Paul D. Kittelson

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Paul DeWayne Kittelson was born on August 17, 1936 to Walter and Viola (Iverson) Kittelson at the Brooten Hospital in Brooten, MN.  He was baptized by Pastor Tolo of the Chippewa Falls Lutheran Church in Terrace, MN.  His sponsors were Wallace and Opal Iverson of Sioux Falls, SD.  He received his religious training and was confirmed by Rev. Magnus Rhone at West Lake Johanna Church of Gilchrist County.  He attended Country School District #16 of Pope County and graduated from Glenwood High School in 1954.  He served in the Army from September of 1954 until 1957.  He attended Moorhead State Teachers’ College and graduated with a degree in Speech, Theatre Arts and English.


Paul met Janice Dodge at college and they were married on April 4, 1959 by Pastor Tolo.  To this union were born three children: Mark, Susan and Matthew.  Paul taught in Bird Island Public Schools from 1961-1963 and taught in the Benson Public Schools from 1964 until he retired in 1993.  He coached speech, 1-act plays, directed plays and musicals, and coached track for 25 years with Jerry Jerdee.


He held positions in the Benson Education Association as their president and negotiator.  At Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church in Benson he taught Sunday school, was President of the Church Council, and served on the Adult Education Board.  He co-directed the Living Last Supper and portrayed Apostle Peter in performances at Our Redeemer’s.  He was President of the Glacial Ridge Conference of the ELCA and also held a position as its treasurer and attended the West Central ELCA Synod conventions.  He also helped prepare a pageant for Our Redeemer’s 125th Church Anniversary.


In the Benson Community Paul was on the Chamber of Commerce Board; Benson Golf Club Board; Chairman of the Swift County Republicans; and was active with the Jaycees.  He was a charter member of the Benson Lions Club.  In 1994 Paul was elected Mayor of Benson and held that position for 20 years.  During that time Paul was President of the Greater Minnesota Cities and held positions on the Minnesota Mayors’ Association Board and was awarded the Missouri River Energy Service Community Leader Award in 2011.  He was Benson Mayor when FibroMinn was chosen to be built here in Benson.  Paul was currently on the Bjorgvin Lodge Sons of Norway board.  Paul enjoyed playing cards, especially with Jim and Ione Goff playing bridge, golfing (he golfed a hole in one), bowling, in career of bowhunting bagged 36 deer, fishing with family and Dusty and buddies, reading, traveling, visiting and swapping Ole and Lena jokes with Duaine Flanders, and coffee with Larry in Starbuck and the buddies there. 


He was preceded in death by a son, Matthew; parents, Walter and Viola Kittelson; grandson, Steven Bawol; sister, Emelie Sorenson; and brother, Larry Kittelson.


Paul is survived by his wife, Janice; daughter, Isabelle (Fred) Mangin and sons Bastien and Julien of Laon France; son, Mark (Amanda) Kittelson of Williston, ND, and children: Danesta, Mark D., Helaina, Alexis, Grai C. Rayven, Ian, Peyton, Zane, and Elias; daughter, Sue (David) Krattenmaker of Riverside, CA, and Sue’s sons Matthew and Colin Bawol; 16 great-grandchildren; brother, David Kittelson; sisters Ruth (Warren) Mitchell and Kathy (Don) Yates; and many wonderful cousins, nieces and newphews, friends and past students.  Blessed be the memory of Paul Kittelson.

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