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Allen M. Ravenberg, age 87, of Madison, died Friday, May 17, 2019, in Fairfax, VA. Funeral services will be 11:00 AM, Saturday, June 1, 2019, at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Madison. Burial with military honors will follow at Graceland Cemetery in Madison. Visitation will be 5-6:30 PM, Friday, at Ellsworth Funeral Home.
Allen M Ravenberg was born on January 31, 1932, at home in rural Butterfield, Minnesota, to Odin and Pearl Ravenberg. He was the first born of five children – siblings: Barbara, Rolland, Roger and Larry. In 1937 the family moved from Minnesota to a farm northeast of Howard, South Dakota, near the Belleview Lutheran Church.
He walked to the small country school for grades 1-8, then attended Howard High School and graduated in 1949. Upon graduation, he began his farming career. During the Korean War, he enlisted in the United States Army. He entered active duty on December 2, 1952, and was stationed in the greater Washington, DC, area with an artillery unit tasked to protect the nation’s capital. He was honorably discharged on December 1, 1954.
After his military service, he met the love of his life, Louise Hagemann, at church. They courted, became engaged, and married on April 3, 1956, and later had two daughters. As Providence would have it, Louise’s parents retired from farming giving the couple an opportunity to purchase her family’s homestead. Life on the farm was busy, fruitful, and the days were filled with work and love.
Allen and Louise retired from farming in 1979 and built a house near Lake Herman. After the house was completed, he began a new career as the maintenance supervisor for the Madison Community Hospital and worked there for 18 years. Because Al never lost his love for farming, he started a small landscaping business which also enabled him to teach his grandsons life skills and develop character traits for manhood.
Allen enjoyed woodworking. He made child size glider chairs and airplanes for each grandchild as well as for friends. He also made many mantel clocks for gifts and sold several more. He enjoyed his well-equipped woodshop on an acreage north of Madison. It was a cozy space – warm in winter and cool in summer – where he labored on a variety of projects. He considered a black walnut grandfather clock his masterpiece. It was made from a tree on his farm which he dried, planed and crafted with love as a 50th wedding anniversary gift to his beloved wife, Louise.
Preceding him in death are his parents Odin (d. 1963) and Pearl (d. 1959); wife, Louise (d. 2005); siblings, Barbara, (d. 1933), Roger (d. 1969), Larry (d. 2009); and grandson, Michael (d. 1980).
He is survived by his daughters and son-in-laws, Debbie Hollingsworth (Mark) of Madison, South Dakota, and Sharrie Danielson (Denny) of Fairfax, Virginia; seven grandsons and their wives: Anthony (Amy), Jeremy (Jennifer), Nathan (Kelcie), and Joshua (Rachel) Hollingsworth; and Paul (Jessie), Caleb, and David Danielson; seven great-grandchildren: Jade, Lili, Michael, Milo, Ellie, Eli, and Jaxon Hollingsworth.