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January 18, 2019

12/27/2018 2:44:00 PM
John L. Magnuson

John L. Magnuson, 84, of New Hope, died December 20 after complications from a stroke. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Norma (Ostrom), daughter Carrie (Annette), son Paul (Chris), granddaughters Emma and Chloé, as well as sisters Marge Peabody and Cindy Huenecke and many other special relatives and friends.

John was born in Minneapolis to parents J. O. Magnuson and Mildred (Nelson) Magnuson on April 9, 1934. The family moved to Lindstrom in 1941 where his Dad had a furniture business. The Magnuson Furniture building is now the home of the Chisago County Historical Society and Museum.

John had a brilliant mechanical mind and was an engineer, builder, sailor, astronomer, steam engine operator, and restorer of antique engines. In 1965 he installed a pipe organ at home for Norma, an accomplished organist. Then in 1985-86 he designed an addition to the house and moved all thirteen ranks of pipes up one floor. John loved airplanes and proudly served in the US. Air Force from 1952-56 as an F86D crew chief and an F86F armorer. A graduate of Northwestern Electronics Institute, he worked for Boeing and WCCO radio before long-term careers at Nortronics in Golden Valley, Gull Engineering in Minnetonka, and MTS Systems Corporation in Eden Prairie. In retirement, he proudly exhibited his beautifully restored engines at threshing shows, including a 1972 Simplicity tractor powered by a 1944 13 horsepower 2-cycle Fairmont railroad engine.

John could seemingly build and fix anything and was always ready to explain engines and machines, usually with his mechanical pencil hovering over a drawing or diagram. He loved to socialize and regularly checked in with neighbors, breakfast buddies, friends, and family. A sentimental guy, he often teared up over good memories, hymns, stories, or moments of human kindness.

A sincere thank you to Colonial Acres and Good Samaritan Ambassador care centers for compassionate care during some difficult months for John.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, January 2, 11 a.m. at Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Rd, Edina, visitation preceding at 10 a.m Interment at Fairview Cemetery, Lindstrom.

Memorials may be made to the Normandale Lutheran Church Organ Restoration Fund or the Normandale Lutheran Church Foundation.

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