We sadly announce the death of our dear brother, Wesley Halbakken of Rothsay. Wes passed away on October 23, 2022 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo, N.D at the age of 79. He was born in Pelican Rapids on June 23, 1943 to Millard and Gladys (Haarstad) Halbakken. He was baptized at Ringsaker Lutheran Church and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids.
Wes attended school in Pelican Rapids and graduated with the Class of 1961. Wrestling and football were special interests for Wes in his high school years, but farming was of utmost importance in his life. The day school was over Wes rode his bike to his beloved farm in Trondhjem Township for the summer. Wes was very proud to have lived on the original Haarstad farm his entire life. Wes was also a lifelong fan of his Minnesota Vikings, never missing the chance to cheer them on.
In 1965 Wes enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. and faithfully served in Vietnam. Wes was wounded while serving there. He received the Navy Commendation Medal, the Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart for his services. He was still able to continue being a farmer when he returned home. Just two weeks ago, Wes took part in the Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. where he along with other veterans were truly recognized for their military service.
On January 18, 1983 Wes was united in marriage to Terry Eller at Ballard First Lutheran Church in Seattle, Washington. For many years they shared time between Seattle and the farm in Rothsay. Sadly, Terry preceded Wes in death by only two months.
Wes had many very good friends in the community and he was always willing to help everyone with anything until the last few years when he suffered a couple of strokes which changed his way of life. He continued to have so many faithful friends.
Survivors include his brothers and sisters, Sharon (Doug) Lange, Wanda, Gary, Steve (Jan), Renae (Al) Schulz, and Terry (Lance) LaFave and Terry’s family, Laura Walters, Bill (Wade) Walters, and Terri Jean (Tim) Gilbert. There are also several nieces and nephews in the Seattle and Boise areas that survive him. Larry Ohe continued to be a faithful friend and was always there for Wes.
Funeral Service: 1:00 p.m. Saturday, October 29, 2022 at New Life Lutheran Church in Rothsay, with visitation one-hour prior to the service.
Clergy: Reverend Randy Whitehead
Military Participation: Pelican Rapids V.F.W. Post #5252
Interment: South Immanuel Cemetery, Rothsay, MN
Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to