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Wendell Vlasin

July 26, 1926-Oct. 26, 2008

Wendell D. Vlasin, 82, of Mahnomen, died Sunday, October 26, 2008, in his home.

Wendell Dale Vlasin was born the youngest son of John and Grace (Seebart) Vlasin on July 26, 1926, in Rolette, N.D. He moved with his family to St. John, N.D., where he grew up and graduated from high school.

Following high school, Wendell enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps, where he served as a cryptographer in Europe and North Africa. After an honorable discharge in 1946, Wendell furthered his education. He attended Minot State University for two years, and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in journalism.

While attending college, Wendell was an active member of the Sigma Delta Chi (Journalism Fraternity), Phi Alpha Theta (National History Society), and the Phi Beta Kappa (National Scholarship Society).

In 1951, Wendell moved to Mahnomen, where he worked for numerous years as the editor of the Mahnomen Pioneer. He was a dynamic influence on the area Boy Scouts, as he helped seven individuals obtain the rank of Eagle Scout: Lowell Hanson, James Langemo, Donald Nelson, Robert Hanson, Albert Dentz, Mark Goldsmith and Robert Withrow.

Wendell also kept very busy with the Mahnomen Indian athletics. He kept both football and basketball statistics, and also handled news releases for area football and boys and girls basketball conferences for many years. Wendell was proud to say he was the keeper of the Mahnomen High School football game charts from the sidelines for 410-plus games, and had the unique experience of being on the sideline and keeping stats at five Mahnomen State Football Championship games: 1980, 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993.

Wendell was a member of Isaacson-Bjorge American Legion Post No. 31, and founded the Mahnomen Quarterback Club. In 1971, he was named to the Minnesota Football Coaches Association's Football Hall of Fame.

Wendell will be greatly missed by all who had the experience of knowing him. He is survived by two brothers, Maurice Vlasin of Katy, Texas, and Bernard (Ruth) Vlasin of Oak Hill, Fla.; as well as two sisters in-law, Lois Vlasin of Glyndon, Minn., and Norma Byrd of Minot, N.D., along with several nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death are his parents and two brothers, Duane and Merwin.

A time of gathering took place on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Mahnomen Public School Gymnasium.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Anderson-Mattson Funeral Home of Mahnomen and Winger, Minn. An online guest book is available at