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January 30, 2023

1/9/2023 8:36:00 AM
Service of Remembrance for Einar Birkelo to be held Jan. 16 in Bloomington

Einar P. Birkelo of Bloomington, 95, died of natural causes on Dec. 18, 2022 at Eventide Sheyenne Crossing Care Center in West Fargo, North Dakota.
He was born on Nov. 16, 1927, the first born child to Rolf C. and Julia Drozda Birkelo, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Einar graduated from high school in Rochester in 1944, followed by service to the United States Army with a tour in Japan during WWII.
He married D. LaVon Podein on Sept. 3, 1949; they celebrated 66 years of marriage. Continuing with education, he graduated from St. Olaf College in 1950, with a degree in chemistry, and accepted a job as a chemist at Rayette, Inc. It was here that he worked with the development team and helped create the ever popular hairspray - Aqua Net. In Einar's career, he was an entrepreneuer with a decade in a specialized packaging company and an inventor of cleaning products out of his garage. Following his endeavors with the packaging company, he entered a brief period of retirement. After that, Einar joined the labor force once again, with CGI around December of 1977, and remained active with product innovation at some level until 2020. In March of 2020, Einar moved from his original home purchased in 1952 to live with Justin, leaving behind treasured neighbors, deep-rooted friendships, and a loving church family.
In personal time, he and LaVon valued their summers at the cabin purchased in 1960. It was a place to "getaway" on most weekends. Einar spent his free time fishing the lake, cleaning the fish, eating the fish, and relaxing outside in his chaise lounge chair taking in the view of the lake "while sleeping." Cherished memories at the cabin were made with family and the neighbors that became lifelong friends. His determination and love for the lake and island residents kept him returning into his 90's.
Beyond his career and the lake, Einar enjoyed golfing with friends while at Rayette. He also served on the church council at what is now St. Paul-Reformation, and he and LaVon were members of the church's His and Her Club where they met up monthly with the couples for dancing, cards, and member-hosted dinners. Later at Grace Lutheran Church, Einar also served on the council. For many years, Einar and LaVon served as Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at Martin Luther Manor in Bloomington. Attending and enjoying every holiday Lutefisk meal in the area, loving his Starbucks coffee time, and walking with his special group of friends at the Galleria Mall were highlights of his days. As a dedicated father and grandfather, he was always attending any celebration and sporting event possible. Whether it was his own family playing or professional sports, he was always sharp on remembering the scores and plays. To know Einar was to appreciate he was forever testing something with his basis of chemistry. From bottles of solutions, leather samples in the sun, to the effects of Diet Coke, he never let hypothesis go untested.
Einar was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, LaVon; and brothers, Edward, Harry, and Ralph. Survivors include his daughter, Brenda (Dave) Swanson; sons, Eivind and Justin (Tari); six grandchildren, Jason (Katie), Kjersten (Noah), Ethan (Rosy), Cale, Bjorn, and Anika; five great-grandchildren, Lochlan, Vance, Kai, Crosby, and Lilly; siblings, Gladys Skogland, Carol Mann and Jim Birkelo.
A Service of Remembrance will be held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2023 at Grace Lutheran Church, 8700 Old Cedar Ave. S. in Bloomington. Lunch will follow the service.
Interment will be held at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartvile at a future date.
Memorials may be made to the Einar P. and D. LaVon Birkelo Endowment Fund at St. Olaf Collage, 1520 St. Olaf Ave., Northfield, MN 55057.

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