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Robert D. Dirks March 27, 1932 - Sept. 19, 2008

CROOKSTON -- Robert Dwelle Dirks, 76, of Crookston, formerly of Olivia, died Friday at his home of cancer.

The service will be at 1 p.m. on Monday at Faith United Methodist Church in Olivia. Burial with military rite will be at the Olivia Cemetery.

Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials are preferred to Gideon International for Bible placements.

He was born March 27, 1932, in Olivia to Harold and Florence (Dwelle) Dirks. He attended school in Olivia and graduated in 1950. He graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul in 1954 with a degree in business and from the University of Minnesota in 1955 with a mortuary science degree.

On Aug. 2, 1953, he married Darline Hultquist, in Belview. He joined the U.S. Army in 1955 and was honorably discharged in 1957. He served in Korea and was a lifetime Disabled American Veteran member.

The couple lived in Olivia from 1957 to 1970 where he served as a third generation mortician for Dirks Funeral Service and Dirks Furniture Company. He served on the Olivia Fire Department and sang in musical groups. They moved to Crookston in 1970 and opened a new Ben Franklin variety store, which he operated until 2005. He was a member of the Crookston Rotary International Club, the Crookston Chamber of Commerce and Gideon International. In 1972, he became a private pilot and became a commercial pilot in 1974.

He is a past president of Gideon International and the Crookston Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. He was Rotarian of the year in 2005 and 2006 and was presented the Life Time Service Award in 2008. He was Business Person of the Year in 1986, in recognition of excellence in the market place.

He is survived by his wife; daughters: Laurie Dirks of East Grand Forks, Wendy (and Andy) Covert of Virginia Beach, Va., and Julie (and Stephen) Wogan of Crookston; two grandsons; siblings: Mary (and Jerald) Miller of Eden Prairie, Benjamin (and Pam) of Olivia, William (and Marian) of Duluth, Thomas (and Kathleen) of Minnetonka, Jerry (and Carol) of Sauk Rapids, Scott (and Connie Jo) of Pelican Rapids.