Funeral services will be 1:00 p.m. Monday April 21, 2014 at First United Methodist Church on Pinecone Road in Sartell, MN for David Acheson, age 76, who died Wednesday, at St. Cloud Hospital.
Visitation will be held Sunday, April 20, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. at Wenner Funeral home in Richmond, and 10:00 a.m. 12:30 p.m. Monday at the church.
David Kent Acheson was born on April 14, 1938, in Chester, SD, the son of Claude and Ruth (Ponto) Acheson. He grew up on a farm in Moody County South Dakota and attended grade school in Rutland, SD. In 1956 he graduated from Flandreau High School where he participated in track, basketball, football, and FFA. He attended South Dakota State University, playing four years with the Jackrabbit football team and graduating with a BS degree in the summer of 1960 and an M. Ed degree in 1965 in agricultural education.
David married Donna Frager at First Methodist Church in Madison, SD, on July 2, 1960. He started a 40-year career in public education as the high school vocational agriculture teacher in Burke, SD, with his new bride, who for 53 years was also known as my secretary. In 1962 he returned to Flandreau where he was the high school vocational ag teacher and FFA advisor for 12 years. His department served as a teacher training center for agriculture education majors from SDSU for nine years. He spent part of ten summers as an inspector of certified seed fields for the SD Crop Improvement Association. David served as an officer in the South Dakota Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association, one term as president of the Flandreau Education Association, and ten years as a member of the Flandreau Jaycees. He was also a registered certified official with the South Dakota State High School League in football and basketball until his move to Minnesota.
In 1974 he accepted the position of Adult Farm Management Instructor at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, MN, and found that working with area farm families at their kitchen table could be as much fun as teaching high school students in the classroom. David held memberships in the National and Minnesota Vocational Agriculture Teachers Associations, and the Rocori Education Association. He had served on the advisory board for the Farm Business Management Department at St. Cloud Technical College and on the executive board of the MN State Forage and Grasslands Council. In 1995 he was recognized as teacher of the year by the MN Vocational Association and the MN Agricultural Education Association. After his retirement from School District 750 and Ridgewater College in 2000, he worked several summers for the Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District and as a seed salesman for Wensman.
He was a lifetime member of the Methodist Church and served as a communion steward for many years and on the Building and Grounds Committee. He was a member of the Rocori Booster Club and a former member of the Cold Spring Lions. Dave was a strong supporter of the Future Farmers of America organization and was recognized by them with honorary State Farmer Degrees in SD and MN, and with the honorary American Farmer Degree, which he received at the national FFA convention in Kansas City in 1991.
One of the highlights of his life was starting a summer fishing and camping trip to Lake of the Woods with two other fathers and their sons. Each summer the group grew and provided nine years of treasured memories for the lads and dads involved. He liked hunting but thought the best part was the commune with nature and the woods. Dave enjoyed playing slow-pitch softball until he was 55, then took up pitching horseshoes in the Eden Valley league. His children and grandchildren will miss his ever-present support and advice, but especially his sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; three daughters, Margaret Acheson (Brett Bruvold), Rhoda (Duane) Paurus, Claudia Jean (Joel) Winter, and a son, Jon (Michelle); eight grandchildren, Mariah (Jason) Fischer, Mason and Myles JoJohannes, Matthew Paurus, Ian and Jasper Winter, Grace and Evan Acheson; and his brother, Gerald (Lynne), a niece and two nephews.
David faced his six-year journey with T-cell lymphocytic leukemia with a positive attitude mixed with more than a little humor. It was an adventure that was made as pleasant as possible by Dr. Lemma and the oncology staff at CentraCare Health Plaza and by all of the kind and concerned people working in the Emergency Department and Fifth Floor North at St. Cloud Hospital. His family is so grateful to all of you for your compassionate care.
Arrangements made with Wenner Funeral Home in Richmond, MN.