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Merle "Dean" Hovland

Memorial services for Merle “Dean” Hovland, age 72 of Albert Lea, Minnesota will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016 at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home.  Rev. Don Malinsky will officiate. Military Honors will be accorded.  Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Monday.

Dean died Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Community in Albert Lea where he resided with Alzheimer’s since February 15, 2006.

Merle “Dean” Hovland was born to Merle Dean Kaster and Helen Mae (Torgeson) in Austin, Minnesota on July 18, 1943.  His mother Helen and his father Juan Hovland who adopted Dean raised him in Albert Lea where he attended school.  After school he proudly joined the Army National Guard and attended the Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Pipestone, completing the meat processing program.

He married his beautiful wife and the love of his life Jean Marie Saltou on August 6, 1965 at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.  Shortly after starting a family, Dean and Jean moved to Loveland, Colorado where he was employed by the City of Loveland and later to Estes Park, Colorado where here was a butcher.  After many years, Dean and his family moved back to Albert Lea to be closer to family and was employed at Wilsons. Although he returned to Minnesota, his heart belonged in Colorado and he took many trips back to his favorite place. Family was the most important thing in his life.  He was very proud of his wife and kids and later in life he was even more proud of his grandkids.  They were the center of his universe.  He never missed an opportunity to spend time with them (even if it meant going to the park three times a day).  If they were happy, he was happy. Dean was a true Minnesota Vikings fan and he looked forward to attending Vikings training camp with his kids.  Rev. Malinsky will be using a bible at the service once owned by Bud Grant.  Dean enjoyed family get-togethers, playing cards, watching and feeding the birds, but above all he enjoyed spending time with his wife, kids, and grandkids. He was one of a kind with a gift for gab, a heart made of gold, and terrible jokes that always made you laugh!

He is survived by his children, Kevin (Sarah) Hovland, Candace (fiancé Dean Slater) Hovland, Trevor Hovland, and Heidi (Chris) Fjermestad; grandkids, Alix (fiancé Chad Farley) Goskeson, Shalisa Strouf, Evan Goskeson, Hope Smith-Ridnour, Chloe Hovland, Devin Slater, Soren Fjermestad, and Landon Hovland; great-grandchildren, Brayden Farley and Ava Grinstead; brother, Mark Hovland; brother-in-law Randy (Donna) Saltou; sisters-in-law, Shelley Saltou, Shirley Avery, Sandy (Luis) Cardona, Vicky (Paul) Johnson, and Connie (Dave) Finch; a special niece Paula Christenson, and many other nieces, nephews, and friends.

Dean was preceded in death by his wife Jean Hovland; his parents Juan and Helen Hovland and Merle Kaster; father and mother-in-law, Roger and Arlene Saltou; sister-in-law, Mary Schaefer; brother-in-law, Dennis Saltou; and nephews Todd and Mitch Nesset.

A very special thank you to all of Dean’s friends and family at St. John’s Lutheran Community.

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A candle was lit in memory of Merle Hovland

landon hovland Oct 28 2019 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Merle Hovland

chase leighton Oct 28 2019 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Merle Hovland

Julian Murphy Oct 28 2019 12:00 AM

Whether the loss is expected or unexpected, it is always hard.  One endures with hugs from loved ones and prayers for strength.  Remember your dad always with loving memories.

Vicky Hoffman Feb 29 2016 12:00 AM

Heidi and Family-

Sorry to hear of your loss. Thoughts and prayers to all of you.

Matt Weiss Feb 26 2016 12:00 AM