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Ben Mikkelson

Funeral services for Ben Mikkelson of Hancock will be held Thursday, December 30, 2010 at 10:30 AM at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris, MN with Father Tim Baltes officiating. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 5 to 7 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday. He will be buried in St. Malachy Cemetery in Clontarf, MN.

Vincent John "Ben" Mikkelson, son of Hans and Rosilia (Daniel) Mikkelson, was the youngest of 10 children. He was born December 26, 1920 in Clontarf, Minnesota. Ben grew up in Clontarf and attended elementary school there. He graduated from Benson High School in 1938. Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Ben enlisted in the Army Air Corp. He served as a B-25 pilot in the Aleutian Islands and later flew "The Hump" in the China-Burma-India Theater. He ended his military service as a flight instructor for B-17 bombers. On April 26, 1944, while on military leave, he was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Brenden, in Benson, Minnesota. He achieved the rank of Captain before his discharge in 1945. Following his military service, Ben and Betty came home to Clontarf where Ben worked with his brother Clarence in the family business. In 1947 the couple moved to Hancock, where Ben opened and operated Mikkelson Implement for 23 years. Ben was very active in the community serving as mayor, councilman, fireman, school board member, and working with the Commercial Club, Housing Authority, and VFW. He loved to golf and was also an avid outdoorsman, enjoying both hunting and fishing. Lake vacations with his family were an annual event. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

Ben died on Monday, December 27, 2010 at his home in St. Louis Park, MN surrounded by his wife and family. He lived one day beyond his 90th birthday.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Mikkelson of St Louis Park; children Kathleen (John) Fitzgerald, Surprise, AZ, Barb (Ted) Deziel, Onamia, MN, Robert (Priz) Littleton, CO, Mary, Anoka, MN, and Anne (James) Johnson, Rochester, MN; 17 adoring grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one sister, Anna Mae Hackett; and many beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and five sisters.

Serving as pallbearers for the service are: Don Greiner, Gary Greiner, Larry Greiner, Jr, Aaron Jasperson, Jim Olinger and Andy Stellmacher. Honorary Pallbearers are: Zip Bell, Don Joos, Bill Myers and Noah Nohl. Linda Hodgson will serve as pianist for the service with Ken Hodgson serving as soloist/song leader. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.

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