The funeral service for Lael Bahn, 71, of Cottonwood, will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, September 28, 2020 at the English Lutheran Church in Cottonwood. A walk through visitation will take place on Sunday from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the church and Monday from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Social distancing requirements will be followed. A private family interment will take place at a later date.
Lael Owen Bahn was born on January 16, 1949, in Marshall, Minnesota, to Harold and Eilleen (Frank) Bahn. He grew up on a farm at the east end of Cottonwood, Minnesota, with his siblings. He was baptized as an infant and later confirmed in June of 1963 at English Lutheran Church in Cottonwood. Lael did some chores on the farm, but during his junior high, high school and college breaks, he worked for his uncle Martin Bahn at the grocery store located downtown Cottonwood. Lael graduated from Cottonwood High School in 1967. He went on to Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota and graduated there in 1969 with an Associate of Arts degree. He continued education at Mankato State College and graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. From 1972 to 1974, Lael taught parochial school at Saude Lutheran School in rural Lawler, Iowa. Following that, he taught parochial school at Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Mankato, Minnesota from 1974 to 1976. The search for adventure landed him in Los Angeles, California working as a bookkeeper at Al Barker Bonds. Homesickness brought him back to Minnesota and he worked at the Satterlee Company as a pricing clerk for the industrial distributor in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On October 5, 1985, Lael was united in marriage with LuAnn Broughton at Christ Lutheran Church in Cottonwood, Minnesota. They lived in St. Paul, Minnesota and Stacy, Minnesota until returning to Cottonwood. To this union one daughter Liesl, was born. After coming “back home” in 1988, Lael worked with AFLAC; at Hy-Vee as a night stock clerk; a paraprofessional at Cottonwood Elementary School; a Case Manager at Region 8 North Welfare; a paraprofessional at East Side and Park Side Schools in Marshall. From 1990 to 1994, Lael returned to Mankato state University evening and summer session classes to get licensures in special education. He began teaching special education at Lakeview Public School in 1992. He was one of the traveling teachers when there were campuses in Cottonwood and Wood Lake. He retired from Lakeview School in 2013 after 21 years of teaching special education there. One of Lael’s interests was music. He was an organist during high school and from 1988 to 2015 at English Lutheran Church in Cottonwood. He was an organist and choir director at Divinity Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. From 2001 to 2015 he had also been an organist at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Posen Township in rural Wood Lake, Minnesota. Lael always enjoyed gardening. Some years were good, others, weedy. But, there was usually something to can, or flowers to pick. Lael was active in the Cottonwood Historical Society and enjoyed working in the garden and giving tours of the Norseth-Larsen House. If you went to any sporting events in Cottonwood, Lael was in the concession stand. He was noted for his tasty popcorn. He liked to travel. With friends and family, he went to France, Italy, Switzerland, East and West Germany, Austria and Mexico. He had visited many of our states.
Lael died on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, under the care of Prairie Home Hospice at Prairie Home Fieldcrest in Cottonwood.
Lael enjoyed sharing a happy life with his wife, LuAnn, daughter Liesl, and son-in-law Damon Laukala. Also, a sister, Eunice Boerner of Marshall, Minnesota, a sister, Glenyce and husband Clarence Possail of Marshall, several nephews and nieces; Curtis Boerner, Laurie (and Tim) Smith, Shellie Hoff, Lon (and Karen) Huso, Jill Person, Tom Bahn, Dawn Bahn and Sharon (and Ernest) Williams, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews, relatives and friends survive him.