Funeral services were held for Harley Windels, 84, of New York Mills, on Oct. 21 at Trinity Lutheran Church in New York Mills, with Pastor Gunnard Heikila and Pastor David Maki officiating. The hymns were sung by the congregation and accompanied by Cindy Becker. Special music was provided by Gary Bach. The pallbearers were Ronald Windels, Wesley Windels, Randy Windels, Ralph Limanen, Scott Maki and Joe Groebner. Honorary pallbearers were Gene Barvels, Edward Buerkle, Elman Becker and James Tisdell. Military honors were provided by Charles D. Center VFW Post #3289 of New York Mills and Minnesota Army National Guard, Honor Guard, Moorhead, Minn. Harley was laid to rest in Greenwood Cemetery.
Harley Elton Windels was born at home on Feb. 9, 1929 to Fred and Alma (Braun) Windels in Blowers Township, Ottertail County. He was the youngest of five children. He was baptized and confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Blowers Township. Harley lived most of his life in the New York Mills area. He graduated through 8th grade from District #220 Country School, Blowers Township, Ottertail County. He remained on his parent's farm until the age of 18, when he worked on farms in the Red River Valley in Minnesota and North Dakota for four years. In 1951, he was drafted into military service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Harley was stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland as an instructor in Ordinance until his discharge in 1953. After returning home, he farmed with his brother, Harold Windels, in Newton Township, Ottertail County, until 1955 when he took over the farm. He also became a partner in the Case Implement Dealership in New York Mills from 1959-1963 with his brother, Walter Windels. On June 25, 1975, Harley was united in marriage to Verna Maki, formerly of New York Mills, at Trinity Lutheran Church, New York Mills. They farmed until his retirement in 1992, when he was elected as a County Commissioner of Ottertail County. He served as Commissioner for six years and was President of Trinity Lutheran Church at various times for a period of 11 years and oversaw the building of the new church.
He served as Director of Mills Elevator Board for three years and was very involved with the Republican party and served as Chairman for the local office and Vice Chairman of the district office. He enjoyed discussing politics and governmental issues and kept up with current events. He also loved playing cards, traveling, farming, fixing machinery and visiting with family and friends.
Harley passed away peacefully on Oct. 16, 2013 at his niece's home in New York Mills, under the care of Hospice, with his family by his side.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Verna; parents, Fred and Alma Windels; sister and brother-in-law, Aleda and Eino Limanen; brothers and sisters-in-law, Walter and Viola Windels and Marvin and Eunice Windels; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Kenneth and Aileen Maki; and sisters-in-law, Arlene Essig and Ruth Pernula.
He is survived by brother and sister-in-law, Harold and Jane Windels of New York Mills; sister-in-law, Mary Lee Maki of New York Mills; and many nieces and nephews from the Windels and Maki families. He will be sadly missed by family and many friends.
Memorials are preferred to go to the Trinity Lutheran Church Preschool Program.
Arrangements were provided by the Karvonen & Son Funeral Home of New York Mills. Online tributes may be posted at www.karvonenfuneralhome.com.