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Obituary for Joel Girardin

Joel Girardin, age 80 of Cannon Falls, passed away Saturday afternoon, September 14, 2019, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. Joel Michael Girardin was born January 17, 1939, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Elmer and Geneva (Anderson) Girardin. He grew up in Albert City, and graduated from Albert City High School in 1956. After serving in the US Army in Vietnam, he returned to Minnesota, living in Preston. Joel graduated from the University of Minnesota-Mankato in 1966 with his BA in mathematics. He joined Unisys Corporation after graduation and after 35 years of serving at facilities in Olympia, WA, […]

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Joel Girardin, age 80 of Cannon Falls, passed away Saturday afternoon, September 14, 2019, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park.

Joel Michael Girardin was born January 17, 1939, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Elmer and Geneva (Anderson) Girardin. He grew up in Albert City, and graduated from Albert City High School in 1956. After serving in the US Army in Vietnam, he returned to Minnesota, living in Preston. Joel graduated from the University of Minnesota-Mankato in 1966 with his BA in mathematics. He joined Unisys Corporation after graduation and after 35 years of serving at facilities in Olympia, WA, Austin, TX, Sacramento, CA, and Denver, CO, he retired in 2001. In retirement, Joel chose to work for the Eagan Post Office in IT for three years. Joel married Coleen Engdahl on November 7, 1970, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato and the couple raised four children.

Joel was a man of intense and varied hobbies. He served on the board of directors of the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, receiving the MGGA Elmer Swenson Achievement Award for publishing the newsletter and annual report. He also won best vinifera wine at the 26th Annual International Home Wine Competition with a Muscat Canelli. He grew garlic and participated in the Minnesota Garlic Festival in Hutchinson, serving as Grand Marshall of the annual parade as the grandfather of Minnesota garlic. Joel was a long-time member of the Seed Savers Exchange, and was awarded the Oak Medallion for promoting the SSE and for serving as an advisor for the SSE’s garlic collection. He also enjoyed reading and gardening.

Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Coleen; their children, Tera Girardin of Lakeville, Erika (Matt) Esterby of Hastings, Andrea (Shawn) Abbas of Lakeville, and Joshua (Karla) Girardin of Land-O-Lakes, Florida; 11 grandchildren, Drew, Aaron and Alex Windfeldt, Kyan, Kasen and Kade Esterby, Grace, Noah and Bree Abbas, Kayla and Kiana Girardin; two sisters, Jolyn (Wayne) Olson of Frost and Kaynel (Terry) Rindels of Preston; one brother, Kim of Winona; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A visitation to celebrate Joel’s life will be held from 4-7PM on Friday, September 20, 2019, with a short program at 6:30PM, at the Bierman Funeral Home, Northfield. Interment with Military Honors will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, at a later date.

Memorials are preferred to Seed Savers, seedsavers.org/donate.

Arrangements are with Bierman Funeral Home & Crematory. www.biermanfuneralhome.com

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Visitation

4:00 PM - September 20, 2019 - 7:00 PM

Bierman Funeral Home
1316 Division St S Northfield, 55057 Get Directions

3 Comments

  1. Carrie Webb

    Thinking of, and praying for all of you. He seemed like a wonderful man. May you celebrate his life and grieve together.

    Reply
  2. The Albrechts

    So sad to hear the news. We are thinking of you all. The obituary tells such a great story about what a wonderful life he lives.

    Reply
  3. Sharon Ehrlich

    We are very sad to hear of Joel’s passing. We worked together at Unisys in the mid 1990’s. Joel was always the gentleman, very helpful and very intelligent. We have great memories of garlic and conversations around wines, the science of growing plants, and the evolving trends in agriculture among others. Our deepest sympathies to the family.

    Reply

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