state side at the close of WWII.
The winter of 1948 Harold attended the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis where he met his future wife, Doris Nelson. Free spirit fellow meets very steady gal. Harold and Doris were married October 2, 1948. To this union four children were born: Linda, Charles, Mary and Wesley. They had a gift for fun and games, sharing and showing hospitality. That and their love for one another, family and God, as well as a fervant prayer life was the glue that blessed and bound these two wonderful opposites together. Harold and Doris were married 66 years.
Harold and Doris made their home in Sebeka for several years. They were co-owners and managers of the “mom and pop,” K’s Motel. He also owned and operated the Standard Oil Station in Sebeka. He did car detailing for several dealerships and was a car salesman at Hubers in Wadena. Also during these years you could find Harold carrying out deputy duties, clerking for the Chamber of Commerce, fishing, deer hunting, playing games with the family, going to auction sales or building something amazing.
In 1971 the Kvanvigs moved to Aitkin, MN where Harold opened Harold’s Auto Sales and Towing Service. He was an exceptional used car salesman. Due to his commitment to details, car care, honesty and integrity he was known as “Honest Harold.” He held his business to a high standard of excellence seeking to serve his customers and looking out for their well-being when selling vehicles.
After retirement, Harold enjoyed volunteering and cheering folks up! Harold’s visits and chauffeuring Aicota residents, working with Habitat for Humanity, interacting with friends, and doing church projects, were opportunities to serve, share his many stories, his laugher, his smile and jokes. His presence would light up the room and lighten hearts.
We are comforted knowing dad is home with His Lord, but feel the loss in our hearts as we said goodbye to a fun and an incredible man. He was stubborn and fiercely independent, but he left a legacy of faith, service, creativity, resilience, and a passion for life.
We are extremely grateful for the wonderful care given to dad by the Hospice care team from Cuyuna Medical Center.
Surviving Harold are his children: Charles (Katie), Mary (Steve) Therneau, and Wesley (Jacque); grandchildren: Robert, Bethany (Neil), Gunnar (Grace), Lucy, Rachelle, Andrea, Dyane; great-grandchildren: Caitlyn (Tyler), David, Alex, Aiden, Emma, Ari, Rylan, Braydin, Audrey, Lilly, and Bennett, nieces and nephews, cousins and a host of wonderful friends and extended “family.”
Harold was preceded in death by his wonderful wife, Doris; daughter, Linda; his parents, and his “sister”/cousin, Gloria Siltala and her husband David.
A memorial service honoring Harold will be held Saturday, December 18 at 11 a.m. at New Life Church, 11 First street SW, Aitkin, MN. Graveside Service at Bethel Cemetery in Paddock Township will take place June 2022.
Condolences may be sent to: Wes Kvanvig, 5528 Knollwood Drive, St. Cloud, MN, 56303.