David Eugene Torgerson, 94, of Clinton, Minn., passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Fairway View Neighborhoods in Ortonville, Minn.
David was born at the family farm home on Feb. 1, 1929, in Watson, Minn., to parents Aane and Dolores (Russell) Torgerson. He was the fourth of seven children. He was baptized and confirmed at Watson Lutheran Church. He attended school through the eighth grade at the Watson public school and graduated in 1947 from Montevideo High School. While in high school, Dave worked for area farmers and at the Watson Journal newspaper. He also worked for a short time in Florida prior to enlisting in the U.S. Air Force.
While in the Air Force, he was stationed in Massachusetts at Westover Air Force Base, then was stationed in the Philippine Islands for two years. Dave was involved in a mapping squadron for Korea, and he was also fortunate in being able to enjoy his love of fastpitch softball with Air Force teams in the Philippines. He spent his final year at Ellsworth Air Base near Rapid City, S.D., where he was honorably discharged in 1954. He then returned to Watson and purchased the Journal.
Dave married Lois Hanson on April 23, 1955, at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Montevideo. Lois joined Dave at the Watson Journal, which they owned and operated until 1960 when they moved for a short time to Redwood Falls, where Dave was a staff member of the Redwood Gazette. In 1961, they moved to Clinton, when they purchased the Clinton Advocate. In 1965, they sold the Advocate to Lem and Jim Kaercher, who owned the Graceville Enterprise and the Ortonville Independent. At that point they became co-editors of the newly formed newspaper The Northern Star, serving the north end of Big Stone County. Dave was inducted into the Half Century Club for the Minnesota Newspaper Association in 2000. Dave and Lois also spent many years volunteering at the newspaper museum at the Minnesota State Fair. While working as editor, Dave was also a substitute rural mail carrier for Clinton, and eventually became a full-time carrier while continuing to be involved with the newspaper. Upon retirement from the postal service, he was elected as a Big Stone County commissioner. David also was a sales representative for Rausch Brothers Granite Company for many years.
David was proud to be from Clinton and Big Stone County. He served on the Clinton City Council and was mayor of Clinton for several years. In his leadership capacity, he was on several boards including the Minnesota Private Industry Council, Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission, Minnesota Heart Association as the Heart Fund chairman, Governor Perpich’s National Guard Committee and the Big Stone County DFL.
Dave was also a member of the Clinton American Legion, serving as commander for several years, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Clinton Commercial Club, Clinton Men’s Card Club, Chatauqua Concert Association, Clinton Firemen, Clinton Cemetery Board, Clinton Community Clinic, Inc. Board and the Holy Trinity Hospital Board.
Dave’s love of sports provided much entertainment and family time. He was a well-known fastpitch softball pitcher and in 1986 was inducted into the Minnesota Softball Hall of Fame. He was also honored to be named to the Big Stone Fastpitch Hall of Fame. He enjoyed being able to play softball with all three of his sons on his team. He loved following local and Minnesota sports teams, and was a proud father and grandfather who hardly missed a game, musical, concert or other activity of his children and grandchildren. Dave also enjoyed pool league, softball teams and golf leagues.
Dave and Lois had many great times with their “bowling group” and socializing around the kitchen table with friends! Also known as “Handy Dad,” he and some of his good buddies were great at fixing things.
David is survived by his wife of nearly 67 years, Lois; their children: Denese (Todd) Gustafson of Clinton; Mark (Cindy) Torgerson of Morris; Dale (Beth) Torgerson of Sunburg; Janine (Jim) Teske of Clinton; daughter-in-law Heidi Torgerson of Clinton; grandchildren Jason (Jen) Gustafson, Jeremy (Regena) Gustafson, Lindsee (Jim) Ringsaker, Jacob Torgerson, Mitchell (Ariel Garvey) Torgerson, Rachel (Nick) Lahlum, Anna (Jonathan Munstertieger) Torgerson, Samantha (Adam) Fischbach, Matthew (Kelsey) Torgerson, Maxwell (Samantha) Torgerson, Tanner (Julie Drobny) Teske, and Tori Teske; great-grandchildren Shayni, Reese, Everlie, Ellesyn, Griffin, Blakely, Piper, Lola, Maci, Briggs, Gwen, and Orrin; step-grandchildren: Cody (Amber Landowski) Ringsaker and Dustin (Kelsey Nelson) Ringsaker; and step-great- grandchildren: Reagan and Casper. He is also survived by daughter, Cindy (David) Stansfield and her family, his sisters-in-law Mary Ann Torgerson and Amelia Hanson; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by son, Eric; parents: Aane and Dolores Torgerson; siblings and in-laws: Robert (Virginia), Dean (LaVonne), John Paul, Lowell (Lina), Phyllis (Charles), Joan (Allen); in-laws: Clarence and Marian Hanson; sister-in-law, Kathryn; and brother-in-law, Terry.
David's family suggests memorials be given to hospice or a charity of your choice.