Richard Minkel

Obituary of Richard Minkel

Richard Minkel, age 90, of Bird Island, MN died on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Parkview Senior Home in Belview. A public visitation will be Tuesday, September 28th from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Bird Island. A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1:15 p.m. with Rev. George Schmit as celebrant. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Military rites will be by the Bird Island and Olivia American Legion. Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.

On Thursday, September 23rd, local tile line Surveyor Richard Minkel applied for a new position of Lead Surveyor in the Kingdom.  The interview for the position was very short and was as follows, “Do you believe”.  Richard’s quick response was, “Yes Lord, I do”.  With that, the interview process was over and he was brought into his new position and his new eternal home.  Mortality took on immortality and the gentle hand of his angelic guardian, who has been with him since his birth, guided him gracefully to his new home.  Upon his arrival to his new home, there was great rejoicing as old friends and family members joined together in a great reunion celebration.  Richard didn’t get any details about his new position where he would be serving but he wasn’t worried about that at all but because his old boss and his new boss are one the same; the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  Richard also wasn’t concerned about the pay he would be receiving as the streets outside of his new home were paved with gold.

Richard Warner Minkel was born on December 3rd 1930 at Osakis, the only child of a very poor farming family, Warner and Mabel [ Maiden Name: Osmundson ] Minkel.  Richard graduated from Brainerd High School in 1948 and joined the US Army in January 1951, completing basic training at Fort Benning, GA.  In July of 1952, he was transferred to the Korean Peninsula and was assigned to the 987th field artillery combat unit “A” battery on the east central front in an area that was known as the “Iron Triangle”, north of the 38th parallel.  In July of 1953, he was in the middle of the Battle of the Kumsong Salient which led to the signing of the armistice on July 27th. Richard left the army life in January 1954 with a rank of staff sergeant and then began his college education at Mankato State.  He graduated from Mankato State in June 1959 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Social Science.  He immediately took a teaching position at Bird Island High School where he would be the Math teacher until 1973.  Richard began tile line surveying as a side job in the spring of 1966 and made it his full-time occupation in June 1973.  In 1989, Richard and Joyce moved into their retirement home at 261 Dogwood but he would continue on with tile line surveying until his late 70s.  He will always be remembered as the old math teacher and tile line surveyor with remarkable number crunching skills by everyone in the county. 

Richard married Joyce Spinner on May 9th 1959 at the country church at Wilno.  Richard and Joyce would go on to have five children, Aaron, Eric, Zachary, Karl and Jacob.  In Bird Island, they raised their family and lived life together for 62 years, enduring many of life’s hardships and celebrating life’s victories. Richard’s favorite activities were always deer hunting in Wyoming and Minnesota and South Dakota pheasant hunting.  He was always eager to get out there and it would be hard to tell which he enjoyed more; the hunting or the story telling of the events.  One last thing to remember about Richard was his favorite meal, that being, pan fried walleye and hash browns; there was nothing better.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Warner and Mabel Minkel and his son, Eric.  He will be greatly missed by his family that still remain, his lovely wife Joyce and sons Aaron (Sheila), Zachary, Karl and Jacob (Alisha); daughter-in-law, Kim; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  He will also be missed by all the other lives in the community that his life touched.

It is sad to see Richard depart but this is not goodbye, but rather; we will see you soon and there will be another fantastic joy filled reunion when we embrace him once again.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Richard
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home
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