Roger A. Birkeland

August 27, 1937 ~ May 30, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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A Funeral Service for Roger A. Birkeland of Baudette, MN will be held on Monday, June 5, 2023 at 11:00AM at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Baudette, MN. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will take place at Silver Creek Cemetery in Baudette. 

Roger Allen Birkeland, 85, passed away Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at the Warroad Senior Living Center.

He was born August 27, 1937, the second oldest of five children, to Herman and Ruth Birkeland in Minneapolis. He graduated from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School in 1955 and soon after joined the U.S. Air Force. 

While serving in the Air Force, and later for General Electric and as a U. S. Civil Service employee, he made lasting friendships with those he worked with. 

While working for GE in 1961, he met a girl named Carol Rivard in the Baudette, MN, bowling alley. He liked bowling and he really liked Carol. She liked his crew cut and flashy new ’61 Oldsmobile. That led to a walk down the aisle in Dec. 1962 and 60 years of life together. They raised four kids and several family dogs, including Buddy, Ginger, Frosty, and Ruby. They enjoyed sports, fishing, hunting, and a “cabin by the creek” that became their full-time home after moving back to Baudette (again) upon retirement. 

The last 13 years of their walk included a long journey with Lewy Body Dementia. 

He enjoyed much of his adult life in Baudette, his adopted hometown. He worked at the U.S. Air Force Base when he met Carol in the early ‘60s, and after five years working in numerous cities across the country with GE, the young couple moved back to Baudette in 1966. By that time, they had daughter Lynn, and son Mike. Sons, Steve and Brent, joined the family while living in Baudette until the base closed in 1979. 

His final job took him to Duluth, MN, where he retired from his career as a civil servant with the National Weather Service in April 1995. Roger and family lived in nearby Proctor, where many wonderful friends still reside.

While living in Baudette during the ‘70’s he coached youth hockey starting with the mites, then Squirts, followed by the Pee Wees. These were some of his most enjoyable times – teaching dozens of boys how to skate, pass, forecheck, and backcheck! His vocal approach at practice and on the bench remain seared into the minds of the boys – who went on to win a fair share of big games back in the day! 

He was also a member of the First Lutheran Church in Baudette and sang in their choir for many years. Faith in Christ was a quiet, but important, part of his life.

After moving back to Baudette for the third and final time, he finished the family cabin along the Silver Creek, near Carol’s home place. As his family grew, he cherished memories made during Christmas gatherings and summer get togethers that included ultra-competitive yard games, cribbage matches, and golf tournaments; along with bonfires, fishing on Lake of the Woods, and hunting for deer, grouse (and more than a few squirrels!).

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Don. He is survived by wife Carol, daughter Lynn (Curtis Webb), sons Mike (Wendy), Steve, and Brent (Danielle); and grandchildren Nicole (Teagan Funk), Austin Webb; Derek, Sarah, and Adam Birkeland; Cameron and Shane Birkeland; great-granddaughter Lainey Funk; brother Curtis (Edie), and sisters Joyce (Gordon Hansen), Lois Erickson, and sister-in-law (Karen Birkeland).  

The family expresses deep appreciation to the Warroad Senior Living Center staff for their care and support over the past year.

A memorial service will be held Monday, June 5th at 11a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Baudette. Interment at the Silver Creek Cemetery, near Baudette, will follow the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the family of Roger Birkeland for donation to Lake of the Woods County Veterans Transportation Services, 902 25th Ave S.E., Baudette, Mn. 56623.


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Funeral Service
June 5, 2023

11:00 AM
Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1st St.
Baudette, MN 56623


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