AITKIN - Mel Kuehn, age 73, of Aitkin, died Monday, Aug. 18, 2008, at his home.
Mel was born Dec. 20, 1934, at Richardson, N.D., the son of Carl and Martha (Harmel) Kuehn. He grew up and attended schools in the Washburn, N.D., area. Upon his graduation he entered the U.S. Army and served from 1954 to 1956 mostly in Germany. Upon his discharge he moved to Minneapolis and went to work. He married Eloise M. Evenson on March 28, 1959, at Hebron, N.D. He attended the University of Minnesota studying engineering. Upon completion of his studies he worked a time for the Minnesota Highway Department. He then worked for the Monarch Co. for a time and then began making pool tables on the side. This side line blossomed into a full time business for Mel. He moved to Grand Rapids, Minn., where he continued with his pool table business. He received a patent for the way in which he used taconite tailings to create the slate table top. He then sold the business and moved to a farm north of Aitkin in 1978. He then raised cattle but his creativeness never stopped and he invented a bi-fold hay rake for which he received a patent. In Mel's earlier years he also manufactured water skis, hockey sticks and flower pots. He enjoyed softball, bowling, horse shoes and table tennis. Mel was a member of First Lutheran Church in Aitkin, the Aitkin Moose Club, the Cattleman's Association of which he was a past president and the Minnesota Beef Council where he was the chair of the research and development board. Mel also had served as a farm foreclosure mediator.
He is survived by his wife, Eloise Kuehn, of Aitkin; one son and daughter-in- law, Greg and Angie Kuehn, of Park Rapids, Minn.; two sisters and brothers-in-law, Beverly and Byron Zingg, of McClusky, N.D., Betty and Lynn Stark, of New Salem, N.D.; sister-in-law, Carolyn Kuehn, of Washburn, N.D.; two grandchildren of which Mel was very proud of, Brian Kuehn, of Moorhead, Minn., and Ashley Kuehn, of Fargo, N.D. He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Donald Kuehn; and one sister, Elaine Ivanecky.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008, at 11 a.m. from First Lutheran Church in Aitkin with the Rev. Sarah Cordray officiating. Interment will be in the Diamond Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home and also on Thursday one hour prior to the services at the church. Military honors will be provided by the Aitkin VFW and American Legion Posts. Arrangements are with the Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home in Aitkin.
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