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Norman Meinke, 80

Norman Meinke, age 80 of Alexandria, passed away on Thursday, March 8, 2007 at the Knute-Nelson Memorial Home in Alexandria, Minn.

Norman Frederick Meinke was born on Oct. 19, 1926 in Somerset, Wis.

to Carl and Emilia (Diethart) Meinke. He grew up and attended school in Somerset. Norman served his country as a fireman 1st Class in the United States Navy during World War II. He served on the USS LSM74, the USS Kershaw and the USS Sanborn. He received the WWII Victory ribbon and the American Area Ribbon and was honorably discharged in August of 1951.

After he returned from the service, he moved to Wadena, Minn. where he found work as a taxi driver. Norman married Deloris Ceaser on Oct.

24, 1947 and they returned to live in Somerset and tried farming for a short time. Norman also did mechanic work for a garage and did construction jobs on the side.

Eventually Norman, or "Butch" as he was called, took a job as a truck driver for Dahlen Transport. He delivered fuel to Super America gas stations all over Minnesota. He worked for Dahlen for more than 30 years and had an absolutely clean driving record without any accidents. During this time, Butch was married to Mary Ann Zins.

After he retired, Butch enjoyed wintering down south. He made his home in Dairyland, Wis., to be near his brother, Howard. When he began to have some health problems, he moved to Alexandria, Minn.

Butch was a member of the Somerset American Legion. He loved airplanes and flying and attended air shows across the Midwest. When he had to keep his feet on the ground, he found his Harley a nice diversion to flying. Butch was an animal lover, having a special affection for dogs, especially his beloved dog, Rocky. He liked to go hunting and fishing and enjoyed being outdoors.

Everyone will remember Butch for his great one-liners and overall storytelling. He could spin a yarn and entertain whatever group of people he was with.

Norman is survived by his children, Sally (Steven) Eckhoff of Henning, Minn., Julie Denny of Alexandria, Daniel Meinke of Nevada City, Cal., Kevin (Louise) Meinke of Lake Mills, Wis., Theresa (Mike) Pietenpol of St. Paul, Dennis (Kathy) Meinke of Osceola, Wis. and Emily Meinke of St. Paul; 16 grandchildren; 11 great, grandchildren; three sisters, Evelyn Kriesel of Inver Grove Heights, JoAnn (Gerk) Gerlach of Osceola, Wis. and Marilyn (Chuck) Zinn of Naples, Florida; a sister-in-law, Pat Meinke of Wis.

He is preceded in death by his parents, a son, Terry who died only six days before him, a brother, Howard Meinke, and two grandchildren, Tim and Tammy Nyhus.

Funeral services were held for Butch on Monday, March 12, 2007 at 2 p.m. at the Roy-Hetland Funeral Chapel in Osakis with Rev. Lois Burkart officiating. Honorary bearers were the members of the Osakis VFW Post #7902 Honor Guard. Before interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, a memorial service was also held for Butch in Somerset, Wis.

Arrangements were handled by the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN.