Obituary | Terry Cleven of Grygla, Minnesota

Terry Cleven, 65, of Grygla, MN, passed away on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, at the Grain Bin Café while working alongside of his dear wife, Kim and several of their beloved employees and customers.

The service to celebrate Terry’s life will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 20, 2024 at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, MN. Burial will follow at Bethesda Cemetery, Lee Township, Beltrami County, MN.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM with a 6:30 PM Prayer Service on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Grace Lutheran Church and one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

Terry Lynn Cleven was born November 11, 1958 in Thief River Falls, MN the son of Albert Carlton and Gloria Joyce Ardith (Nelson) Cleven. Terry was baptized as an infant and rebaptized in 1992 at the Gravel Pit near Grygla. He attended school in Grygla, MN through the 8th grade and graduated from Goodridge High School with the class of 1976. Terry attended Northland Community College in Thief River Falls focusing his studies on Auto Body and Carpentry. It was at this time that Terry enjoyed working for Stanley Farms.

In 1980, Terry took a two week vacation to Oklahoma and stayed nine years. He lived with his sister, Susan and grandma, Hilda. He worked for Ken’s Pizza where he perfected making delicious pizza.

Upon returning to Grygla in 1989, Terry dedicated his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He began farming with his Dad and Brother on the Cleven Family Farm in Lee Township, Beltrami County and also managed the Co-op Store in Grygla. Terry also worked for a short time at Machinewell.

In the third week of June in 1992, Terry met the love of his life, Kimberly Towle through Kim’s Aunt Dixie’s relentless matchmaking. They were married six months later on January 2, 1993 at the Quamba Baptist Church in Quamba, MN, Kimberly’s home community. The couple made their home in Grygla for a year and a half before settling on the Cleven Family Farm. It was September of 2004 that the couple purchased the Grygla Café and rebranded it the “Grain Bin Café.” Following Terry’s mother, Gloria’s death, Terry joined Kim in the daily operation of their family business. He continued to raise beef cattle and manage his number one priority, food plots. 

He enjoyed hunting, fishing, making pizzas, smoking meat, and visiting with family and friends like a true Cleven. He was in Facebook Jail more than he was out of Facebook Jail.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in April of 2004. Despite the diagnosis, Terry never used it as an excuse to slow down. He was always looking for a “cure” as long as he didn’t have to go to the doctor. Terry served his Lord, family and community until his dying breath. 

Terry was a founding member of the Community Bible Church in Grygla and held numerous leadership roles. He was awarded his 30 year plaque last week for serving as a Minnesota Fire Warden and served on the Lee Township Board for several years.

Survivors include his loving wife of 31 years, Kim; sons, Joshua, Carlton (Marissa) and Cory; one grandson; siblings, Rena (Steve) Doebler, Susan Cleven and Gary (Deb) Cleven; nephews, Joe and Jon (Mae) Doebler; niece, Jennifer (Eric) Erickson their son, Zack (Madeline) and their son, Emmett;  brothers and sisters-in-law, Bev (Bert) Welton, Randy (Jovita) Towle, Terri Callahan, Kay (John) Abbott, Christel Halstensgard; and many other relatives and friends.

Terry is preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Gloria; infant sister; great-nephew, Anthony Erickson; father and mother-in-law, Elwood and Janet Towle; and numerous aunts, uncles, and life-long friends, Mark Brobst and Carter Torgerson.


# Terry Cleven, #


  1. Kim.
    There are no words to express the sympathy to you and your family with the loss of Terry. Such a special man! You both are very special to us! Know that I am here to help you in anyway I can! He is leaving a definite void in our community. Carter and him are together in heaven free from pain, giving each other grief, and having fun! Rest in peace Terry.❤️🙏🙏

  2. Kim, My heart aches with sorrow for your loss. Though I didn’t know the two of you very well, both of you held a special place in my heart. I pray the Lord holds you close in your moment of grief.

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