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Robert Tongen Dec. 20, 1938 - Aug. 14, 2009

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RED LAKE FALLS -- Robert LeRoy Tongen, 70, of Red Lake Falls, died Friday at his home.

The service will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bethany Lutheran Church in Red Lake Falls. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Red Lake Falls. Military honors will be provided by the Red Lake Falls American Legion Post.

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Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today at the church, with a 7 p.m. prayer service. Arrangements are with Johnson Funeral Service, Red Lake Falls.

He was born Dec. 20, 1938, in Montevideo to Herman O. and O'della (Olson) Tongen. He attended country school near Montevideo and graduated from Echo High School in 1956. He worked on the family farm and at Chapman Gravel. He worked road construction prior to entering the Army in 1961. He completed basic training at Ft. Riley, Kan., and served in the 1st Infantry Division overseas in Germany. He was discharged in 1967 from the reserves.

He married Carol Dobmeier on Jan. 9, 1965. They lived in Balaton, and he worked for Farmers Union. He became manager of the Farmers Union in Breckenridge and in 1968 they moved to Red Lake Falls where he served as manager of the Red Lake Falls Farmers Union for the next 15 years. In 1983 he became department manager of the Red Lake County Co-op propane division. In the late 1970s, he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church and was part of the men's Bible study. He was a member of the American Legion Post in Red Lake Falls where he was past post commander. He volunteered for the local food shelf and Dial-A-Ride.

He is survived by his wife; children: Neil Tongen of Dickinson, N.D., Dean Tongen (and Julie Hamburg) of Argyle, Kathryn (and Chad) Jacobson of Crookston, and Mitchell Tongen (and Amy Sand) of St. Cloud; four grandchildren; brothers: Merton (and Marion) Tongen of Fredricksburg, Texas, Paul Tongen (and fiancée Connie Buschette) of Perham and John (and Jane) Tongen of Soldotna, Alaska.

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