David Calvin Sportel, age 77, of Raymond, passed away Sunday evening, April 11, at Health East St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 17, at the Roseland Reformed Church in Roseland. Visitation will from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, April 16, at the Roseland Reformed Church and will continue for one hour prior to the service. Arrangements are with the Tri-County Funeral Home in Prinsburg. www.tricountyfuneral.com
David was born on July 20th, 1943, in Willmar, MN, the son of Dick and Grace (Bestge) Sportel. He was baptized at the Christian Reformed Church in Prinsburg. He grew up on the family farm in rural Raymond. David attended the Sunnyside Country School for 8 years where he majored in recess. He finished out his schooling in Willmar and eventually attended Ridgewater College Vets Class studying Farm Management. David worked various jobs before being drafted in March, 1965. He spent time at Fort Leonardwood, Fort Knox & Hawaii. He traveled to Vietnam with his Division in 1966 and served at Pleiku with many men who became friends and brothers. He received medals during his service including the Combat Infantry Badge and Purple Heart. Upon returning home David met Elaine Iverson, who he called the love of his life. They were married on October 4th, 1969 at Rock Valle Lutheran near Echo. They were blessed with their son, Daniel, in 1975.
In 1999 David was diagnosed with kidney failure. One of the real heros in his life stepped forward and in 2001, Bob Roelofs, donated a kidney. Out of this nearly life ending diagnosis, David received the blessing of a new life and new family in Bob, and enjoyed life to the fullest until the present time.
David was able to farm the land he was raised on and felt honored to do this all his life. In later life he enjoyed fixing old tractors with his friend, Jim Kluver. One of his summer highlights was attending various tractor rides with Jim in many different states. Dave loved to say there is no better way to appreciate God's bounty than the smell of newly plowed ground, newly cut alfalfa and corn flowering on a summer night.
Dave enjoyed coming to town to have coffee with friends. He liked to talk to people and could have great conversations wherever he happened to be. He was a survivor and possessed a deep faith in his Creator. Dave carried a positive attitude right until his final hours. The price of freedom is great but bought at a great cost. He is survived by his wife, Elaine, of Raymond. Son Dan (and Patricia), and favorite grandsons, Will and Dylan, of Sandy, UT. Brother Chuck (and Annette) Sportel. Sisters Carol (and Roger) Reigstad, and Connie (and Melvin) Bourne. Nieces Rhonda Sandahl, and Amy Larkin. Nephews Robin Reigstad, Ricky Reigstad, Ryan Sportel, Ross Sportel, and Aaron Bourne. Besides other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and infant sister.
David's family is grateful for all the prayers and support from friends and family during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers Dave requested donations to the Fisher House in Minneapolis.
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