Dale O. Kriens

Dale O. Kriens, age 97, a longtime resident of rural Backus/Akeley (Badoura Township), peacefully passed away Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at the V.A. Medical Center in St. Cloud, MN.

Dale Kriens was born at home near Moneta, Iowa on December 29, 1922 to Gus & Hattie (Moeller) Kriens. Dale attended school in Ruthven and Spencer, Iowa, graduating from Spencer in 1941. While in school, he worked for three years operating the projectors at the movie theater in Spencer. Following graduation, Dale spent some time at his parent’s new home in Backus, MN, before traveling by motorcycle with his friend to Seattle, WA, where he was employed by Link Belt Corp.

Dale volunteered for the draft and entered the US Army on March 1, 1943, and was stationed at Fort Campbell, KY for training with the 20th Armored Division. In 1944 he transferred to Fort Benning, GA to attend Parachute School. He then served overseas with the 82nd Airborne Division in Europe (France, Belgium, Germany). He was honorably discharged March 1, 1946. Dale received many medals for his service, including the bronze star. In 2015 Dale received a military veteran Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Dale returned to the Backus, MN area and married Maybelle Winkelhorst where together they raised six children. Dale worked throughout the Midwest on highways and airport construction as an equipment operator and concrete foreman. He worked for Hallett Construction, Crosby, MN; Quad City Construction, Moline, IL; and Manatt’s Inc., Brooklyn Iowa. He retired in 1987.

Dale had great respect for the trees of Minnesota. In his lifetime, he planted thousands of trees on his properties, which stand tall today. In retirement, he enjoyed woodworking and mastered the art of carving birds, emphasis on the Minnesota Loon. He and Maybelle also enjoyed traveling by bus tour to many East Coast destinations.

Dale was also an avid reader and in his retirement years would often be found relaxing with a book, newspaper or magazine.

Dale is survived by wife, Maybelle; children, David (Roxanne) Kriens, Denise (David) Chase, Bruce (Robin) Kriens, Dennis (Lisa) Kriens, and Curtis (Kerry) Kriens; brother, Bernie (Loralee) Kriens; brother-in-law, Ron Walstrom; 14 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, 14 great-great grandchildren and 1 great-great-great grandchild. Dale was preceded in death by his son, Timothy Kriens; parents, Gus & Hattie Kriens; siblings, Shirley Walstrom, Kathleen Olson & Darrell Kriens.

A private family Funeral Service will be held on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 3:00 PM at the Cease Funeral Home in Park Rapids, MN. Private visitation will be held one hour prior at 2:00 PM. A Gravesite Burial Ceremony will be held Spring 2021 at the White Oak Cemetery at Chamberlain.

Arrangements by the Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids. Friends may leave online condolences at In lieu of flowers, please send donations to White Oak Cemetery.

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