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In Memory of Harley Saathoff

Gathering of Family and Friends

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Friday September 11, 2020
O'Connell Family Funeral Home
520 11th Street South
Hudson WI, 54016

Harley Nelson Saathoff, age 85 of Hudson, Wisconsin passed away at his home, surrounded by family on August 31, 2020 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Harley was born on January 30, 1935 in Dempster, South Dakota to Gerhard and Verna (Nelson) Saathoff. He grew up in Estelline, South Dakota and graduated from Estelline High School in 1953. Harley served in the U.S. Army during the end of the Korean War and after as a Field Radio Repairman and Specialist. Upon his return to civilian life, Harley took classes and studied radio and television repair at night school. He was united in marriage to Joan Ostness on October 10, 1959 at Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls, Wisconsin. The couple were blessed with two children, Dennis and Gail. Harley worked for many years as a machine mechanic for the United States Postal Service.

Harley was a devoted husband, patient father, beloved grandpa, and a faithful servant of God. He enjoyed fishing and hunting for deer and turkeys around the Hudson area, and relished in memories of successful hunting trips to South Dakota for pheasants and ducks. Harley was fond of vegetable gardening and woodworking, and was the founder of the Valley Woodcarvers club, where he enjoyed being a mentor and teacher to other carvers. He was a member of Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, and made many of the wooden faith chests given to newly baptized congregation members. Harley had a good sense of humor, a creative mind, and held a positive attitude towards projects and challenges directed his way.

Harley will remain in the hearts of his wife of 60 years, Joan; children, Dennis (Cindy) Saathoff, and Gail (Stephen) Gerdts; grandchildren, Rachael (Andy) Edholm, Amber and Lydia Saathoff; Laura, Emily and Noah Gerdts; several nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister Lorna (Vernon) Pierce.

A gathering of family and friends to celebrate Harley’s life will be held from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 11th at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., Hudson, WI. Masks and appropriate social distancing are required at the funeral home. A private memorial service will be held. Interment at Greenwood Cemetery in River Falls. Memorials are preferred.

The family would like to thank Moments Hospice for the wonderful loving care.


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Harley's Tribute Wall

Tributes (4):

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    • Over the short period of time I have known Harley he was a Mentor, an Inspiration and a Dear Friend. You will be truly MISSED my FREIND !!!

    • Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Harley, a man blessed with a talent that he shared with so many and was much appreciated by all. May the wonderful memories of Harley provide the family with comfort and may God’s promises fill you with hope. Isaiah 26:19; John 5:28,29; Psalm 37:11, 29

    • Gail and Family
      So sorry to read of your father’s passing. May you memories bring you comfort, now and in the future.

      Deb Davenport

    • Sometimes in this life you’re blessed by knowing a man like Harley. We will miss his kindness, smile, and sense of humor.