Orlin Windom, 91, Elbow Lake, died Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, in the same room, in the same home, in the same community in which he was born and was surrounded by his family at the time of his death.
Orlin considered himself a life-long resident of Elbow Lake. Except for a stint in the military and extended periods from home during the last several years of his life, he lived in Elbow Lake his entire life.
Orlin Conrad Windom was born May 6, 1919, to Oscar and Amanda (Peterson) Windom. He attended school in Elbow Lake through the eighth grade and, after that, aided his father in operating their small dairy farm on the northwest edge of Elbow Lake. His early life was impacted greatly by the death of his mother when he was only nine years old and by the Great Depression.
As a young man, he also started a successful flax straw baling operation, but the enterprise ended when he was drafted into the U. S. Army during World War II. He entered the military in 1945 and served in the Panama Canal until the end of the war. He was discharged as a T-5/Tech Sergeant.
After returning home he entered into farming, first alone, and eventually with his brother, Richard, on land in West Elbow Lake. Even while farming, Orlin continued to live in the family home in town.
Prior to going into the service, he had courted Violet Usher, whom he had first encountered on his milk route in Elbow Lake. They were married on December 3, 1949, in Minneapolis.
Orlin held other part-time jobs in the community through the years, often between fall harvest and spring planting. He worked as a bartender at several locations in town, but most often at the Hotel Bar. He also was very involved with Violet in operating the Hotel CafAC. for years.
He retired from farming, and Violet passed away in 1992, but he kept very busy working on his Massey-Harris tractors and tinkering with other projects around his home. He also kept busy assisting his daughter and her children in many ways. He loved to visit, especially to talk politics. He especially enjoyed long conversations with his life-long friend, neighbor and cousin, Robert Germundson.
Only old age and Alzheimer's Disease slowed him down and robbed him of his independence in the last years of his life. He spent the last year at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Fergus Falls. Prior to that, he often lived for extended periods with his oldest son.
He was a member of United Lutheran Church and the American Legion Post 321. For years, he was an officer in the Farmers Union.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, brothers Edwin and Richard Windom, and his cousin Robert Germundson.
Orlin is survived by his children Larry, and his wife Kathy, of Buffalo, Rick, and his wife Becky, of St. Peter, and Betty Windom-Kirsch of Fergus Falls; grandchildren Kris, Tina and Erik Windom, John and Melissa Windom, and Ryan, Amanda and Andrew Kirsch; and great-grandchildren Cossette, Dalton, Clayton, Hailie, Ryanna, Noah, Kira, and Jack.
Funeral Service: 1:00 pm Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, United Lutheran Church, Elbow Lake
Clergy: Rev. Matthew Rose
Burial: Ness Cemetery, Elbow Lake
Visitation: 3-5 pm Sunday at the Funeral Home; one hour before service at church