Visitation4:00-7:00pm Friday, October 24 at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson
Funeral Services11:00am Saturday, October 25 at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson
Blest with 95 years of a life well-lived, Douglas Arnold Fyksen died on October 16, 2014 at Walker Methodist Care Center in Minneapolis, MN. During a 2008 interview with the Hudson Star-Observer for his 90th birthday he stated “all in all, it’s been a good life”. He died with simple, quiet courage just as he lived his life.
Douglas was born on October 22, 1918 in rural Hudson to Norwegian immigrants, Peter K. Fyksen and Karen (Dahl) Fyksen. Dr. J. E. Newton rode in a horse and buggy to their farmhouse and had the surprise of delivering triplet boys. Douglas was the youngest of the triplets and one of eleven siblings who are all deceased.
He attended Prairie Lawn School from 1925 through the eighth grade. The school was located on Stageline Road near the Charlie Ward Estate. He was fond of saying that after eighth grade “he graduated into the school of hard knocks”.
From 1936-1939 he worked as a firefighter and also planted trees for the Civilian Conservation Corp at Manitowish. On December 28, 1943, Douglas joined the United States Army and was sent to Louisiana and then to Australia. He was brought home for the remainder of the war following a serious injury from a shell explosion. As a civilian in 1945 Douglas was employed at a West St. Paul glider factory. The motor-less airplanes were used in the Normandy Invasion and elsewhere in World War II.
Women became an integral part of the factory workforce during the war. He met his future bride Betty Jane Dietz during their employment at the same factory. They were married on June 30, 1945, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN. Together they celebrated 69 years of marriage.
In 1955, the couple and their daughter Karen moved to Hudson. During the previous ten years, Douglas had worked at a variety of jobs in the St. Paul area and a poultry ranch in Afton, MN.
Douglas was a mail carrier for the Hudson Post Office for twenty-six years retiring on September 1, 1982. He was often recognized and sincerely appreciated by hundreds of Hudson residents for his friendly, honest, diligent, pet-loving and the “mail must go through” work ethic he consistently displayed during his tenure. The last twelve of his years at the post office he was a rural mail carrier. Douglas’ career is commemorated with pictures and newspaper articles surrounding a booth dedicated in his honor at the Postmark Grille in Hudson.
Douglas was a lifelong Lutheran. He was baptized at home and confirmed in 1934 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson. Regular attendance at Mt. Zion’s worship services and reading his Bible from cover to cover many times were an integral part of his life. This life of faith and love was a model for and a gift to his daughters. He faithfully served in various church arenas including singing in choirs using his beautiful tenor voice, teaching Sunday School, acting as Sunday School Superintendent, serving as a deacon, working the Food Pantry and joyfully attending Bible studies. He cared deeply for the church’s young people and they responded in kind. If he wasn’t in his 2nd pew side-aisle-seat on a Sunday, it gave Mt. Zion members reason to politely ask his whereabouts.
Douglas relished telling jokes and spreading good humor. He thoroughly enjoyed music ranging from the early Grand Ole Opry era to all things classical. He always loved and owned a quality violin teaching himself to play through unrelenting dedication and practice.
Douglas is survived by his loving wife Betty of Hudson, daughters Karen (David) Barber Loveland, Co, Laurie (Bill) Beise, Minneapolis, MN, grandchildren Timothy Barber, Loveland, CO, Andrew (Nora) Barber, Newberry Park, CA, and Olivia Beise, Isaiah Beise and Elsa Beise all of Minneapolis, MN and great-grandchildren Kaari Barber-von Bernuth, Longmont, CO and Christian and Ella Barber , Newberry Park, CA. He is also survived by in–laws Roland Dietz, Stillwater, MN, Shirley (Dietz) and Erv Stuhl, St. Paul, MN, Terry Dietz, Hudson, WI, Fran Hemmesch, Cottage Grove, MN, Mary Dietz, St. Paul, MN, Jean Dietz, Stillwater, MN and Ginny Fyksen, Eau Claire, WI, plus several nieces and nephews.
Douglas and Betty lived at 805 Vine Street for 57 years. Douglas was fond of saying that “everything is fine at 805 Vine”. But he did more than live at 805 Vine. Douglas lived on the vine – the vine of Jesus – and drew his life and his sustenance from the sweet and loving juice of Jesus his Savior. He blessed his family with patience, generosity, humor, a strong moral compass and always the parting words of “so long”, never good-bye.
Visitation will be at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Hudson, WI on Friday evening October 24, 2014 from 4-7pm, and 1 hour prior to services at church on Saturday morning. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00am on Saturday October 25, 2014 at the church. Memorials in Douglas’ name may be given to Mt. Zion Lutheran Church or to the discretion of the family.