Thief River Falls – Mr. Buttons aka Dave Stromlund: Life Tribute –
Written by Christy Hoss and Cindy Thomas –
David Cecil Orlon Stromlund entered eternity on December 25, 2020; running into the arms of His Heavenly Father whom he served without wavering. If David had to go Home, he chose the birthday of his King to celebrate with the hosts of Heaven as he heard God say to him, “Well Done, My good and faithful servant.”
David was born on April 26, 1935 in Grygla, Minnesota to Ole and Ina (Carlson) Stromlund. David grew up in the farmlands of Northern Minnesota, attending Lincoln High School until moving to Cook, Minnesota where he was dubbed as “The Man of a Few Thousand Words” and graduated in 1953 from Cook High School.
David went on to teach grades K-8 in a one-room school as an “Eight Week Wonder.” The need for teachers was so great, they were trained in eight weeks’ time and sent off on assignment. David continued to further his education at Mayville State University in Mayville, ND earning a bachelor of science degree.
He was united in marriage to Nana Artis in 1958. They have two daughters, Cindy Thomas and Christy Hoss, both residents of California.
David retired in 1995 after teaching elementary school for over 35 years. He was a substitute teacher for 15 years thereafter. His love of children was evident in his gentle, patient, yet firm approach, often assisting children with special needs in a time when there were no special classes for them.
David was known throughout the area as Mr. Buttons. He loved pin-back buttons, favoring political and sporting buttons from all over the world. His collection exceeded 17,000 which he catalogued and charted in hundreds of pocketed folders. Serving as a substitute teacher after his retirement, the children of Challenger Elementary School looked forward to having him as he would bring several buttons to talk about and give away.
He lived a humble life in a tiny house on Tindolph Avenue for 50 years raising his family and loving his community. In October 2018, he moved to Southern California to live with his daughter, Cindy. He enjoyed the warm weather, attending numerous Anaheim Ducks hockey games, Angel baseball games, and taking several trips to Disneyland, a place he took his daughters in their younger years; after saving money from his meager teaching salary.
David loved life and he loved God with all his heart. He was known for sharing his faith with the world around him wherever he went. When he had cornea transplant surgery in 1976 the Mayo Clinic hospital called on him to help the chaplain pray with folks that were afraid. He rose to the occasion, praying the prayer of salvation with a truck driver in CB language. David knew you can come to God as you are, and God will take you if you only accept Him and receive Him into your heart. Sharing Christ fueled his evangelistic heart and he often brought crusades to town with tent meetings and would rent out social venues to further the Gospel.
His love for God was evident in his semi-monthly visits paid to Greenleaf where he would lead Christian chapel services spreading the good news of Jesus Christ his Savior. He would preach a sermon accompanied by Ann Hoffert playing hymns on the piano, then give altar calls for people to accept Christ.
To honor David’s desire that all should know Christ, we ask, “When you stand before God and He asks you why should I let you in to My Heaven?” Will you have the correct answer? The only answer is “You are my Savior and Lord and You have forgiven my sins and live in my heart.” Will you hear God’s answer of “Well done,” like David did the minute he stepped into Heaven? If you want to hear those words and be sure you’ll meet David in Heaven one day, pray this simple prayer; “Dear God, I know I’m a sinner. Please forgive and cleanse me from my sins and come into my heart. I acknowledge You as my Lord and Savior. From this day forward, change me and make me like You until I run into Your loving arms. AMEN!”
David is survived by his wife of 62 years, Nana Stromlund, his daughters, Cindy (Rex) Thomas, Christy (Kevin) Hoss and grandchildren, Andrew, Jacob and GraceAnne Hoss, his sister Darlene Lind of Bemidji, brothers Gary Stromlund of Sapulpa, OK and Clare (Barb Mattson) Stromlund of Cloquet; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. David’s extended family includes Cindy’s “little sister” Angie Thompson (Ramero) and their children, JeAnna and Zac Lubitz of Thief River Falls and his special neighbor friend, Sienna Gregerson of Thief River Falls, who was like a granddaughter to him.
David was preceded in death by his sisters Eileen Pettit and Donna Feragen.