Chip Mithaugen, age 58, of Waite Park, formerly of Brooten, died unexpectedly at home on Thursday, January 6, 2022. A memorial service celebrating Chip's life will be held at 1:00 P.M. on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Chapel in Brooten. Visitation will begin at 11:00 A.M. and run until the time of service. Following the service, a luncheon will be held at the Brooten American Legion. Inurnment will be at South Lake Johanna Cemetery later this year. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Brooten.
Chip Alan Mithaugen was born during a snowstorm on Mother’s Day, May 12, 1963 in Paynesville, MN. He was the third of four children born to parents Harold and Jeanne Mithaugen. Chip grew up on the family homestead south of Brooten, tending livestock with his brother and two sisters. He and his family were members of South Lake Johanna Lutheran Church. Chip attended Brooten public schools and graduated from Brooten High School in 1982, after which he enrolled at the Wilmar Vo-Tech where he studied Diesel Mechanics. In February of 1983, upon completion of his schooling, Chip entered the United States Army. Later that same year, on December 28th, he was united in marriage to Michele Lemcke at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooten. The two first made their home with their daughter in Fort Polk, Louisiana where Chip was stationed. Following his honorable discharge in February of 1986, the three returned to Minnesota and settled on Chip’s family homestead south of Brooten. Chip continued his military service with the Army Reserves until 1991. During that time, his three sons were born. To support his family, he gained employment at Duininck Brothers of Prinsburg. For 27 years he worked his way up from digging in the trenches to crew foreman. After leaving Duininck, he remained in the industry as a machine operator before failing health forced him into early retirement. Chip and Michele divorced in 1998, but worked together to raise their four children.
Chip enjoyed camping, fishing, carpentry, mechanics and “tinkering”. He was a good cook, known for his homemade pizzas, and he liked playing board games and hanging out with family. Favorite family memories include snowmobile rides, winters at the cabin, attending Crystal Springs Ranch rodeos, and summer parties at his house. Chip was a good listener and a constant source of optimism and light to those he loved.
Less than a year before his death, Chip sold his property near Brooten and moved to Waite Park to be closer to his children and to the VA where he received his healthcare. He died unexpectedly at home on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at the age of 58 years. He will be remembered as a loving brother, father and grandfather.
Chip is survived by his four children, Courtney (Chris Varner) Mithaugen of Minnetonka, Zackery (Sara) Mithaugen of Chaska, Creighton (fiancée, Kara Hillier) Mithaugen of Faribault, and Channing (Mackenzie) Mithaugen of Brooklyn Park; grandchildren, Bryson, Rayne, Abigail, and Otis; siblings, Heidi (Henry) Strater of Blaine, Judy (Donavon) DeRoo of Anoka, and Chad (Michelle) Mithaugen of New London; his step-father, Ernest “Ernie” Knight and family of Starbuck; along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Chip is preceded in death by his parents, Harold Mithaugen and Jeanne Mithaugen-Knight.