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Rev. Norman Fonss,   Age 93
Visitation Location: Benson Funeral Home Chapel, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Visitation Date/Time: Friday, April 19, 2024 from 3:00-4:00 PM
Funeral Time: 4:00 PM on Friday, April 19, 2024
Funeral Location: Benson Funeral Home Chapel, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Burial Location: Private family burial will be held in the Highwater Cemetery

Rev. Norman Fonss, 93

Highwater Township

August 12, 1930 – March 27, 2024


            Rev. Norman Fonss, age 93, of Highwater Township, MN passed away on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at Hennepin County Health Care Center. 


            Memorial Services celebrating Norman’s life will be held at 4:00 PM on Friday, April 19, 2024 at Benson Funeral Home Chapel, St. Cloud, MN and at 12:00 PM on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at Highwater Lutheran Church, Lamberton, MN. Each service will have one hour of visitation prior to the service. 


            There will also be a Memorial Gathering from 6:30-9:00 PM on Monday, April 22, 2024 at the Knollwood Apartments, 3630 Phillips Pkwy, St. Louis Park, MN. 


Private family burial will be held in the Highwater Cemetery.


            Norman was born on August 12, 1930, in New York, NY to Victor and Thora (Hall Jenson) Fonss. Norman served in the U.S. Army during WWII and the Korean War after enlisting at age 16 by exaggerating his age. He served from 1946-1955 with a brief break in 1949 before reenlisting. Upon completing his enlistment Norm attended St. Olaf College earning a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He went on to attend Luther Seminary earning a Master’s Degree in Theology and being Ordained as a Lutheran Minister. Norman was married to Ardelle Hendrickson on August 17, 1969, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Mpls. He served several parishes including, St. Matthew’s in Benwood, WV; Atonement in Jamestown, ND; and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church on Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation in Belcourt, ND after which time he began to serve as a Chaplain at Veteran’s Affairs Medical Centers. His first VAMC Chaplaincy was in Dayton, OH then Syracuse, NY and finally, St. Cloud MN where he officially retired in 1995. His retirement was brief as he then served as Chaplain at United Hospital in Grand Forks, filled in as a vacancy pastor, and worked as a substitute teacher around St. Cloud until 2000 when they moved to Ardelle’s family farm in Highwater Township where he continued to serve in various parishes as a vacancy pastor. When he wasn’t busy with work Norman enjoyed playing ping-pong, guitar, piano, singing, woodworking, and spending time with his family. 


            Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Ardelle; daughters, Rachel Fonss, Rebecca Fonss, and Joan (Scott) Lehmkuhl; grandchildren, Zach (Napi) Lehmkuhl, Andrew (Becky) Lehmkuhl, and Hunter (Abagael) Lehmkuhl; great-grandchildren, Layla, Hunter, Genevieve, Landon, Amelia and a great-grandchild expected to be born in June;sister, Jane Fonss; niece, Susan (Torjus) Fonss-

Refsnes, her son, Stephen; and cousins, Bobby and Kevin Cruse.


Norman was preceded in death by his parents; Brother, Victor (Kari) Fonss, infant twin brothers; sisters, Peggy, Gloria, and Joan; and infant niece


In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to:




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