Lester Mike Stradinger, 84, of Crookston, MN, passed away at his home early Sunday afternoon, August 1, 2021, under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley, and with members of his loving family at his bedside.
“Dinger,” as he was affectionately known to his family and friends throughout his life, was born in Dickinson, ND on June 12, 1937, the 11th of 13 children of the union of Carl and Rose (Hoffer) Stradinger. He grew up in Dickinson and graduated from Dickinson High School with the Class of 1955. He had enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard on January 18, 1954 while still in High School and served until his honorable discharge on December 31st, 1961. Dinger was united in marriage to Yvonne Kathleen “Vonnie” Oster on August 13, 1955 in Los Angeles, CA. In the coming years their marriage would be blessed by the births of Leslie, Debra, Brenda, Roberta, and Jeffrey. Sadly, Jeffrey passed away as an infant. Dinger, Vonnie, and their family lived in other parts of the country before settling in Crookston in 1961, where he had accepted a position as the furniture manager of the Gambles Store. He later began working as a bookkeeper and plumber for Sanders Plumbing and Heating. A few years after that Dinger went to work at Gust Swenson and Sons helping with sales and bookkeeping until 1977 when he started driving a truck and doing cement work for Strata Inc. Following a brief retirement he returned to Strata, working with good friend, Donny Swenson, until his final retirement in 2009.
Dinger was a loyal 59-year member and Past President of Crookston Eagles Aerie 873. He also held membership in Nels T. Wold American Legion Post #20 for 54 years and served the City of Crookston as Ward 1 Alderman for 8 years. He was a lifelong fisherman and hunter, and in later years came to love playing golf. If Dinger was passionate about one thing it was playing BINGO!
He was very proud of the family he and Vonnie had started so many years ago and loved each and every one with all his heart. Blessed be the memory of a wonderful and devoted husband, dad, grandpa, and great and great-great grandpa.
Dinger is survived by Vonnie, his wife and best friend for over 65 years; their 4 children: Leslie Stradinger-Flynn of Crookston, MN, Deb and Tom Gearou of Minnetonka, MN, Brenda “Bones” and Rick Bozyk of Crookston, and Roberta “Birdie” and Bryan Schipper of Mentor, MN; 7 grandchildren: Lisa Almhjeld of Crookston, Jeff (Yvonne) Almhjeld of Thief River Falls, MN, Jamie Bozyk of Crookston, Joe (Kristin) Bozyk of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Brett (Karli) Bozyk of Cottage Grove, MN, Abbey (Jordan) Machado of Crookston, and Ben (Breanna) Schipper of Crookston; 11 great-grandchildren: Kolton, Aibrey, Hunter, Aryelle, Noah, Ethan, Theodore, Ruth, Isley, Niève, Levi, and baby girl Bozyk due in October; and 2 great-great grandchildren, Tiarah and Zariyah. He also leaves 5 siblings: Betty Smith of Onamia, MN, Viola Caudle of Billings, MT, Richard (Jeanette) Stradinger of Rapid City, SD, Fred Stradinger of Boise, ID, and Margie Stradinger of Mandan, ND; a sister-in-law, Genevieve Stradinger of Bismarck, ND; a brother-in-law, Alex Stockert of Dickinson, ND; from Vonnie’s family, a sister-in-law, Linda Randell and husband, Dick, and brother-in-law, Jim Kovash and wife, Marge, of The Villages, FL; together with many nieces, nephews, other family members, and a host of friends.
He is now reunited in heaven with his infant son, Jeffrey Mike; son-in-law, Vince Flynn; parents, Carl and Rose; 7 siblings: Rose Ida Kilzer and husband, Walter, Robert Stradinger and wife, Pauline, Donald Stradinger, Evelyn Groll and husband, Ted, Harold Stradinger, June Stockert, and Jeanette Sagmiller and husband, Richard; 2 brothers-in-law, Roger Smith and Rod Caudle; sister-in-law, Donna Stradinger; and mother-in-law, Perpetchua (Pat) Kovash. .
A memorial service celebrating the life of Lester Stradinger will be held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, August 26, 2021, in the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with Pastor Jeff Brown, officiating. Visitation with the family will be from Noon until the time of the service. Inurnment will follow in the Oakdale Cemetery, Crookston. Military Honors will be provided by the Crookston Veterans Council and the MN National Guard Honors Team from Moorhead.
Online registry and messages of condolence may be made at www.stenshoelhouske.com
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