Cover photo for David Kaldahl's Obituary
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1932 David 2020

David Kaldahl

March 13, 1932 — November 27, 2020

Detroit Lakes

David Hugh Kaldahl was born on March 13, 1932 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota to Chester T. Kaldahl and Helen Pritchard Kaldahl. He spent his life in Detroit Lakes and at his beloved resort on Pelican Lake.   David passed away November 27, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital of Covid 19.

He was born into resort life, as his father and grandfather purchased Fair Hills in 1926.   The Kaldahl family band started hosting a weekly dance at the resort when he was in his teens.  In 1951 he began his sophomore year of college at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN.  He was chosen to sing bass in the Concordia Choir, under the direction of Paul J. Christianson, an experience he treasured his entire life.  The day after their graduation from Concordia in May, 1954, David and Barbara Burd were married by the college president, with the Concordia Choir providing the music at the wedding.

Dave and his bride immersed themselves in the Fair Hills life for the rest of their lives. In 1965 Dave and summer employees showcased their singing talent at Fair Hills-and the Hootenanny was born.  This tradition continues weekly.  He and Chester also formed a summer staff marching band which still encourages guests and staff to join in the fun.  Dave led weekly singalongs and his nostalgic rendition of “God Bless America” at the resort.

In the fall of 2018 Dave and Barb moved to Lincoln Park Assisted Living.  Still wanting to sing, he organized a weekly sing along at Lincoln Park.  When covid shut down all group activities, Dave re-designed his singalong into a “Hallway Hootenanny” so residents could sit in their doorways and sing with him.

Together they had 65 wonderful years, with Barb passing in 2019.    They sailed on Pelican Lake, the Caribbean Ocean with family, and on their catamaran on the gulf coast of Florida.  They later took up canoeing in Florida, Lake of the Woods and even in dugout canoes on the Amazon River.   Dave and Barb shared a love of tennis.  Wherever their travels took them, they always had their racquet bag.   They developed countless lifetime friendships with resort guests, Detroit Lakes friends and Florida friends.

Dave maintained long memberships in First Lutheran Choir, Faith Methodist Choir in Ft. Myers, and the Barbershop Chorus where he received his 50 year pin.  He was a board member of the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association, serving as its president in the 1980s and was named Resorter of the Year.

He loved Toastmasters, snow skiing, playing bridge, reading, Gopher sports, and the Vikings.  He was always willing to teach young staff in the summer how to tie a bowline knot, drive a stick shift, sail a boat or to use a simple machine to make a task easier.  His work ethic was incredible and he passed that to all of his kids.

David is survived by his four children; Steve Kaldahl, Beth (Daniel) Schupp, Lisa Kaldahl, Dan (Annette) Kaldahl. his 8 grandchildren Emily (Patrick) Meyers, Charles (Anna) Schupp, Margaret Schupp, Marianna (Jordan) Goetz, Carolyn (Max) Disse, Andrew Schupp, Maria Kaldahl, and Miles Kaldahl.  David is survived by 13 great grandchildren.  David is also survived by sisters-in-law, Joan Burd, Twila Lovas, and Lou Ann Burd, along with many nieces and nephews and countless friends who all remember the fun times they’ve spent together.

David was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Helen Kaldahl, stepmothers Mildred and Ruby, his wife Barbara, and his sister Suzanne along with many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

The family would like to give special thanks to the caring and compassionate  nurses and physicians at St. Mary’s ER and ICU in Detroit Lakes as well as a heartfelt thank you to all of the staff at Lincoln Park Assisted Living for making our parents feel so welcome these last two years.

Arrangements have been entrusted to David Donehower Funeral home in Detroit Lakes, MN. Due to current restrictions, the service will be held for immediate family with a livestream available through David Donehower Funeral Home at  Click on David Kaldahl obituary and the livestream link will be below.  The service will be at 4:00 pm. on Thursday, December 3.  Burial will be at the Oak Grove Cemetery, Detroit Lakes, MN.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to

Becker County Food Pantry at:

Detroit Lakes Dollars for Scholars, where a Hospitality Scholarship has been set up at

The Heart of the Lakes Harmony Barbershop Chorus.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Kaldahl, please visit our flower store.


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