Paul R. Kirkwold, age 73, of Starbuck, MN died on Thursday, November 24, 2022, at home. A memorial service celebrating Paul's life will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, December 12th at the Starbuck Community Center. Visitation will be Sunday, December 11th from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home in Glenwood and will continue one hour prior to the service at the Community Center. Inurnment will be in the spring at Minnewaska Lutheran Cemetery in Starbuck. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Paul Richard Kirkwold, the son of Claremont and Cora (Tollefson) Kirkwold was born September 17, 1949 in Starbuck, Minnesota. Paul was the youngest of his five siblings and grew up on a farm near Starbuck. He attended Minnewaska Lutheran Church and Starbuck High School, graduating in 1967.
On February 19, 1968 Paul entered the United States Air Force. He received his basic training at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. He received training to be a Morse Code Specialist in San Antonio, Texas. Paul completed survival training in the Philippines before being deployed to Vietnam. He excelled in Morse code and went on many missions because of his skill. In February 1971, Paul came home from Vietnam early because his mom died. On his way home from the airport, there was such a terrible snowstorm he and his brother had to ride snowmobiles from Paynesville to Starbuck. He was honorably discharged on April 2, 1971.
After returning from Vietnam, he was employed as part owner of the Old West Shop in Starbuck until he began dairy farming in 1975. Paul attended the Veteran’s Agriculture school for 5 years. He continued to farm and raise dairy cattle for the next 25 years.
On August 18, 1973, Paul was united in marriage to Sue Rosengren at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Glenwood. The couple made their home in rural Starbuck at the Kirkwold family farm. Paul and Sue were blessed with three sons, Matthew, Jeffery and Keith along with a special friend Michael who lived with them growing up and became part of the family. The couple shared 49 years of marriage.
Paul was a member of the Starbuck VFW, serving as quartermaster for several years, was the Minnewaska Township supervisor and officer for many years. He volunteered for the Let’s Go Fishing organization and subsequently the Minnewaska Lake Association Fishing for Seniors up until Covid in 2019. He was involved with the grief support group, Compassionate Friends, from 2014 - 2019 until it was paused also because of Covid.
Paul will be remembered for his big and generous heart, his willingness to help out a friend in need, and his love for his family. After Paul retired, he and Sue would winter at South Padre Island, Texas. Paul made many social connections there and enjoyed fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Paul loved all people and getting to know new people no matter where he went. A frequent trip he would make with his buddies was to go out west to ride horses on a big ranch to round up and work cattle. That was his idea of a perfect vacation. Paul died November 24, 2022 at the Kirkwold family farm where his heart was most content.
Paul is survived by his wife, Sue of Starbuck; sons, Matthew (Sarah Roddy) Kirkwold of Crystal, and Keith (Amber Hvezda) Kirkwold of Lowry, bonus son, Michael (Pennie) Opdahl of Milton, WI; grandchildren, Brady, Peyton and Odin Kirkwold; two sisters, Maxine Halverson and Janice (Tom) Pettit; two brothers, Robert and Larry Kirkwold; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents and son, Jeffrey Kirkwold, in 2013.
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