ERLING MILTON SEVERTSON was born on December 28, 1931 to Bernhard and Sena (Anderson) Severtson on the family farm near Kenneth, Minnesota. He was baptized and confirmed at Kenneth Lutheran Church in Kenneth. He was raised and helped out on the family farm south of Kenneth. He enjoyed caring for the animals and loved his two horses, Haze and Spot. Erling attended school in Kenneth and then Augustana Academy in Canton, South Dakota. Following high school, he then attended school at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for two years before being drafted into the United States Army. Erling honorably served his country from 1953 until 1955 as a Military Police officer in Germany, attaining the rank of Corporal. Upon his return, Erling finished his schooling and graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota in 1957 with a degree in animal husbandry. He then returned to the farm and continued in his lifelong passion of farming. On April 4, 1959 Erling was united in marriage to Roberta Zehe at Kenneth Lutheran Church. The couple made their home on the family farm north of Kenneth and were blessed with four daughters.
Erling was a lifetime member of Kenneth Lutheran Church where he was active in council and was a faithful member until its closing on June 28, 2015. He then became a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Hardwick, Minnesota. He was also a member of the Kenneth Cemetery Association and served in the past as its president. As farming was his passion, Erling belonged to the Rock County Cattleman’s Association and was especially proud of his Black Angus cattle. In addition to enjoying crop farming, Erling also enjoyed raising his cattle and hogs. He was active with his daughters’ 4-H animal exhibits and loved being able to share his passion for farming with the next generation of farmers.
He had an incredible work ethic and he was proud that this trait was instilled in his four daughters. In addition to his passion for farming, Erling loved spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He enjoyed snowmobiling, memories made at the lake cabin, get-togethers with his Augustana Academy friends, and food – especially lefse and lutefisk. His humbleness will be remembered by his family, along with recalling his favorite phrase, “uff da”. Even though Erling appeared to be a serious Norwegian, those who knew him enjoyed his funny sense of humor.
On Monday, April 6, 2020, while residing at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, Erling went to be with his Lord at the age of 88 years, three months and eight days.
Erling is survived by his wife of 61 years, Roberta of Luverne, Minnesota; four daughters, Valora (Richard) Putnam of Blaine, Minnesota, Janelle (Douglas) Halverson of Rochester, Minnesota, Sherilyn (Wes Grieme) of Valley Springs, South Dakota, and Kristin (Dale) Schiferl of Elk Mound, Wisconsin; 11 grandchildren, Alex Putnam, Lauren Putnam, Courtney Putnam, Calvin Halverson, Dayton Halverson, Bryan Halverson, Parker Grieme, Gabrielle Grieme, Tarynn Grieme, Kaitlin Schiferl and Aidan Schiferl; and a host of cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sena and Bernard Severtson; and three siblings, Marian Johnson, Arlyn Severtson and Luther Severtson.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Kenneth Cemetery Association (375 Central Ave, Kenneth, MN 56147) or Global Eye Mission (16526 W. 78th St.; #316, Eden Prairie, MN 55346).