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Alfred "Al" Lee Potter

Alfred "Al" Lee Potter, 71, of Park Rapids, died Sunday, Jan. 18, 2009 at home, after a battle against cancer.

He was born July 4, 1937 to Francis and Gladys Potter in Straight River Township, south of Park Rapids. He attended country school and then attended Park Rapids High School, graduating in 1955.

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1957-61, stationed for a year on the island of Anawetok. Following his honorable discharge, he returned to Minnesota where he attended St. Cloud State College, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in math education.

He taught high school math in Los Alamos, N.M. for the 1965-66 school year. He then returned to Minnesota where he taught at Washburn High School in Minneapolis from 1966-75. In 1975, he accepted a position as math teacher at Park Rapids High School. He was also the athletic director for 13 years and was instrumental in starting the All Sports Banquet.

He married Shirley Avenson on Oct. 10, 1992. He became the stepfather of two daughters.

He retired from full time teaching in 1999 and taught part-time in Menahga School for two years and continued as a substitute teacher for a short time after that. He also worked at the Blueberry Pines Golf Course for 15 seasons.

He was a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids where he taught release time and confirmation classes and had served on both the Christian Education board and the Church Properties board.

He was an active member of the Menahga Lions Club and served as president at one time. He earned the Melvin Jones Fellow service award. He was also a past treasurer of Straight River Township.

He is survived by his wife; two stepdaughters: Annie (R.J.) McCarthy of Clear Lake, and Lacey Jo (Ryan) Mirus, of Milliken, Colo.; a grandson; seven sisters: Ardell Nustad, of Owatonna, Joyce (Daryl) Hirschel, of Shoreview, Jean (Wayne) McDonald, of Slayton, Lois (Joyce) Kopp, of New York Mills, Carol (Bill) Valtinson, of Park Rapids, Mary Taylor, of Sacramento, Calif., and Teresa (Earl) Benson, of Park Rapids; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Doris; and three brothers-in-law: Bob Taylor, Bill Scheerer and George Nustad.

Casket bearers: Rob Nustad, Nancy Olmscheid, Mark and Luanne Hirschel, Val Christopherson, Jan Moynihan, Jason Kopp, David Benson and Terri Madsen.

Honorary casket bearers: Randee Sigler, Diane Vaughn, Jennifer Formel, Sara Rewinkle, Ruth Pope, Paul, Dick, Carolyn and Linda McDonald, and Janece Kern.

Visitation: 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009 at Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

Funeral service: 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 23 at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Park Rapids, with Rev. James Neubauer officiating.

Interment: Hubbard Cemetery in Hubbard Township. Military honors will be conducted by the Star of The North Marine Corps League of Park Rapids.