Virgil was born September 25, 1918 to Esther Stohl. When he was 2-1/2 years old his mother married Melker Magnuson, a widower with a young son, Marvin. (Melker’s wife and new-born baby girl died during the flu epidemic) Virg lived most of his young life in northeast Minneapolis, attending Pillsbury grade school and graduating from Edison High School in June 1936.
After high school, Virg entered into a partnership arrangement with his brother Marvin and friend Fred Edman. They had a greenhouse at 1903 22nd Ave. NE, Minneapolis, known as the St. Anthony Greenhouse where they specialized in roses and mums. When WWII came, he pulled out of the partnership and enlisted in the United States Army.
On June 2 1942, he was assigned to the 334th Engineers Regiment, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. He was then sent to New York in November, and on December 1, 1942 he boarded the USS America, a ship which had been converted for troop movement.
He had a 30 day trip to Persia (now Iran) where he was stationed for 30 months then to France and Germany for 6 months before the war was over in May 1945.
He sailed to New York harbor, then by train to Fort McCoy where he was mustered out on November 21, 1945, and then by train to the Milwaukee Depot in Minneapolis and home the day before Thanksgiving finding his Mom baking pies.
Being away from home, and the United States, for 36 months was a long time. He said the Statue of Liberty never looked so good. This did not end his affiliation with the Army as he later joined the Reserves and completed a total of 24 years before his retirement.
He then registered at the University of Minnesota to work towards a degree in Civil Engineering. After three years he noticed the Post Office was in need of letter carriers and was scheduling testing for applicants. He took the test, passed it, and was hired.
This turned out to be his lifetime job, and he never regretted making that move. He retired from the USPS in 1975 at the age of 57.
It was time to move on and do something different. So, he purchased 22 acres about 10 miles out of Rush City where he tended a large vegetable garden, cut a lot of grass, and just enjoyed being in the country.
He had married Jeane Olson, from St. Paul, on April 23, 1949. They were blessed with two “lovely” (Virg always called them that) daughters, Nancy and Mavis, and then 4 grandchildren and most recently two great-grandsons.
They all enjoy visiting “the farm.”
Virg liked people and was a social-minded person. He was an active member in several organizations: Boy Scouts, International Organization of Good Templars (IOGT), whose platform included the non-use of alcoholic beverages, along with brotherhood and peace, the Masons, and after coming to Rush City, Eastern Star, Garden Club, Rush Point Leisure Club, and Calvary Lutheran Church and choir.
His senior high school year book had this quote under his name –”I’d like to be bashful but fate decrees otherwise.” They knew him well!
He was preceded in death by parents, Esther and Melker Magnuson, brother Marvin (Helen) Magnuson, brothers-in-law Henry Olson and Ed Ruth.
Virgil is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jeane, daughters: Nancy (Paul) Laux, Mavis (Bruce) Ude; grandchildren: Paul “PJ” Laux and friend Jackie Illies, Laura (Jay) Herring, Lisa (David) Elinger, Morgan Michelle Ude; and great-grandsons: Seth and Sammy Elinger; sisters-in-law: June E. Ruth, Erna Olson; and many cousins and friends.
Reverend Keith Kolzow officiated the service 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, 2012, with visitation one hour prior at Calvary Lutheran Church, 600 Rush Point Dr., Stanchfield, Minnesota.
Music was provided by Shirley Olson, Glenn Ogren and the Calvary Lutheran church choir.
Inurnment was at the church cemetery, Calvary Lutheran Northview.
Honorary casket bearers included the Order of the Eastern Star Jasper Chapter #28 and the Rush Point Leisure Club. Military honors were provided by Grothe–Jacobson VFW Post #6692.
Memorials are preferred to Calvary Lutheran Church or a memorial of the donor’s choice.
Funeral arrangements for Virgil Magnuson were entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City; Olson Chapel. www.funeralandcremationservice.com.