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Curtis O’Niel Sannerud, affectionately known as “Sunshine”, was born on May 16, 1930, at home on the farm (which he still owns to this day) in Normania Township to Christian and Margaret (Adrian) Sannerud. He was baptized at home and confirmed at Spring Creek Norwegian Lutheran Church. Throwing only a blanket over the back of a horse, Sunshine made his way to and from country school through the 8th grade before later transferring to Clarkfield High School, where he excelled as a football running back and math, but don’t ask him to spell anything. After graduation, he started building grain elevators before enlisting in the U.S. Army to serve in the Korean War. Stationed in Trieste, Italy, Curtis was able to travel and see parts of Greece and Norway during his active duty. Following his honorable discharge from the service in 1954, Sunshine resumed building elevators and farming near his home farm. Throughout his lifetime, Curt also sold seed corn—first for Trojan, then Pfizer, and finally DeKalb. This job was really his excuse to get out and meet people—Sunshine loved talking and hearing others’ life stories. He also socialized by way of serving on the AMPI Board of Directors, being an active member of the Hazel Run Legion, and participating in card parties.
In the 1950s, Curt would meet the love of his life, Jeannine Weidauer, while at a roller-skating rink in Marshall. Smitten from the minute he saw her, he put his arm around her, and she immediately snuggled in closer—the two were inseparable thereafter. On May 21, 1955, the couple were married in Marshall and eventually had three children: Sherrie, Terry, and Shelley. Curt loved to golf, deer hunt with his son, Terry, brother-in-law, Ted, and grandsons, take fishing trips to Canada, and after retiring, could spend more time birdwatching and honing his painting and woodworking skills. True to his Scandinavian heritage, sunshine indulged in lefse, kringla, and lutefisk (made by Jeannine in its own special pan for obvious reasons;) however, nothing compared to his love for Jeannine’s chocolate cake—no frosting though, just butter on top—and a glass of milk. Sunshine also loved to take part in the Scandinavian Christmas tradition of ‘Julebukking.’ Curtis will be remembered for his special ability to make connections with people, and thanks to his connections to those in higher government circles, we all can be grateful for the tarring of the new Highway 59 after it remained gravel for so long.
On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at the age of 92, Curtis went home to be with the Lord and family and friends that have gone before him. Preceding him in death are his parents, Christian and Margaret Sannerud; wife of 60 years, Jeannine Sannerud; great-grandson, Brycen Sannerud; brother, Alfred Sannerud; sister, Lois (Ted) Bartel; nephew, Teddy Bartel; brother-in-law, Dwight Weidauer, and sisters-in-law, Marlo Sannerud and Eleanor Weidauer.
Curt is survived by his children, Sherrie (Kevin) Adolph of Rushmore, MN, Terry (Nancy) Sannerud of Clarkfield, and Shelley Glad of Clarkfield; six grandchildren: Anthony (Heidi) Adolph, Samantha Scholten, Terry Jon (Casandra) Sannerud, Blaine (Candi) Sannerud, Spenser Sannerud (fiancée Kimberly Ramos), and Jordan Glad; 14 great-grandchildren: Montana, Isabel, Bentley, Abel, Beau, Christian, Josephine, Kinsley, Adley, Eliana, Aria, Jayson, Jasper, and Aurora; brothers, Peder (Sandy) Sannerud and Eugene (Sharon) Sannerud; sisters-in-law, Betty Sannerud and Fran Weidauer, and brother-in-law, Duane (Marie) Weidauer.
Visitation will be on Friday, February 10th from 4-7 PM at the J.H. Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield, with a prayer service beginning at 6:30 PM. A funeral will be held on Saturday, February 11th, 2023 at 10:30 AM at Hazel Run Lutheran Church, with visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment with military honors to follow in the Hazel Run Lutheran Cemetery.