Donald “Mike” Marsden, 87, of rural Mabel died early Thursday morning, July 24, 2014, at his home on the farm in rural Mabel with his family at his side.
He was born April 21, 1927, in Waukon, Iowa, to Jim and Nettie (Riley) Marsden.
He attended the Elk Country School through the eighth grade.
To help the family, he went to North Dakota to work during harvest time and also held jobs in Waterloo at Charberlin Factory, Rath Meat Packing Plant and on the pipeline in Minnesota. Shortly before World War II ended Mike joined the Navy where he did his basic training in San Diego.
In 1947 he married LaVaughn Nerstad at the Scheie Lutheran Church in rural Mabel.
The couple moved to the farm near Choice in 1948 where he lived the rest of his life.
They have three living children, Danny, Debbie and Lisa. He enjoyed and loved his family very much. He was proud of each and every one of them. LaVaughn died July 24, 2009.
He loved working the land and raising his animals. Besides farming, he always had another full time job which included working for the city of Mabel in the maintenance and police departments, Armor Fertilizer Plant in Winona, construction, Farmers Union, Triple F Feeds and manager/bartender of Mabel Liquor Store.
He has been a member of Scheie Lutheran Church for his entire married life. He was on the Scheie Cemetery and Choice Community Cemetery Boards for many years. He was proud to be an American and was a member of the American Legion for over 50 years and the DFL political party.
He loved to play softball with one of the teams being the Tawney Aces. He also enjoyed dancing, fishing and hunting, playing cards, golfing, talking to people and simply loved life and having fun. He liked a challenge and is most notably known for carrying a quarter of beef nine miles from Mabel to the farm in torrential rains back in 1962.
He is survived by three children, Danny (Linda) of Mabel, Debbie of Rochester and Lisa (Bob) Ruehmann of Kasson; seven grandchildren, Amy (Dave) Norby, Paula (Scott) Hicks, Jon (Tanya Kidder) Marsden, Taylor (Jennifer) Marsden, Danielle (Ryan) Newman, Chandler (Casey) Ruehmann and Cameron Ruehmann; great-grandchildren, Abbey and Brooke Norby, Carter Hicks, Mallory Marsden, Hailey Marsden, Kolton Marsden, Anna Uhrhammer, Brody Marsden and Blake Marsden; great-great-grandchild, Bentzen Michael Cline; brother, Jack Marsden of Waukon and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife, LaVaughn; a stillborn baby girl; great-granddaughter, Riley Norby; his siblings, Mary (Pat) O’Malley, Bob (Shirley) Marsden and Betty Ernst and sister-in-laws, Elvina (Perlind) Olson, Eunice (Allen) Johnson and Phyllis Marsden.
Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 2, at the Scheie Lutheran Church in rural Mabel with the Rev. Mary Waudby officiating. He will be buried in the Choice Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.