Arnold Backhaus, 91Arnold “Arnie” Backhaus, 91, died October 18, 2012, at the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria.
Arnold “Arnie” Backhaus, 91, died October 18, 2012, at the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria.
Arnie was born in Linton, North Dakota on January 24, 1921, the son of Henry and Emma (Ketterling) Backhaus. He attended schools in Pollock. In 1943, Arnie entered the United States Army and served his country as a medic in North Africa and Italy. He was on a troop ship bound for action in Japan when the group received word of the war’s end. Arnie was honorably discharged in 1945.
Upon his discharge, he moved to the Miltona area, where his parents had eventually settled. He then attended a mechanical school in Fargo for a short period of time prior to being united in marriage to Vi Gesell on October 5, 1947.
After short stays in a couple of communities, Arnie and Vi settled in Alexandria in the early 1950s. During this time period, Arnie worked for the local gas company and Northside Heating and Cooling. He was known for being able to take anything apart and then put it back together.
Arnie and Vi lived an active life in the community as they raised their four children. They were members of Zion Lutheran Church, where Arnie served in many capacities and also enjoyed being involved in the Men’s Club and dart ball group.
Arnie’s children remember him as a man who was always on an even keel, a hard worker and good provider for the family, a tremendous father, and a grandfather who loved to see his grandkids. He also enjoyed card club, bowling, cribbage, and watching the Minnesota Twins.
He is survived by his wife, Vi Backhaus of Alexandria; children, Keith (Mary) Backhaus of Ramsey, Gale (Daniel) Jackson of Alexandria, Lee (Judy) Backhaus of Alexandria, and Jill (Bryon) Novotny of Grand Forks; grandchildren, Erin Robertson, Peter Backhaus, Melissa Hinderschied, Angela Penning, Craig Jackson, Bria Backhaus, Beau Backhaus, Laura Novotny, and Kari Novotny; 10 great-grandchildren, Courtney Penning, Morgan Penning, Colton Hinderschied, Hunter Penning, Aubrey Hinderschied, Daniel Jackson, Garret Penning, Isaiah Jackson, Levi Jackson and Jackson Penning; sisters, Esther Huisingh of Woodbury and Phyllis Ekert of Annandale; and brother, Delmer Backhaus of St. Michael.
Arnold was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Walter and Clarence; and sister, Shirley.
Funeral services were held Monday, October 22 at Zion Lutheran Church in Alexandria with the Rev. David Hinz officiating. Music was provided by Pastor Hinz, soloist, and Irma Brockberg, organist. Interment was at Evergreen Cemetery in Alexandria with Craig Jackson, Beau Backhaus, Seth Robertson, Tim Hinderschied, Brian Penning and Korey Pedraza serving as pallbearers. The remaining grandchildren and the great-grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers.
Military honors were accorded by American Legion Post #87, VFW Post #936, and the Minnesota National Guard.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.