In Memory of Darrel P. Alen
Darrel Paul Alen, 78, of Balsam Lake, Wisconsin passed away at home on June 15, 2022.
Darrel was born to Paul and Lola (Burch) Alen in Amery, WI, on July 23, 1943, and was raised on the family farm with his 2 sisters, Cheryl and Velda.
He attended East Balsam country school for 4 years until Unity School was established, where he graduated High School in 1961. He then attended UW River Falls for a short time before returning to farm with his dad. He was introduced to his wife Grace by a mutual friend, and they had a long-distance courtship for a year until they married on April 4, 1970. Grace and Darrel raised three children-Stephanie, Rochelle and Ryan, and spent nearly every day together for 50 years. They truly enjoyed each other’s company, traveling together and remaining highly involved in their church and community, and often enjoyed a trip to town for lunch and visiting with friends. Being grandpa to Nick was a great excuse to venture to California for semi-annual visits over the years.
Darrel valued the lifestyle of hard work and said that he didn’t view the farm as a job; he increased Lakeside Dairy Farm to the size of 60 milking cows plus youngstock and raised crops to feed the animals. His son, Ryan, farmed with Darrel for many years before the cows were sold due to changing times and Darrel entered retirement.
He was a wonderful husband, brother, father, and grandfather, praying for his family daily and always cherishing time spent together. No one could beat him at trivia or storytelling; he was knowledgeable about many topics, had a great memory for details and his well-timed humor had everyone smiling (or groaning.) His lifelong teasing of his sister Velda was exceeded only by his love and appreciation for her, especially during the last 2 years since Grace’s death.
Darrel lived a life of service, not only in his family and in farming, but by providing decades of leadership through numerous roles in the church and community. A lifelong member of East Balsam Baptist Church, he taught Sunday School to Junior High students and adults, led many Bible Studies, served as Deacon for many years, and as Church Chairman and in other offices. Tithing faithfully and providing prayerful wisdom to the church, he contributed generously to the kingdom of God. Darrel was also involved in business leadership, serving as President of the Northland FS Farm Cooperative, delegate to MidAmerica Dairymen conventions, Secretary/Treasurer of Polk County Farm Bureau, and was well-liked and respected in the farming community.
Darrel was known for his gentle strength, humility, sincere faith, and genuine friendship, always showing interest in people of all ages and offering a word of encouragement or a warm hug. He loved people and people loved him. He treasured his family and spiritual heritage but more importantly, he put his faith in Jesus at an early age and invested in future generations, building a legacy with eternal impact. While he will be dearly missed, his eternal life in Heaven with his Savior Jesus is his greatest reward that he anticipated with peace and gratitude.
Darrel was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Lola (Burch) Alen; sister Cheryl Alen Stock; loving wife Grace; brothers-in-law Gordon (Vergean) Lundberg and Rev. Robert Lundberg; sister-in-law Jeannette Finnesgard.
Darrel is survived by children Stephanie (David) Horak, of Maple Plain, MN; Rochelle (Myrko) Balaban of Bakersfield, CA; Ryan Alen of Boston, MA; grandson Nicholas Balaban; sister Velda Alen, brothers-in-law Kent (Angie) Stock, Orvin Finnesgard and Rev. Duane (Marian) Lundberg; sister-in-law Doris Lundberg; and many cousins, nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
The family extends special thanks to the caring church family at East Balsam Baptist Church, personal caregivers, and the exceptional team at St. Croix Hospice.
Darrel will be laid to rest at Bunyan Union Cemetery in rural Balsam Lake. A funeral service for Darrel will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at East Balsam Baptist Church with visitation one hour prior to the service and Friday evening, June 24th from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
The Kolstad Family Funeral Home of Centuria has been entrusted with arrangements.