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John Alison Vihlen

April 22, 1932 October 18, 2017
John Alison Vihlen
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Obituary for John Alison Vihlen

John Alison Vihlen, age 85, passed away on October 18, 2017, peacefully at home. He was born April 22, 1932, at the Worthington Hospital to George Alfred Vihlen and Esther Victoria (Carlson) Vihlen.
John grew up on a farm west of Round Lake and attended Round Lake School, graduating in 1950. He met his sweetheart, Vona Mae Menk, and the two were wed on June 20, 1954. They enjoyed a faithful, abundant life and loving marriage for 63 years. He was blessed with three girls, who he raised with love, Christian morals, and support. He was very proud of his five grandchildren and supported them in their lives and activities. Great-grandchildren brought him joy and their giggles were music to his ears.
In 1968, John purchased a farm southwest of Round Lake where he raised hogs, corn, and soybeans. He enjoyed mentoring 13 high school age boys that were employed to work with him over the years. He also taught his daughters many skills, along with a good work ethic, and stressed enjoying life while doing what needs to get done.
John was strong in his faith in God throughout his life and shared it through his actions and music. He was baptized and confirmed at Mission Covenant Church, and after he was married attended First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Worthington. John enjoyed being active in the church where over the years he served as soloist, song leader, adult choir member, and church council president. He was part of many committees, fundraisers, Bible studies, and lutefisk suppers.
At church, in the community, or anywhere he went, John wanted people to feel welcome and he wanted to learn about their lives. John was active in 4-H as a member and leader, president of the Nobles County Pork Producers, and a member of the Elevator Board. He was part of Circle C, Noble Swedes, the All School Reunion Committee, and Farmers Kiwanis. He roasted over 150 whole hogs for various events.
John used his musical talent for many weddings, funerals, and community events. He sang with the Noble Chordsmen, in the Messiah, in the community theater musicals, and with his family. Best of all, he sang love songs to his wife.
Recognition was received for Farm Family of the Year, MN State 4-H Alumni, three generations of 4-H members, and for having a Century Farm. At the age of 57, he learned to pilot an airplane including private, instrumental, and commercial licenses. He became a member of the Civil Air Patrol earning the rank of Major.
John was a lifelong learner and loved to invent items that were needed to get a task done. He was skilled in welding, woodworking, and construction. John made numerous woodworking projects and had a creative eye for something unique. He took great pride in teaching his grandchildren to woodwork and greatly admired all of their projects that were built in his shop. John was a member of the Woodcrafters Club and made wooden toys for the Christmas baskets. He also enjoyed photography, landscaping, writing poetry, learning other languages, traveling to many destinations and countries, and earned many credits taking classes at Minnesota West Community College.
John is survived by his wife, Vona Mae; three daughters Pam (Mike) Abel of North Platte, NE; Bonita (Robert) Bents of Bigelow, MN; and Sharon (Mark) Balhorn of Plymouth, MN; five grandchildren, Andrew (Jenna) Bents, Ashley (Joshua) Hein, Timothy (Alyson) Bents, Luke Balhorn, and Camille Balhorn; three great grandchildren, Miles Hein, Samuel Bents, Adalyn Hein; one sister, Joyce McNab of Blue Earth; and one brother-in-law, Roland Menk (Dianne) of Highland Ranch, Colorado. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Ernest; sister, Carol; sister-in-law, Barb Menk; brother-in-law, Stuart McNab; and son-in-law, Sam Bonofede.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., at the First Lutheran Church in Worthington, MN, with Pastor Jeanette McCormick officiating. Burial will be held in the Worthington Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Friday, October 20, 2017, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the First Lutheran Church in Worthington.
Benson Funeral Home in Worthington is in charge of the arrangements.

Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

20

Oct

5:00 PM 10/20/2017 5:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 10/20/2017 8:00:00 PM
First Lutheran Church

1200 4th Ave
Worthington, MN 56187

First Lutheran Church
1200 4th Ave Worthington 56187 MN
United States

Service

Saturday

21

Oct

10:00 AM 10/21/2017 10:00:00 AM
First Lutheran Church

1200 4th Ave
Worthington, MN 56187

First Lutheran Church
1200 4th Ave Worthington 56187 MN
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Memorial Gardens Final Resting Place

29600 County Highway 35
Worthington, MN 56187

29600 County Highway 35 Worthington 56187 MN
United States
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