Gale Torstenson

May 8, 1937 ~ December 2, 2021 (age 84)


Gale Torstenson died Thursday, December 2, 2021 at the Johnson Memorial Care Center in Dawson.  A private family service will be held.  A public celebration of life will take place at a later date.

Memorials are preferred to Crossroads Lutheran or the charity of your choice in Gale's name.

Gale Lemar Torstenson was born May 8, 1937 in Montevideo, MN, the son of Bardolph and Selma (Hastad) Torstenson.  He was baptized at Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church and confirmed at Riverside Lutheran Church.  Gale graduated from Dawson High School in 1955 and from Augsburg College in 1959.  He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Studies and Physical Education while playing both football and basketball.  He later earned a Masters Degree in Social Studies from St. Cloud State University.  

He was united in marriage to Barbara Bonnin August 1, 1965 in Sandstone, MN.  They welcomed a daughter, Anne Marie, in 1968 and a son, David Gale, in 1971.   Gale taught junior high Social Studies in Sauk Rapids for 29 years.  He also taught Driver’s Training and coached basketball. During these years he was always drawn back to his love of farming that began in his youth.  Gale believed that if you took care of the land, it would take care of you.  While Gale was teaching, the family lived in Sauk Rapids but spent weekends and summers on the farm near Dawson where Gale continued to farm full time.  He retired from teaching in 1993 and never retired from farming.

Gale was an active member of and took leadership roles in both Lac qui Parle Lutheran Church and Crossroads Lutheran Church.  His faith and his family were of utmost importance.  He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.  He rarely missed any of his children’s or grandchildren’s activities.  He was a good listener, and when he spoke, his wisdom was obvious.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two children: Anne (Brock) Duncan of Benson and David (Paula) Torstenson of Madison; five grandchildren: Anneka, Taylor, and Elise Duncan and Paige and Emily Torstenson; a sister, Marcia (David) Wright of England; brothers and sisters-in-law Harold Bonnin, David (Betty) Bonnin, Lois Felger, and Chuck (Gweyn) Bonnin; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Preceding him in death were his parents, a sister and brother-in-law, Jeannine and Robert Blanchard, mother and father-in-law Adelaide and Earl Bonnin, a sister-in-law Arnetta Bonnin, and a brother-in-law Jim Felger. 

Blessed be his memory.

Funeral Service

Committal Service


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Gale Torstenson
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