Melvin Stensland

August 24, 1923 - August 17, 2016


Visitation: Visitation with family present will be Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Shalom Lutheran Church.
Service: Funeral services will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 22 at Shalom Lutheran Church in Harrisburg.

Melvin Stensland Paper pia

           Melvin Lyle Stensland, age 92, died peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at Sanford Canton-Inwood Hospital. Funeral services will begin at 1:30 p.m. Monday, August 22 at Shalom Lutheran Church in Harrisburg.  Visitation with family present will be Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Shalom Lutheran Church.

             Melvin was born on August 24, 1923 on the family farm near Klondike, IA to Tobias and Inga (Ugland) Stensland.  He was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, rural Inwood, IA. He attended Klondike Country School.  He married Rose Marie Cox on February 12, 1949 in Luverne, MN.

            Melvin farmed near Klondike with his brother Orville before moving to his farm northwest of Canton in 1955.  Melvin loved farming and especially his old red Farmall tractors.  Due to aging and health issues, he retired from farming at age 79.  “Road farming” became his pastime, often seen in his pickup with his farm dog beside him.  Doctors appointments in Sioux Falls with a daughter or son as a chauffeur meant more fields could be “road farmed”.  To this day, he was able to continue his cattle operation with the help of his son Richard.

            Faith, family, and his Norwegian heritage were important to him.  He loved lefsa, potato dumplings, corn on the cob, watermelon, and Rosie’s cooking. At the age of 70 he had his first surprise birthday party. He also loved reading, especially farm journals and newspapers, and at the age of 90 got his first library card.  With his hearing loss it was easy to “get lost” in a good Western.

            Melvin and Rosie were members of Beaver Creek Lutheran Church where he served as treasurer and was on the church council.  When Beaver Creek Lutheran closed in 1978, they joined Shalom Lutheran Church in Harrisburg.  He also served on the Bailey District #6 country school board and was a member of the South Dakota Farmers Union.

            Grateful for sharing his life are his wife, Rosie; sons, Ronald, Sioux Falls, SD and Richard (Pam), Canton, SD; daughters, Becky Poss, Sioux Falls, SD and Sharon Skaien, Canton, SD; brothers, Marlo (Mickey) and Art (Rosie) all of Larchwood, IA; sister, Joyce (Ken) Claussen, Rock Valley, IA; grandchildren, Heather (Bill) Legel, Shawna (Tyler) Abbott, Waylon  (Amanda) Stensland, Ryan Stensland (fiancée Emily Williams), Mark (Beth) Poss II, and Matthew (Samantha) Poss; step- granddaughter, Toni Flores; 9 great-grandchildren; 2 step great-grandchildren; 2 godchildren, Loren Wallem and Lisa Stensland Larson; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Gloria Hamann and Alice Hars; brothers, Tillman, Joel, Orville, and Eddie; and son-in-law, David Skaien.

            In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Shalom Lutheran or the charity of your choice.

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One condolence has been left

  1. We are so sorry for Melvin no longer being with us.
    We will not make the funeral as I have an important
    doctor appointment I have been waiting 3 weeks for on that day
    and don’t want to miss it and wait again.
    Our prayers and thoughts are with your whole family.
    I really loved that fun guy and will sure miss him.
    Love to you all and hang in there.
    Arvene