John Dexter
John Dexter

Obituary of John W. Dexter

Born October 11, 1925 in Pentoga, MI to William and Lena (Briggs) Dexter. John spent his childhood in several Upper Peninsula Michigan towns including Pentoga and Watersmeet then graduated high school in Iron Mountain, MI. John served in the U.S. Army during WWII in the Philippines and Occupied Japan. Upon returning, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill attending Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis, MN and then college at Concordia in Moorhead, MN. While at L.B.I., he met and began courting Eileen Lund of Bemidji, MN and they married in Moorhead in June of 1952. John graduated Cum Laude from Concordia in 1954 with a major in History and a minor in Philosophy. After graduation, John and Eileen took up permanent residence in Duluth, MN, where they raised a family of five children. John worked for the Duluth Lighthouse for the Blind in several capacities and later for the State of Minnesota D.V.R. as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. He retired in 1986 after many years of service to other people. John was a prolific reader and collector of books. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, camper, and a craftsman at metal, wood and gun smithing. He acquired many fine tools and abilities that he then passed on to his children and grandchildren. John would always have a topic of interest to talk about whether it was tying flies for fishing, ancient history or perhaps the finer techniques of tempering steel. He also had numerous hobbies and avocations. He enjoyed his time with the Lakehead Harvest Reunion members. He was adept at tinkering, always had irons-in-the-fire, several half-vast projects and was a Grand Master with epoxy glue. He liked cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and bicycling. After retiring, John took up golf. He was proud of his hole-in-one while golfing with friends at Lester Park Golf Course. In his later years, John researched and wrote about his family history leaving a wonderful written legacy. John was a connoisseur of tea. He was fond of lutefisk and especially cheeses, often without any regard for the olfactory senses of those nearby. A life of Faith was very important to John. He was a very involved past member of Arnold and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and was an active Charter Member of New Life Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Duluth. John was preceded in death by his parents William and Appolonia (Lena) of Norway, MI, sister Bethel and brother-in-law Victor Wallner of Kingsford, MI. and daughter-in-law Denise (Johnson) of Duluth. John is survived by his dear and loving wife of more than 66 years; Eileen, children; Daniel (fiance Paula), Carol (William) Hall, David (Kathleen), Mark (Susan), James (Kathryn); 11 grandchildren; Michael (Sara) Hall, Jessica, Melissa Hall, Kristina, Steven, Luke (Tina), Eric, Nathan (Cassandra Quam), Matthew, Alison and Kaitlyn; 6 great grandchildren; sister-in-law Joyce Lund; and nephew Paul (Iris) Wallner, of Kingsford. The family would like to thank the many care-givers at Essentia Health and Diamond Willow (Lester Park) for all that they did to heal and comfort John as age began to win the battle. Funeral Service and Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on August 18, 2018 at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd 1325 North 45th Ave East Duluth, MN. Visitation at 10:00am. Military Honors by Duluth Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, memorials to either New Life Lutheran Church or Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd. Please leave a memory of John or words of support for his family at
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Bell Brothers Jarvi Dowd Funeral Home
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