Darwyn Leroy Kanzelman, 77, New Rockford, died Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012, at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford after a second battle with cancer.
Darwyn was born Jan. 20, 1935, the second of four children to Wilrich "Bill" and Myrtle (Halvorson) Kanzelman, on a farm east of Flora. He graduated from eighth grade in Flora and the Benson County Agriculture & Training School in Maddock in 1952 at the age of 17. While in school, he worked on the family farm and for the local implement dealer. He was drafted into the Army in 1955 and served two years of active duty at Fort Belvoir, Va., as an engineering equipment repairman. Returning home he worked for Farmers Union in Maddock as a mechanic.
He married Faye Olson of Sheyenne, on Sept. 7, 1959. They moved to Watford City where he was a parts manager for OK Implement and an assistant Boy Scout Leader. In 1963, he started Darwyn's Cities Service, a complete auto care service station in New Rockford. The name and location of his business changed over the years, but he provided high quality auto care for the community for 21 years. They had three children, Tami, Michael, and Robert. For health reasons in 1984, he sold the station and went to work for BR Chevrolet as service manager. In May 1991, Michael died in a tragic car accident, just after Darwyn won the election for Eddy County treasurer. He was proud of working for Eddy County and served four terms before retiring at age 72 in 2007.
He was dedicated to his family, his community, and his church. He served on the New Rockford Fire Department for more than 25 years, several as fire chief, and was a charter member of the Community Ambulance Service, receiving the Governor's Life Saving Award. He was active for years in Kiwanis International and the Boy Scouts, and was a faithful member of First Lutheran Church, New Rockford, holding a variety of positions. He was a long-time member of the Lions Club and remained active throughout his later years.
He was a serious, hardworking person. Even with all his community obligations and the long work weeks, he always made special time for his family. He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, driving snowmobiles and motorcycles, and was known for his ability to fix anything.
He fought and survived many serious health issues over the years, but when feeling well, loved nothing better than being with his family and especially getting out to the lake to go fishing. He was a great supporter of anything his children and grandchildren were interested in, as varied as they were. He didn't talk a lot, but when he did, people listened. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather, a trustworthy businessman, and a loyal friend. He is survived by: his wife, Faye, of New Rockford; his daughter, Tami (Wayne) Hipp, of Riverdale; his son, Robert (Beth) Kanzelman, of Rochester, Minn.; and his grandchildren, Tony, Josh and Jake Hipp, of Riverdale, and Kayla and Nathan Kanzelman, Rochester, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Wilrich "Bill," his brother, Erlin, his brother, Phillip "Bud," his son, Michael, his stepfather, Irwin Westby, his mother, Myrtle Westby, and his sister, Phyllis.
Visitation: Today, Nov. 15, 2012, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., in Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford
Prayer service: Today at 7 p.m. in Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford
Funeral: First Lutheran Church, New Rockford, Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.
Interment: Prairie Home Cemetery, New Rockford
Online condolences may be sent at (www.EvansFuneralHomeND.com).