A big white Hudson Prairie farmhouse near Alexandria, Minn., holds the honor of being Art's birthplace on Oct. 5, 1918. He spent his life there; it was the center of his farm and family. We will forever miss finding him there to tell his stories, laugh, watch him carving and painting birds, share a cup of coffee and being part of the experience. He passed away there on Dec. 13, 2007, at the age of 89 after making this world a better place.
Many will forever hold wonderful memories in their hearts of trips to his farm, ice cream social events, hunting his land, with giant Canadian geese calling and pheasants cackling and gliding past. Art loved hunting and had many great hunts from wild turkey to Alaskan Dahl sheep and yet he enjoyed area hunts for pheasants with a good dog and great hunting companions or alone walking his land. He was proud to be part of re-establishing the giant Canadian goose population that was nearly extinct. He truly cared for our earth and its future for our next generations. Art's care and efforts to preserve our land resulted in his Hudson Prairie farm being made into a Wildlife Management Area in his name. His home and buildings of the farmstead will be removed to create a "bedroom for the deer."
His friends, family and community honored him with the establishment of the Art Engelbrecht Environmental Education Scholarship Fund that will provide scholarship(s) on a perpetual basis. As Art has said, "Forever is a long time." He was very proud and thankful to so many for their support and contributions to this legacy.
Art loved and dedicated his life to those family members that survive. They are his loving companion, Myrtle Trenne, of Alexandria; his son, Jerry Engelbrecht (Verla), of Brainerd, Minn., and his daughter, Jeanne Rosenfield (Richard), of Alexandria; his beloved grandchildren, Richard Rosenfield Jr., of Alexandria, Kate and Judd Engelbrecht, of New York City, Rachel and Ben Trenne, of Grand Forks, N.D.; and a great-grandchild, Whitney Larson of upstate New York. Also surviving are his sister, Vaneta Goodridge; and his sister-in-law, Mayme Engelbrecht, of Alexandria.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Marie Engelbrecht; his wonderful wife of many years, Agnes; his brother, Ralph; and sisters, Pauline and Melanie.
Art was very proud and loved the trust people placed in him for leadership. He served as state representative, board member of MPCA and founding member and member of RIM. He has served as Douglas County commissioner and many years with Hudson Township Board. His service as a Douglas County Planning member resulted in the nickname of "No Mow Engelbrecht" as he stood strong on the issue of maintaining a buffer for the shorelines. He has served as trustee to Douglas County Hospital, director of REA, County Fair Board, and WesMin Resource and Conservation Development Board to name a few. He was the longest-time member of the Viking Sportsmen's Club. He has been honored with many awards for achievements and contributions.
He has touched and inspired many, shared his knowledge, been a role model and educator. He has left us with a lasting impression and responsibility to carry on his work of making this world a better place. He will be missed, but always remembered as we walk this land, listen to the prairie grass blowing in the wind, hear the pheasant cackle and soar across the fields or simply observing nature.
A memorial service was held on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007, at First Lutheran Church with the Rev. John Peshek officiating.
Arrangements were with the Anderson Funeral Home.
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