Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Roy Edstrom, 76, of Prior Lake, formerly of Austin, passed peacefully from this life on Jan. 15 after a long battle with cancer.
Roy was born in West Fargo, N.D. and served in the Army in West Germany during the Korean War.
When he returned to the United States, he graduated from Moorhead State Teacher’s College with a Masters Degree in Education and began a 35-year teaching career. For 33 of those years he taught art to elementary and middle school children in Austin. For a period of time from 1963 to the mid 1970s, “Mr. Ed.” taught art to every child attending Austin Public Schools. He loved to create, whether it was a perfectly turned piece of pottery, a hand-crafted wooden box or a whistle fashioned out of a piece of a willow tree. He was a life-long tinkerer and could repair almost any motor or piece of used machinery, frequently helping family, friends and neighbors with their repairs.
Raised during the Great Depression, he passed on his love of life and acceptance of what life handed you to all he met. Roy was Scoutmaster for Troop 204 in Austin where his sons were able to spend time learning outdoor skills and life lessons from their dad. Roy loved participating in life and in all kinds of sports. He played football and boxed when he was young and played fast pitch softball for many years including Church League in the 1970s when he pitched for St. Edwards. Two years in a row, he pitched six games in one day in the Detroit Lakes Fourth of July Tournament. He was Assistant Wrestling Coach at Austin High School for 16 years and continued to coach wrestling and softball until he retired.
For over three decades, he donated countless hours designing and building elaborate decorations for the St. Edwards Mardi Gras celebration.
Roy loved nature and for the past 30 years he and Gaye spent an increasing amount of time on tiny Indian Lake in Otter Tail County where the Kiwedening Estate was the home away from home for all those who loved to fish for “Old Nasty,” enjoy a paddle boat ride or just swap stories with Roy, the master story teller. At the cabin, Roy cooked maple syrup in the spring, together with Gaye hosted the annual family reunion in the summer and fished year-round.
We treasured Roy for as long as we knew him and his spirit will live on for as long as laughter, good-natured teasing and dedication to family are counted as virtues.
At the end, Roy was surrounded by his family to whom he had dedicated his life.
He is survived by Gaye, his wife of 53 years, his children, Keith (Deb), Ken Corey-Edstrom (Kim), Jeff (Sue), Don (Jill), Colleen Gardner (Rick), Mat (Leslie) and 12 grandchildren, Justin, Megen, Christina, Jessica, Travis, Tim, Heather, Steven, Emily, Ben, Nate and Alex. Roy was born in West Fargo, North Dakota and served in the Army in West Germany during the Korean War.
He was preceded in death by his Father, Carl and his Mother Isabelle (Betty).
A private celebration of life was held this past weekend and a memorial service is planned “Up North” on May 15.
Memorials preferred. Memories and stories about Roy can be shared at http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/royedstrom.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral Home in Prior Lake is in charge of arrangements.