Dahlin, Elroy Vern 80

Elroy Vern Dahlin, age 80, was a lifelong resident of Cokato, a staple in his family and community, and a generous, gentle soul. He loved God, his family, people, collecting everything, and ice cream – all traits that will live on in his children and grandchildren. On May 31, 2021, surrounded by his family, he was called home by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Elroy was born to Clarence and Ruth Dahlin on June 7, 1940, the eldest of 3 children. He was baptized on October 13, 1940.
A graduate of Cokato High School, Class of 1958, Elroy played center for the Cokato Cardinals during their infamous 27-game win streak. He went on to briefly attend and play football at Bemidji State University, but returned to Cokato to work at Don’s City Service. It was here that he would meet his future wife, Betty Lundeen. They were engaged July 2, 1965 and married at the Elim Mission Church in Cokato on September 25, 1965.
In 1974, together and with their partner, Denny Lundeen, they co-founded and operated Cokato Tractor Salvage. Their business began in an empty barn and over the next 36 years, grew to selling parts throughout the United States and several other countries. Elroy and Betty were additionally blessed with 44 years of marriage, 2 children, Kurt Dahlin of Cokato and Jill Pingel of Maple Lake, and, eventually, 7 grandchildren.
The personification of a “social butterfly”, Elroy had the ability to strike up a conversation with anyone and form a connection with complete strangers. You could often find him having coffee with the guys at the Marketplace, or breakfast at the Dairy Queen, or volunteering at the food shelf. Likely chatting up anyone who walked by.
Given his love of people, it is not a surprise that he would be heavily involved within the community. Elroy served 4 years on the Cokato City Council, 25 years on the Corn Carnival Committee, was an Election Judge for the Cokato Township, and a member of the Cokato Museum Board. Elroy also volunteered for 56 years working the Corn Stand at the Cokato Corn Carnival. His family has fond memories of being able to skip the line to see Grandpa Elroy and occasionally sneaking out some extra ears of corn.
His services were recognized and honored by the city as he was the recipient of the 1996 Cokato Corn Carnival Service Award and 1999 Business of the Year award, and named the 2015 Grand Marshal of the Cokato Corn Carnival kick off parade and 2018 Citizen of the Year.
Elroy dedicated himself to God and was an active member of the Elim Mission Church. Some of his favorite memories were of being a youth leader with his wife Betty. He was also an usher, AWANA leader, and served as a Trustee and Chairman of Buildings & Grounds for several years.
Elroy lived his life in service to God, his family, and community. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, and was an avid bowler – attending many tournaments across the country. He also loved to attend his grandchildren’s school events whether it be a sporting event or a production of Beauty and the Beast. He was the best kind of father, grandpa, brother, and neighbor, always caring and selfless, although he did hide his Peanut Butter M&M’s so others wouldn’t eat his favorite candy.
Elroy is survived by his children Kurt (Stephanie) Dahlin, and Jill (Chad) Pingel; grandchildren Mikaela, Olivia, Natalia, and Kyle Dahlin; and Lexi (Jon) Christensen, Sadie, and Austin Pingel; siblings Mary (Gary) Redmann, and Jim (Linda) Dahlin; and many nieces, nephews, and friends.
Although, he has left loved ones and a community in mourning, we rejoice in the knowing that Elroy has been reunited with those who preceded him in death: his wife, Betty; father, Clarence “Ky” Dahlin; and mother, Ruth Dahlin.
The funeral service will take place on Saturday, June 5 at 10 a.m. at Highland Community Church. A visitation will be held an hour prior.
Arrangements will be handled by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home & Cremation Service.