Milton Earl Jorgenson was born on March 14, 1935 on the Larson place located on the Pembina Trail, Marshall County. He was 7th of 10 sons born to Jens and Mary (Metheny) Jorgenson. He was baptized and later confirmed at the Bethlehem of New Solum Church, rural Newfolden.
When he was very young the family moved east of Newfolden. After fire destroyed their house, they moved south of Newfolden to New Solum Township Section 3.
During his early years the family went through difficult times. He trapped and sold fur bearing animals, sold the Grit Newspaper, Rosebud Salve and garden seeds. Later this experience led him to be a salesman at Northern Chevrolet in Thief River Falls.
He received his high school diploma with the class of 1953. He always looked forward to his class reunions.
Milton served his country in the US Army from 1954 – 1957. He was a mechanic in Germany for 26 months of his 3 year tenure. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to Thief River Falls. He drove delivery truck for Bridgeman Creamery in addition to other jobs.
He drove race car, driving at Holtan’s racetrack west of Thief River Falls. Winning with his #35 race car was quite a thrill. His racing came to a halt after an accident on the track that landed him in the hospital. It was there he met his future wife, Jean Jeukens, who was a nurse. They married on February 16, 1961 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. To this union two sons were born, James and John. They lived for a short time in Thief River Falls until moving to Lino Lakes. It was there Milt took a course at the Industrial College at St. Paul for Metal Machining.
Milt owned and operated Jorgenson Machine Shop. He also owned and operated a Christmas tree farm on his property.
When Milt’s two sons were older, he became a boy scout leader. He was proud of his son John and later his grandson, Sam, who both received the honor of Eagle Scout. Milt was active in Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake and enjoyed singing in their large choir.
Upon the death of Milt’s wife Jean in 2000, he sold his business and moved in with his son James and family at North Branch. He continued to live there until 2010 when he reconnected with his former classmate, Joyce Sorum Magner. They were married May 5, 2011 by Pastor Dennis Gray at the Bethlehem of New Solum Church, then made their home in Newfolden. Milt and Joyce enjoyed the simple things in life like going for a ride in his pickup and somehow, they would end up in Strathcona to buy donuts at the Paradise Café. Each year in the summer when Bethlehem of New Solum would have their homecoming service Milt and Joyce would take the scenic route.
Milt enjoyed helping others in any way he could. In 2016 he had the honor of being chosen Newfolden’s Outstanding Senior Citizen. He also was chosen Marshall County Outstanding Senior Citizen to represent his county in the Minnesota State competition.
Milt always had a song in his heart and the accordion strapped to his back. Following his retirement, he began playing at nursing homes and continued to do so after moving to Newfolden. He always played “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” as his closing song. At this time, he was given the name “Uncle Miltie.” If a piano was in his sight, he couldn’t resist playing a tune. Sunday mornings Milt was one of the first ones to arrive at New Hope Church. He would go to the fellowship room and play hymns before the service. It was also important to him to make sure everything was in place and cleaned before the church service. He always said, “It feels good to work in the Lord’s house.”
Milt was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign War and a member of American Legion Post #444. He was also a member of the Newfolden Senior Club, taking part in their many activities. Milt was always on the move doing something. His hobby was making bird feeders out of recycled material and giving most of them away. When he was relaxing, he would be putting 1000 piece puzzles together, framing some of them to also give away.
“Milt wasn’t perfect, but he was perfect for me (Joyce) for the 10 plus years that we spent together.”
Milt is survived by his wife, Joyce of Newfolden; sons, James (Carrie) Jorgenson of North Branch, John (Jodi) Jorgenson of Cloquet; grandchildren, Matthew (Alex) Jorgenson, Douglas Jorgenson, Samuel Jorgenson, Kate Jorgenson; great-granddaughters, Emma Jean and Willa Jorgenson; step-children, Cindy (Gary) Borg, Danny (Shirley) Magner, Scott (Tammie) Magner, Brent (Kelly) Magner; also 13 step-grandchildren; 15 step-great-grandchildren; and 1 step-great-great grandson; brothers, Albert, Lyle, and Morris; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Milt is preceded in death by wife, Jean; brothers, Roy, Kenneth, Gaylord, Ralph, Wesley, and Einar.
Funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2022 at New Hope Lutheran Church in Newfolden, with Pastor Ollie Urdahl officiating.
Celebration of Life to be held Friday, April 1, 2022 from 3-7 p.m. at Tailgators Sports Bar in North Branch.
Burial and graveside service will be held at Oak Park Cemetery, Forest Lake, on Friday, April 1, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, from 3 to 6 p.m. with a prayer service at 5:30 p.m. and also one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church.