April 21, 2024

Rolland James Hanstad

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Rolland James Hanstad, 94, of Fergus Falls, MN passed away March 11, 2023 at Pioneer Care Center with family by his side. 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 14, 2023, at Olson Funeral Home Chapel in Fergus Falls, with visitation one-hour prior to the service. Clergy: Jerry Peterson, SAM and Reverend Kate Bruns. Interment at Aastad Cemetery, Fergus Falls, MN.

He was born on November 18, 1928 in Flint, MI to Leonard and Florence (Olson) Hanstad. At two years of age, the family moved to a small dairy farm in Aurdal Township. From there, he would walk two miles to and from school at rural District #80 where he completed grades 1-8. 

Rolland continued to work on the farm helping his dad and neighbors. As a young adult his parents bought a farm in Tumuli Township where he met the love of his life, Joyrene Melaas. They wed on his birthday November 18, 1950. Rolland was enlisted in the Army National Guard and was called into service in January 1951. Rolland and Joyrene spent 15 months at Camp Rucker in Alabama. After his service was completed, they returned to the farm that brought them together and lovingly raised four children. 

As a dairy farmer for many years, the days started early and there was always work to be done. He enjoyed the small farm community, sharing farming equipment with neighbors and working together to get the field work done. Though sometimes farm work can be a lonely chore, Rolland always had a trusty dog by his side – following him in the field, riding in the tractor, or waiting for him in the Jeep.

Over the years, Rolland enjoyed hunting, trapping, and fishing. He loved spending time in the woods harvesting trees for firewood. As the years went on, his real passion was gardening. He would spend time planning and planting a large garden every year, sharing his harvest with family, neighbors, and friends. 

Rolland loved his ever-growing family. He took pride in spoiling his grandchildren, even purchasing them a horse. As the grandchildren grew in numbers, so did the number of horses on the farm. One of Rolland’s best traits was being able to make you smile or laugh – he always had a funny joke to share. 

Rolland was a member of Aastad Lutheran Church serving on the Church Council over the years. He was also active in the Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen’s Association. When his workload lightened, he took pleasure in gathering with the guys at Big Chief for morning coffee/tea and great conversation. 

For 70 years, he had his devoted love by his side. He deeply grieved her passing and longed to put his arms around her again.

Survivors include four children, Jeffrey (Linda) Hanstad of Fergus Falls, Jann (Dale) Peterson of Fergus Falls, Jerry (Susan) Hanstad of Dalton, and Jay Hanstad of Fergus Falls; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth (Dan) Johnson of Fergus Falls, Samantha (Jason) Batzlaff of Fergus Falls, Trevor Hanstad of Litchville, ND, Dustin Hanstad of Dalton, Michelle (Jason) Braaten of Ottertail, Sabrina (Seth) Prime of St. Louis, MO, and Dorie (Dan) Martinson of Ashby; 13 great-grandchildren, Cody Jennen, Emmerson Johnson, Sydney, Cooper, and Max Batzlaff, Hunter, Gunner, and Rylie Hanstad, Brandt Patton, Roland Braaten, Athene and Tove Prime, and Colton and Addison Martinson; a sister, Lola Royer; and a sister-in-law, Ona Hanstad; along with their families, a number of cousins, and his Cherry Wood family. 

Preceding him in death were his wife, Joyrene; his parents; infant great-granddaughter, Nora Martinson; brother, Leon Hanstad; brothers-in-law, Sergy Owczynsky, Les Royer, and Gary VandeLinde; stepfather, Leonard Anderson; and parents-in-law, Palmer and Edna Melaas.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Aastad Lutheran Church or PioneerCare Foundation in Fergus Falls, MN.

Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls. Online condolences may be sent to www.olsonfuneralhome.com.

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