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Loren Avenson 1933 – 2023


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Loren Robert Avenson on August 8, 2023, surrounded by loved ones, at Heritage Living Center, Park Rapids, Minnesota.
Loren was born April 28, 1933, the second of five children of Harry Avenson and Pearl (Manlove) Avenson. He was baptized and confirmed at First English Lutheran Church in Dorset. He grew up on the family farm south of Nevis, and attended country school through eighth grade, then graduated from Nevis High School in 1952. In addition to working on the farm, Loren began his professional career in the construction trade. He served in the US Army, attending basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, before being stationed in Korea overseeing the carpentry shop at the Headquarters Company. After being honorably discharged, he resumed his carpentry career in northern Minnesota.
On November 12, 1955, Loren married the love of his life, Julia Rice, at First English Lutheran Church. They lived briefly on the North Shore then in Nevis for many years. They welcomed seven children together. The family owned and operated In-We-Go resort on Eighth Crow Wing Lake in the 1970s, making many lifelong friends. Loren built dozens of houses and cabins in the Nevis area, worked as the chief custodian at Nevis School, and tended to his small hobby farm. He retired in 1995 but kept busy with smaller projects, Spent time in the garden with his grandkids, opened and closed cabins, and sawed logs on his sawmill. His hobbies looked a lot like work! They bought a winter home in Sun Lakes, Arizona, and eventually moved there year-round. They moved to Pine Bluffs, Wyoming, in 2018, but returned to Minnesota in 2022 – Loren wanted to get back to the place he considered home. A year later he was happy to celebrate his 90th birthday with friends and family.
Loren served his community and church in various roles. For many years he was an usher and trustee at First English Lutheran Church and oversaw the fellowship hall addition and the renovation of the parsonage. He also served on the Nevis School Board. He took immense joy in being a family man and loved his wife and children very much. He would sing the praises of Julia’s cooking and baking, and he especially loved her chocolate cake. He was proud of his military service and was a member of the American Legion. He valued his friends. He took great pride in being a carpenter, builder, and gardener. He was always happy to share his knowledge and skills. He could really tell a story and he shared many stories of his mischievous days with his brothers on the farm. He was trustworthy and generous. He would offer a quarter for his grandkids and great-grandkids to catch a cabbage butterfly or take off his boots for him at the end of the day. He had a great sense of humor. And when he laughed, his smile came from deep within and lit up his eyes.
Loren is survived by his wife of 67 years, Julia; children and their spouses Joan and Mark Carlson of Nevis and Tubac, Arizona; Lori and Kirby Durgin of Nevis; Marlys and Dave Cash of Nevis; Vern and Carla Avenson of Frisco, Texas; Lisa and Ken Davis of Park Rapids; Paula and Mike Pachel of Pine Bluffs, Wyoming; and Tim and Shannon Avenson of Clearwater, Minnesota; 23 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren (with more on the way!), and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Harry and Pearl, brothers Marlyn, Vern, and Merle, sister Arlyce Becker.
Throughout his life, Loren was comforted by his faith. At Loren’s request, his body has been donated for study at the University of Minnesota. His hope was that he could contribute to medical knowledge. A celebration of life is scheduled for August 26, 2023 from 1:00 – 4:00 at Avenson Park located at 27605, County 33, Nevis. Julia would like to thank the kind St Joseph’s Hospice staff and volunteers and the amazing staff at Heritage Living Center for making Loren’s last days comfortable.
The family would like to encourage everyone who knew him to enjoy some ice cream as they think about what he meant to them!

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