Harold Forsberg, of Braham, passed away on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids. He was 90 years old.
MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the Braham Covenant Church with Rev. Steve Jennisch officiating.
MEMORIAL VISITATION will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.
INURNMENT will be held at 10:45 am on Friday, December 6, 2013 at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Harold Philip Forsberg was born July 31, 1923 at the home of his parents in Braham, Minnesota. He attended Braham High School, graduating in the class of 1940. Harold then entered the two-year Electrical Program at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, graduating in 1942.
On January 26, 1943, Harold was inducted into the United States Navy. He received his basic training at Farragut, Idaho. He was then sent to the Electricity Service School at Great Lakes, Illinois. He graduated first in his class and received the Admiral’s Commendation. He then went to the Naval Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, Virginia. While there, he received training on the electrical systems for Navy mine sweepers.
During WWII, Harold served on the USS Lake Champlain and was later stationed at Seeadler Harbor on Manus Island in the Admiralty Island chain. This base served as a staging and repair site for the invasion operations in New Guinea and the Philippines. He witnessed the explosion of the ammunition ship, USS Mount Hood, which killed 432 and wounded 371.
Harold was honorably discharged from the Navy on March 29, 1946 and returned to Braham where shortly thereafter he met Jean Hegman.
On the afternoon of September 18, 1948, Harold and Jean were married at the Braham Covenant Church by the Rev F. C. Duerre. They made their home in Braham where they raised their four children.
He worked with his father, L.A. Forsberg, drilling and repairing wells before he became a postal clerk in the Braham Post Office in 1948. In 1957, Harold became a rural mail carrier, serving each of the Braham rural routes until his retirement from the Post Office in 1986.
Harold was also a dedicated school bus driver for 34 years. He drove the Greeley route for 15 years and the Rush Point-Stanchfield route for 19 years. He especially enjoyed the daily interaction with all of the children. After his retirement, Harold was a longtime member of the Braham volunteer ambulance service and also worked for the funeral home in Braham.
Harold was a lifelong active member of the Braham Covenant Church. As an infant, he was baptized in the church. As a young adult, he was confirmed by the congregation. He served on the church board for many years and was a key member of the church’s expansion efforts in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was during this time that the current church was built along with a new parsonage. Harold was a leader for both of these efforts serving on both building committees.
Harold was proud of his 100-percent Swedish heritage. His great-grandfather John Forsberg and family arrived in Isanti County in 1868, settling along the Rum River just west of Cambridge. A trip to Sweden in 1989 was especially meaningful to Harold as he was able to visit his Swedish relatives as well as the homesteads of many of his ancestors.
Harold was a lifelong baseball fan. Following his return from WWII he joined the fledgling Braham baseball town team in the late 1940’s, playing with them through their glory days of winning the Minnesota State Class B Championship in 1957. Harold was a pitcher, outfielder, and solid hitter. One highlight for him was hitting the first home run over the newly built fence at the Braham field. He coached the church softball team and also lent his expertise to the neighborhood youth, repeatedly telling them to “keep your eye on the ball”.
He enjoyed the time he spent fishing, especially his trips with friends to Mille Lacs Lake to go “night fishing” for walleyes. In his retirement, he also enjoyed playing golf.
Harold will be remembered by friends and family as a man who was always willing to help others. He generously offered his handyman skills to help many people over his 80-plus years of living in Braham.
He always enjoyed visiting with people and truly had the “gift of gab”. When traveling, he was able to strike up a conversation with nearly anyone and often came back to report that he had found someone with connections to Isanti County.
Harold loved dogs. He had many over the years and felt that they were the finest of friends. He would often share part of his sandwich with the dogs waiting loyally for him along his mail route each day. One of his last requests was for a dog to come and lie beside him.
He was playful by nature and was happiest when in the presence of his grandchildren. Together, they enjoyed swimming, going to the waterslides, and riding the tractor or snowmobile in the field behind their house. In spring and summer, they would go to pick Mayflowers or to pick strawberries. They laughed together and teased him that he ate far more berries than landed in his pail. His grandchildren fondly remember playfully wrestling with him on the family room floor and sitting with him as he would read to them from the “funny papers”. They spent winter evenings playing Monopoly or Sorry and making popcorn on the stove.
Harold was a gentle soul who walked humbly with the Lord. His lifelong faith and unwavering belief in the eternal were part of the fabric of his life. Each of his children has fond memories of him singing his favorite hymns while working around the house.
Harold and Jean lived for over fifty years in the home that they built in 1956, just south of Braham. In 2007, they moved to Mill Ridge Apartments in Cambridge.
Harold passed away on November 30, 2013. He is preceded in death by his parents, L.A. (Albin) and Nancy Forsberg, his brother Floyd Forsberg, and his sister Ruby Oberg.
Harold is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Jean Forsberg. He is also survived by son, Gary Forsberg (Dawn) of Plymouth, Minnesota; son, Ronald Forsberg (Laura) of Sandpoint, Idaho; daughter, Nancy Dorman (Jeff) of Centerville, Minnesota; and son, Steven Forsberg (Roxane) of Plymouth, Minnesota. His six grandchildren are David and Julie Forsberg, Sarah and Amy Dorman, and Thomas and Michael Forsberg.
Memorial Service was held on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at Braham Evangelical Covenant Church in Braham with Rev. Steve Jennisch officiating. Music was provided by John Swanson and Sharon Hohn. Honorary Urn Bearers were Harold’s grandchildren. Inurnment was at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Arrangements by Rock-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Braham.