Douglas Raymond Hallen, age 92, of Plymouth, MN breathed his last breath on Saturday, August 19, 2023 after a year-long stay at the J. A. Wedum Hospice House. Doug was frustrated that "Jesus didn't come to take him home" sooner, but his stay was comfortable and peaceful. Doug will be remembered as a loving husband and father, and a caring and supportive grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
Doug was born in Amery, WI to John Arthur and Helen Pauline (Nelson) Hallen on August 28th, 1930. He grew up in Clayton and Rice Lake, WI, playing high school basketball and singing in the church choir. He graduated High School in 1948, and according to Doug, he did so "by the skin of his teeth". The 1930's were tough for everyone, and the Hallen family suffered the death of Doug's baby brother Donald, as well as his father's extended illnesses. His mother's strength carried them, and even in his youth Doug built strong friendships. One of his friends wrote in his yearbook that the fun can't start until "Hallen is here!"
Doug attended the Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis for a year, and while at LBI a classmate "introduced" him to a young woman in Flint, MI named Delores Hayes. The two became pen pals, and eventually met when he drove up to meet Dee in person. In an era of expensive travel and few telephones they did their best to build a relationship. They continued their letter writing while Doug spent two years in the army (largely stationed in Germany) and were married in Grand Rapids in 1954 when Doug returned.
Doug and Dee lived in Minneapolis and their first daughter, Karen Lea, was born in 1956. Four years later, their second daughter, Kathy Mae, was born in 1960. They lived in several places over the years, Omaha, New Jersey, and back to Minneapolis, making friends and creating community in each place. Doug and Dee also spent time in Florida, first as snowbirds and then as residents for a few years before moving back to the Twin Cities.
Doug was often described as "a salesman's salesman," and he took pride in his work. He started out selling TV's and appliances throughout southern Minnesota and then moved the family to Omaha in 1960 to sell for Paramount Paper Products. After being transferred to New Jersey and then back to Omaha, Doug found his "dream job" with HM Smyth. The family moved to Minneapolis and Doug sold labels for food products for Smyth, moving up to Vice President of Sales until his retirement in 1995. He always made sure family and friends were well supplied with Smyth scratch pads! He traveled often but made time for family and friends when he was home.
Doug loved the Lord and was an active participant in every church they belonged to. Doug served on church councils,, taught confirmation, ushered, attended Bible studies, prepared communion, read the lessons and visited with everyone in the fellowship hall.
Doug reveled in his relationship with Dee from the first letter he wrote until the end. When she agreed to be his wife, when she became "Mom," and when she became "Grandma," it seemed like he just celebrated her new identity and basked in it. When he lost Dee in 2014 his faith carried him, and this was even more apparent this past year as he waited for "Jesus to take me home." Ultimately, he died on her birthday. Dee always said that in heaven she would be "able to sing," and now we picture Doug singing and dancing with her.
Doug enjoyed playing golf and watching sports on TV. He loved college basketball and March Madness, baseball and the MN Twins, and football. Once he moved to Minnesota, he tried his best to cheer for the Vikings, but he was always a Packer fan in his heart. Bart Starr's influence never ended.
Doug loved good jokes, and secretly researched them and learned them well. He didn't sit in the back at social gatherings; he gathered friends, shared his jokes, and quickly became the hub of laughter and loud voices.
Doug and Dee both came from small families and then they raised one, so friendships and community played a special role. They hosted holiday parties regularly, and always invited their guests to bring their children with them.
His humor and wit and more importantly love, care and concern, will be missed by his daughters Karen (Len) Halvorson and Kathy (Blake) Nutter; grandchildren Matt (Lindsay), Kim (Corey), Kari (Gabe), Jon (Shannon), Josh (Ashley), Ben and Ryan; and great-grandchildren Julian, Zeke, Sojourner, Moses, Calvin, Miles, Solie, Isaac, Madeline, Adeline and Ralph. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dee, parents, baby brother, Donald and great granddaughter, Eliza Mae Halvorson-Gartner.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 12:00 pm Monday, August 28, 2023 at Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Rd, St. Louis Park. Visitation for family and friends one hour prior to the service.
Doug's family would like to extend their sincere thanks and gratitude for all the care the staff at JA Wedum gave to him during his time there.
Memorials - donors choice