Allen Ray Stortroen, 67, a Crookston, MN native, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes at his home Saturday morning, July 29, 2023.
Allen was born on July 31, 1955 in Crookston, the 5th of 6 children of the union of Sidney H. and Lois Eva (Bennen) Stortroen. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church where he was a lifelong member and graduated from Central High School as a member of the Class of 1973. While in high school he worked part time at the local M & H service station. On April 15, 1978 Allen was united in marriage to his soul-mate and the love of his life, Mary Jane Jorgenson. The ceremony was held in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Warren, MN. Allen and Mary Jane made their home in Crookston and together raised their 3 children: Nicole, Tanya, and Travis in a very loving home. During his early years Allen was employed at various times with Red Owl in the Meat Department, Terra Chemical Company, American Crystal Sugar, and Burlington Northern Railroad. In 1980 he began his career with M & H, managing and supervising their convenience center and service station in Crookston; He transferred within the company to retail supervisor and then maintenance supervisor for all M & H stores; later transferring to the Grand Forks M & H Store as the manager. He retired in 2020 after a long and rewarding 40-year career as an integral part of the M & H company.
Allen was the family handyman, considered by them to be the master of all trades. He cherished every day he got to spend with Mary and the couple were inseparable, whether hunting, fishing, or camping at Stony Point Resort, near Cass Lake, MN for the last thirty years. He loved animals and over the years had several dogs including his most recent, his beloved Willow. She was always at his side and rarely let him out of her sight. Allen was the honorary “Coach” of the Minnesota Wild and rarely missed watching a game. He knew every single MN Wild player and their individual stats and could rehash a game and tell you what they were doing right, and what they were doing not so right. Winning the Stanley Cup was a longtime dream and perhaps he will get to celebrate with the team some day from Heaven.
Allen and Mary Jane were very proud of their family and spent a lifetime cheering on their many accomplishments. He loved getting stuffed animals from the “claw machines” and gifting them to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and any other kid who happened to be around. He enjoyed telling them stories of his hunting and fishing adventures, and while a few of those stories might have been whoppers, it didn’t matter. He was still re-elected every year Best Dad, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa (and Best Joke Teller).
Allen is survived by Mary Jane, his beloved partner and best friend for over 45 years; their 3 children: Nicole Nelson and husband, Brad, of Bagley, MN, Tanya Roppel and husband, Nathan, and Travis Stortroen and wife, Lynsie, all of Albert Lea, MN; 9 grandchildren: Lissette and Mercedes Aponte, Vinny Nelson, Haley and Grayson Roppel, and Libbie, Sofie, Josie, and Crosbie Stortroen; and great grandson, Jaxson Pitchford. Allen also leaves 4 siblings: Roger Stortroen of Watford City, ND, Ardean Renfrow of Crookston, MN, Loretta (Perry “Skip”) Nesdahl of Larimore, ND, and Julie (Greg) Tate of Crookston; and from Mary Jane’s side of the family: brother-in-law, Kermit Jorgenson of Roseau, MN; step-sister, Debbie Kujava and step-brother, Dennis Kujava, both of Badger, MN; and sister-in-law, Mary Jorgenson of Congress, AZ; as well as, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and their Stony Point family.
Allen is preceded in death by his parents, Sidney and Lois; brother, Keith Stortroen; and sister-in-law Carol Stortroen and from Mary Jane’s side of the family parents-in-law, Ray and Harriet Jorgenson; step-father, Frank Kujava; brothers-in-law, Jerald and Lyle Jorgenson; and infant sister-in-law, Shirley. Blessed be the memory of Allen Ray Stortroen.
The funeral service celebrating Allen’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 4, 2023, in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Crookston, with The Rev. Michael Ozaki, officiating. Visitation will be on Thursday from 5-7:00 p.m. in the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home, with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service and time of sharing led by Jo Johnson, who will also serve as eulogist at the funeral service. Visitation will continue at St. Paul’s for one hour prior to the funeral. Interment will follow in the Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston. All services will be livestreamed by going to Allen’s obituary page at www.stenshoelhouske.com and clicking on the prompt to view. Messages of condolence may be offered to Mary Jane and family on the funeral home website as well.