Deane M. Lundell, 78
Deane M. Lundell died Saturday at Fairview University Hospital in Minneapolis. He was 78 years old. He was born in Red Wing on May 28, 1931, the first child of Dennis M. Lundell and Hortense Bodelson Lundell. He grew up on the family farm in the Smoland section of Vasa Township. After attending the local one-room school and graduating from Red Wing High School in 1948, he matriculated at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. His consuming interest in how we got to be the way we are led him to concentrate in history. His practical bent led to a double major in history and business.
After securing his bachelor's degree in 1952, Deane served in the U. S Army, mostly as an instructor in electronics in Georgia. After his military service, he returned to his family farm to work the land and to care for his semi-invalid mother. He also served as secretary of the Vasa-Spring Garden Mutual Insurance Company for a number of years. After his mother died in 1963, Deane fulfilled a long-term ambition and enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. He rented a bright and cheery apartment in the Prospect Park section of Minneapolis for the winter while continuing to farm in Vasa summers. He received his Ph.D. in American Studies in 1986 at age 55. He wrote his doctoral dissertation analyzing the developing political thinking of the American intellectual Rheinhold Niebuhr.
For many years thereafter, he continued to farm in Vasa in the growing season and to feed his intellectual hunger in Minneapolis in the winter, not far from the University of Minnesota Library and Orchestra Hall. Among the constants in Deane's life were his Swedish heritage and his devotion to Vasa Lutheran Church. His maternal great-grandfather was one of the immigrant Swedish farmers who mortgaged their farms to obtain loans to cover the costs of building the church. Deane sang regularly in the choir, served as treasurer and church council member and was active in various church committees.
Dr. Lundell never married, but is survived by his sister, Marilyn Lundell Majeska, and her husband, Prof. George Majeska of University Park, Maryland, as well as by his nieces, Kristin Majeska of Waterville, Maine, and Tanya Springer of Pompano Beach, Florida, to whom he was incredibly devoted, as he was to his nieces' children, Alex and Nico Millones and Tommy and Amanda Springer.
Funeral services and interment will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Vasa Lutheran Church. Visitation will precede the service at the church at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Vasa Lutheran Church, 15235 Norelius Road, Vasa, MN 55089.