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John R. Dahl

John R. Dahl

John Robert Dahl, 94, of Red Wing, died Monday at St Crispin's on College Avenue. He was born March 3, 1923 in Red Wing to John Melvin and Lydia (Gleason) Dahl. A 1941 graduate of Red Wing Central High School, he attended the University of Minnesota before and after his military service in the US Army in World War II. He enlisted in the US Army in April of 1943, began training with the Air Corps and was sent to France with the US Army 103rd Infantry. He was wounded by mortar fire in St. Die, France in November of 1944 and honorably discharged in July 1945. Returning to the University as a veteran, he became the student manager of the Sigma Chi fraternity house, studied accounting, and left the University to teach mathematics and coach football and basketball in Lander, Wyoming for two years. Returning to Red Wing, he met Eleanor Charlotte Swanson, who had served as an Army nurse in the war. On August 18, 1951, they married at First Lutheran Church in Red Wing. They lived in Hastings from 1957 to 1967, then moved back to Red Wing so that John could become manager of Red Wing Federal Savings and Loan, a position he held through two moves to larger offices, and through building a new office. He led the organization as it was merged into Minnesota Federal and then into Wells Fargo before he retired. He was a strong believer in the mission of the Savings and Loan industry to help Americans own homes that they could afford, and he devoted much of his life to helping the people of Red Wing and the surrounding area do so. He and Eleanor moved to Wacouta when they retired in 1983, where they enjoyed its wide-open spaces and beautiful vistas. He thought Wacouta was a good place to have a big dog. His magnificent dog, Edward, was well known to all the neighbors. His grandchildren spent many happy holidays, weekends, and summer weeks in Wacouta, hiking, flying kites, golfing, or just hanging out at Camp Grandpa. A genuinely happy man, he was always happiest in the presence of children or dogs, preferably children and dogs. John played many roles in the civic leadership of Red Wing, generally volunteering his time to raise money or manage money for local non-profits and other organizations. He enjoyed serving on the Goodhue County Fair Board and on the Library Board in Red Wing, as well as working with the VFW, Kiwanis, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. He was an AARP volunteer tax preparer for many years. He was a member of First Lutheran Church and was an usher and volunteer there. John was an enthusiastic Booster and fan of Red Wing High School sports teams, beginning when he played football and managed the basketball team in high school and extending until he was no longer physically able to attend games. Survivors include his four children, Sue (Bill) Swenson, of Bethesda, Md., Barbara (Bruce) Wilson of Whitefish Bay, Wis., John (Lea) Dahl of Minneapolis and Julie (Gib) Racioppi of San Carlos, Calif.; 5 grandsons, Will and Eric Swenson, Tom Wilson, John Dahl, and Trubee Racioppi; 5 granddaughters, Ellie and Margaret Wilson, Katie Dahl, and Lauren and Andrea Racioppi. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor in 2007; brother, Frank Dahl in 1995; and grandson, Charlie Swenson in 2013. Funeral service will be 11 a.m., Friday, October 13, 2017 at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel with Rev. Arthur Sharot officiating. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Thursday, October 12 at the funeral home as well as one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Red Wing chapter of the Purple Heart, any local Red Wing charity, or the Humane Society. Online condolences may be left for the family at