Merald T. Enstad, 95, of Fergus FallsPublished 10:16am Wednesday, August 29, 2012 Updated 12:09pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Merald T. Enstad, 95, of Fergus Falls, died Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at PioneerCare Suites in Fergus Falls.
He was born July 23, 1917, at the family farm near Granite Falls. He attended rural school through sixth grade and graduated from high school in Granite Falls. After attending one year of business college, due to his father’s illness, it was necessary for him to return home to operate the family business.
In 1938, he became an agent for Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance. In 1941, he was transferred to Fergus Falls as a general agent.
On May 18, 1941, he married Jeanette Grimme in Granite Falls. In November of that year, he entered the U.S. Navy and served until he was honorably discharged in 1945.
They returned to Fergus Falls to make their home. He then became associated with Walter R. Olson in the insurance, real estate and mortgage loan business, which later became known as Enstad-Mann-Johnson Real Estate.
Merald was involved in several businesses over the years, including Northland Development, Ottertail Finance, Ulland Mortgage Company and vice chairman of the board of Security State Bank.
First Lutheran Church was a very important part of his life as well as for his family. He had been a long-time member of the choir, served on the church council and foundation board, as well as chairman of the finance committee for two building additions and the 125th anniversary committee in 1997.
In 1948, a longtime friend, Vernon Arneson, invited him to become a member of the Kiwanis Club of Fergus Falls, and for more than 64 years Kiwanis became a great part of his and his family’s lives.
In 1957 he was elected president of his club and in 1963, he was elected governor of the three state, Minnesota-Dakotas district and became a “Life Fellow” and a “Joseph E. Messer Fellow” of the district Foundation.
In 1973, he was first elected to the Kiwanis International board where he served for nine years and in 1980, was elected International President.
As president, he met with kings, ambassadors, presidents and other heads of state in his travels to 36 countries throughout the world.
International honors included the “Tablet of Honor,” life member of Kiwanis International, a “George F. Hixon Fellow,” of the International Foundation and “Life Fellow” of the Canadian Foundaion.
In addition to Kiwanis, he served on several boards in a leadership role locally, including the YMCA, Jaycees, PTA Council, Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Home Health Care, Mayor’s Citizens Advisory Committee, Community College Advisory Board, Otter Tail County Welfare Advisory Council, Fergus Falls Park Board and Oak Grove Cemetery Association.
On state-wide organizations his involvement included the “Minnesota Society for Crippled Children and Adults,” Minnesota Small Business Association advisory board and president of the Minnesota Association of Independent Insurance Agents.
In 1977, Merald was selected as one of the 10 most influential men of Fergus Falls.
In 1987, he was presented the Fergus Falls Award of Honor, which signifies the highest recognition from the Fergus Falls community of present or former residents of the area who have been influenced by the community in achieving in their fields of endeavor or volunteer service, thereby reflecting credit or honor upon the community and its citizens.
Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Oliver; two sisters, Mary Newman and Evie Larson and two children, Susan Alyce and Thomas William.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanette; a son, Richard (Nancy) Enstad of Eagan; a granddaughter, Jeanette (Timothy) Petersen and their children, Katelyn, Caleb, Sloanne and Sofia, of Fergus Falls.
His theme for his Kiwanis presidential year was “Take Time to Care.” In his address he challenged delegates: “Everyone of us have the same share of time. Look at your share and say: I must take time to eat, and I must take time to sleep, and I must take time to labor and after all of that is done I will have time to care.”
This week we would ask that instead of flowers in his honor you would do something that will last much longer — “Take Time To Care” and do it in honor of your dear friend Merald. We thank you for honoring him in this way — he would be so proud.
Visitation: Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., with a prayer service at 7 p.m., at the funeral home, and one hour prior to the service at the church
Service: 11 a.m. Friday, at First Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls
Clergy: Revs. Jennifer Rose, Saul Stensvaag and Harry Olson
Burial: Oak Grove Cemetery, Fergus Falls
Funeral Home: Olson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls
Condolences may be sent online to www.olsonfuneralhome.com