David K. Strong, of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away on Sunday, November 5, 2023 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, MN, at the age of 94.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 25, 2023 at the United Methodist Church in Thief River Falls, MN, with Rev. Dr. Betty Johnson officiating. Burial will be held at a later date at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, MN.
Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
David Koerner Strong was born on January 19, 1929 in Litchfield, MN, the son of Sidney and Katherine (Koerner) Strong. He attended Atwater Public School, graduating with the class of 1947. David attended St. Cloud State College from 1947 until 1950 when he enlisted in the United States Navy at the start of the Korean War. He was transferred to the Naval Air Technical Training Center in Memphis, TN. In 1952 he was transferred to Hickham Air Force Base in Ohua, Hawaii where he served until his Honorable Discharge in 1954. David returned to St. Cloud State University and received his B.A. degree in Psychology and Sociology in 1956.
While in college, Dave met and married Beverly Ann Noren of Mound, MN and to this union were born three children – Katherine, Bradford, and Craig. They made their home in Sartell, MN while Beverly completed her college degree and Dave became employed at the Minnesota State Reformatory, St. Cloud, MN in the Department of Corrections, Youth Conservation Commission. Dave and Beverly and their three children moved to rural Willmar, MN where Dave became Chief Probation Officer for Kandiyohi and Swift Counties and Beverly was employed as a Speech Pathologist in two neighboring school districts. In 1961 the family moved to Atwater, MN, which was Dave’s hometown.
In 1969 the family moved to Thief River Falls, MN where Dave was employed at Northwestern Hospital as Public Information Director for the newly created Day/Night Unit. In 1972 Dave was employed as Sales Manager at Forsbergs, Inc., where he remained until 1974. That same year Dave and family moved to Bemidji, MN where Dave became director of the Northwest Minnesota Juvenille Training Center, remaining there until moving back to Thief River Falls as General Manager of Forsbergs, Inc.
In 1986 Dave, having been divorced for nine years, married Joan Sorvig and they made their home in Thief River Falls, MN. In 1987 Dave became Controller/Manager of United Satellite Systems until 1990, when he accepted a postion as Product/Sales Coordinator with Occupational Development Center in Thief River Falls, remaining there until he retired.
Dave has had a lifelong hobby of antique automobiles, acquiring this from his father who was an automobile dealer and had a collection of 50 gas, steam, and electric cars. Dave has owned a number of antique and classic cars and recently sold his collection of four Roadsters, ranging in age from 1909 to 1929. He has been active in the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA), serving as Chapter President, State President, and in 1986 their National President, with headquarters in Hershey, PA. He has also been active in the Kandihohi Sheriff’s Posse, Chairman of the MN Business Innovation Center, on the TRF Library and Regional Board, State President of the Country Probation Association, President of the TRF PTA Council, TRF Rotary, Governors Advisor to the MN National Guard, TRF Community Advisory Board, President of Jobs, Inc., TRF Chamber President, Supervisor on North Township (Pennington Co.) Board and the Northland Junior College Advisory Committee. He also served on the Airport Advisory Board and was the co-chair on the board that oversaw the Depot restoration. David was an active member of the Minnesota Region AACA – serving in both Detroit Lakes, MN, and Grand Forks, ND. He was also an active member of the United Methodist Church in Thief River Falls, the Golden Pioneers, and the Ecklund-Holmstrom American Legion Post #117. David had the honor of being selected for the Veterans Honor Flight in October of 2019 to Washington, D.C.
David is survived by his wife, Joan; daughter, Katherine (Steve) Sakalos of Eden Prairie, MN; son, Craig (Melissa) of Roseburg, OR; two grandsons, Danny (Tasha) of Meridian, ID and Cory of Minneapolis, MN; granddaughters, Jessica (John) Kneath of Crystal, MN and Meaghan Sakalos of Eden Prairie, MN; great-grandsons, Parker, Austin, Jaxton, and Ryat; great-granddaughters, Chloe, Gracelynn, Piper Ann, Nikalee, and Evelyn; step-sons, David (Sue) Sorvig of Williams, MN, Joel (Lori) Sorvig of Thief River Falls, MN, Tim (Deanna) Sorvig of Thief River Falls, MN, Gary (Shelby) Sorvig of St. Hilaire, MN; step-grandchildren, Andi (Ryan) Sheridan of McIntosh, MN, Jennifer (Seth) Tveiten of Thief River Falls, MN, Cody (Jessica) Sorvig of St. Hilaire, MN, Bryan (Chelsea) Sorvig of St. Hilaire, MN, Tate (Ashley) Sorvig of Thief River Falls, MN, Danielle (Drew) Anderson of Minneapolis, MN, Madison (Ben) Carlson of Minneapolis, MN, Janica (Rick) Gillan of Minneapolis, MN, Bailey (Alex) Richert of Ludington, MI; Cait (Luke) Sontowski of Minneapolis, MN, Cooper Sorvig of Ludington, MI, Kira Spaulding of Ennis, MT, and Sarah Spaulding of Ennis, MT; 17 step great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Helen Strong of Brooklyn Park, MN, Judy Strong of Minneapolis, MN and Gloria (Jerry) Borm of Chanhassen, MN; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Douglas and Darby; his first wife, Beverly; son, Brad Strong; daughter-in-law, Bette Spaulding; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Norman and Elsie Johnson.
May his memory be blessed.