John Alvin Haugen, 87, Minot, died on Friday, April 18, 2014, in a Minot nursing home.
John was born on Aug. 27, 1926, on the family farm in Woodside Township of Polk County, near Erskine, Minn., to Julia Haugen. He grew up in the household of his aunt and uncle, Bertha and Ensen Haugen, on a farm near Erskine and attended school in Erskine. As a young adult he lived and worked in Minneapolis until he began his career with the Soo Line Railroad as a signalman in 1948 at Erskine. John entered the Army in September of 1950 and served with the 78th Ordnance Depot Company in the U.S. and Germany prior to his honorable discharge as an E5 in September of 1952. He returned to Minnesota and continued his career with the Soo Line Railroad, working throughout Minnesota and the entire Soo Line system in five states before coming to Minot in March of 1957.
John met Carol Getzlaff in March of 1957 and they were married on Oct. 14 of that year. They made their home in Minot, where John continued his career with the Soo Line and John and Carol raised their four children. John retired as a signal maintainer in June of 1994 after 47 years with the Soo Line Railroad.
In retirement John and Carol enjoyed spending time with their family traveling around the Upper Midwest and completing projects in their home and yard. They celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary in October of 2008. Carol died on March 11, 2009.
John had resided at Edgewood Vista in Minot since 2010 prior to moving to Trinity Homes in September of 2013.
John was a member of Bread of Life Lutheran Church, Minot, Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen and a charter member and hall of fame honoree of the Railroad Museum of Minot. He especially enjoyed bowling, watching the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings and he assisted in laying track and serving as a train engineer for the Magic City Express at Roosevelt Park in Minot. He and Carol were lifelong animal lovers and pet owners and supported the efforts of the Souris Valley Animal Shelter in Minot. He had a special fondness for big black dogs.
John's loving family includes: his daughters, Carmen (James) Dolbeare, of Willow City, Kimberley (Vaughn) Fiskum and Kelly (Anthony) Voeller, all of Minot; daughter-in-law, Kim Haugen, of Minot; grandchildren, Brent (Marisa) Dolbeare, Curtis Dolbeare (Kyra Chandler), Alissa (Allen) Moldenhauer, Michael and Matthew Fiskum and Derek Flory; great-grandchildren, Reggan, Anabelle, Slade, Ally, Wyatt, Jaydon, Jazlyn, Paytin and Addyson; siblings, Melvina Tranby, of Moorhead Minn., Edna Hunnicutt, of Wadena Minn., Betty Koelln, of Dent, Minn., and Harris Borslein, of Prairie du Chein, Wis.; and several nieces and nephews.
John was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Carol; and son, John Haugen Jr.
Celebration of the Life of John Haugen: Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at 2 p.m. in Bread of Life Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Will be in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan.
Visitation: There will be no reviewal but friends may sign a memorial register today, April 21, from 2 to 6 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to the Railroad Museum or Souris Valley Animal Shelter, both of Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).