Johnnie Helmer Kvendru, 101, of Belview, passed away Thursday, October 18, 2012 at the Parkview Manor in Belview. Funeral Service was held Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at Rock Dell Lutheran Church in rural Belview. Online condolences may be placed at www.sunsetfuneralassociation.com. The Sunset Funeral & Cremation Association of Echo and Wabasso handled the arrangements for the family.
Johnnie Helmer Kvendru was born June 2, 1911, to Halvor and Anna (Abrahamson) Kvendru on the family farm in Swedes Forest Township, Redwood County. He was baptized and confirmed at Rock Dell Evangelical Lutheran Church and attended School District #52.
He grew up in Swedes Forest Township until February 10, 1942, when he enlisted into the United States Navy in Houston, Texas. He was a Third Class gunners mate on the Merchant Marine Ships in the Persian Gulf during WWII. Upon his honorable discharge from the Navy November 9, 1945, Johnnie returned to the area and moved to a farm in the Sioux Agency Township.
On November 24, 1946, Johnnie was united in marriage to Clara Hegge at a parsonage in Granite Falls, and they made their home on the farm in the Sioux Agency Township.
He was a farmer his entire life putting in more than 63 years of work on the farm. Clara passed away July 30, 1970 in Rochester.
On June 3, 1972, Johnnie married Louise Schoeck Goetz at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Renville, and they continued to live on the farm until 1978, when they moved into Renville.
On September 15, 2002, Louise passed away and Johnnie continued to live in Renville until August 2006 when he moved into the Parkwood Apartments in Belview.
Johnnie was a lifelong member of Rock Dell Evangelical Lutheran Church where he was active as an elder and trustee. He also was active over the years with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Renville. He was a member of the American Legion and Farmers Union in Belview and was director of the Farmers Co-op Oil Company.
Johnnie enjoyed fishing, card playing, wood working, gardening, traveling to Alaska, Hawaii and Norway and spending time at his lake cabin on Lake Amelia.
Johnnie is survived by his three siblings, Adelaide Walseth of Echo, Glenn Kvendru of El Cajhon, Calif. and Arfield (Adella) Kvendru of Belview; stepson, Robert (Joyce) Goetz of Austin; step-grandchildren, John Goetz of Los Angeles, Calif. and Timothy (Ilia) Goetz of Breinigsville, Penn.; step-great-grandchildren, Adriana, Alexander and Andrew and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Johnnie’s parents, Halvor and Anna, spouses, Clara and Louise, two sisters, Alma Enger and Katherine Hagen and two brothers, Melvin and Harold Kvendru preceded him in death.
Blessed be the memory of Johnnie.