April 21, 2024

Dayle Thomas DeFrance

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Dayle Thomas DeFrance, 88, of Barrett, passed away Sunday, February 4, 2024, at Rolling Hills Residence in Barrett, MN. A Funeral Service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 15, 2024, at Peace Lutheran Church, Barrett, with a visitation one hour prior. Pallbearers will be Dayle’s grandchildren. Burial at Peace Cemetery, rural Barrett.

Dayle was born August 6, 1935, on a farm site east of Barrett, to Rosella and Loren DeFrance. He graduated from Barrett High School in 1953, enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in South Korea until 1956, when he returned to the States and attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. He later enrolled at Minnesota-Duluth and Minnesota-Morris, but gave up his dream of becoming a P.E. teacher and football coach to concentrate on raising a family. On June 7, 1958, Beatrice Leraas and Dayle were married at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Lien Township, rural Barrett. He started work for his uncle, Ed Zimmerman, as a bulldozer operator; he also worked for Moen Brothers of Moorhead, Nelson Sand & Gravel, Strom Construction and Riley Brothers of Morris. In the winter months, he ran a payloader for MinnDak, loading sugar beets.

Bea and Dayle enjoyed traveling. They made numerous family trips to the Duluth area and the North Shore, as well as the Headwaters of the Mississippi. The trip they enjoyed most was a cruise to Alaska and British Columbia. Other trips included to San Diego, the Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Branson, Door County, Mount Rushmore and day trips around Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and North and South Dakota.

Dayle always enjoyed trying new things. He planted as many as two dozen apple trees, attempting to graft new apple varieties; he raised grapes and made wine. He built a kayak in his basement, remodeled their home in Barrett almost single-handedly and bought a Farmall B tractor that he had restored. He showed that in various tractor parades around the area.

Dayle was an avid sports fan of the Gophers, Vikings and Twins for many years. Despite work, he attended as many of his children’s sporting events as possible, and later those of his grandchildren.

Dayle is survived by his children, Craig of Mountain Lake, Brenda (Paul) Rozycki of Minneapolis, Carla (Charlie) Crosby of St. Joseph, Nathan of Minneapolis, and daughter-in-law Molly of North Branch; eight grandchildren: Jackie, Doug, Sage, Leif, River, Mason, Landon and Sara; five great-grandchildren, Kendall, Josie, Sully, Devin and Hallie Bea; and a brother Gerald.

Dayle is preceded in death by his wife Beatrice, youngest son Daniel, his parents, brothers Gary, Donald and Larry, and a sister Rose Marie.

Arrangements by Erickson-Smith Funeral Home of Elbow Lake.

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