Cover photo for Ted Leagjeld's Obituary
1925 Ted 2016

Ted Leagjeld

August 3, 1925 — December 16, 2016

Ted Leagjeld, age 91, of Pine River, passed into the loving arms of our Lord on December 16, 2016, at Essentia St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd, surrounded by his family and friends.

Ted was born on a farm in Todd County, MN, on August 3, 1925, to Louis and Eva Leagjeld. He was the 4th of 13 siblings. He attended country school, and graduated from Long Prairie High School.

Ted received his teaching degree from Valley City State Teacher's College in North Dakota, working his way through college at "Penneys" and then spent 3 years teaching in one-room school houses on the prairie. During this time, he was voted "Teacher of the Year" in North Dakota.

Ted also attended the University of Wyoming in Laramie, where he received a Master of Science, and taught at the university level.

During a teacher shortage in Washington state in the early 1950's, Ted went to teach accelerated 5th and 6th grade students in Port Angeles, Washington. It was here he met Sue Kaldahl of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, who was also teaching in Port Angeles. Ted and Sue were married in Detroit Lakes on June 18, 1957.

After working at Sue's parents resort, (Fair Hills) they purchased Driftwood Family Resort in the fall of 1958, and operated it for 50 years. The resort was a perfect venue for Ted's many talents. Guests of the Driftwood were always impressed by his Tuberous Begonias, the immaculate grounds, and flower beds. Guests were always greeted with a hug. He was also known to change hats several times a day- he had an extensive collection. The Driftwood Smorgasbord was a memorable event for many years. Ted and Sue loved wearing their traditional Norwegian garb, and guests looked forward to Ted's famous "Ole and Lena" jokes.

Son, Tim, was born their first summer at Driftwood (1959), and daughter, Ann (Ashanka) arrived in 1964.

Ted was a prolific writer who kept a daily journal for the last 70 years, and in addition, he and Sue published three children's books. In 2014 Ted published "Prairie Wind", recalling his experiences teaching on the North Dakota prairie.

He was a member of the Sons of Norway and the Pine River Garden Club. While serving on the Citizens Advisory Board at the college in Brainerd, he helped spearhead the formation of the Nursing Program.

Ted is survived by his beloved wife, Sue; son, Tim Leagjeld of Pine River; daughter, Ashanka "Ann" and her husband, Kyle, and their daughters, Sara, Julia and Christina Burd; son, Dan and his wife, Donna, and their children, NiCole and Connor; as well as sisters, Phyllis, Diane and Karen; brothers, David and Louis; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, as well as 7 of his siblings.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Heartland Animal Rescue (HART) in Brainerd/Baxter or Sons of Norway (Sagatun Lodge Brainerd) to help send future students to the Concordia Norwegian Language Village near Bemidji.

Services will be 11 AM on Friday, December 23 at First Lutheran Church, Pine River. Lunch will follow the service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ted Leagjeld, please visit our flower store.

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