John M. Idstrom
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John M. Idstrom

Owatonna—John Martin Idstrom, 86, of Owatonna, died Saturday, September 17, 2016 at his home.

He was born November 10, 1929 in Triumph, now Timont, the son of Lechard and Anna (Monson) Idstrom. John graduated from Northfield High School and later St. Olaf College. He served in the US Army from 1951-1953 and the reserves until 1959. While in the service he was an awarded marksman and worked at the Pentagon. John married Jane Grogan October 11, 1958 in Oak Park, IL. The couple lived in the Twin Cities metro area until moving to Owatonna in 1969.

John worked his entire career of 44 years as a wildlife biologist for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He was the lead expert scientific witness in the William Bryson Marsh case which set legal precedence for protecting wetlands. John was inducted into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame, received various awards from Minnesota Pheasants and Ducks Unlimited, served on the Cannon Watershed District and Straight River Committee, was a certified Boone & Crocket Measurer, and was a member of the Minnesota Waterfowl Association. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he taught Sunday School, served as a trustee and enjoyed trips to help Native Americans at Pine Ridge. He was devoted to Native American causes and furthering their opportunities. He always remembered to bring art supplies for the kids at the Pine Ridge Reservation. John was also a member of the American Legion and Sons of Norway. John loved Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, going hunting and fishing, especially deer hunting. He traveled from coast to coast with his wife, loved spending time with family and hosting dinner parties.

He is survived by his wife, Jane Idstrom of Owatonna; sons, John (and Sarah) Idstrom of Santa Cruz,CA, Scot (and Rebecca) Idstrom of Decorah, IA; grandchildren, Claire Idstrom, Claudia Idstrom , Johanna Idstrom, Jacob Idstrom; brother, Paul (and Ruth) Idstrom of Spicer; sisters, Dorothy (and David) Lund of Nantucket, MA, Delores (and Gordon) Sprenger of Chanhassen, Sandra (and Dean) Lindberg of Cambridge and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by one nephew, Eric Lund.

Visitation will be at Michaelson Funeral Home on Wednesday from 4pm to 8pm and at Trinity Lutheran Church on Thursday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Memorial services will be held Thursday, September 22, 2016 at 1:30pm at Trinity Lutheran Church. Interment will be in the Oak Lawn Cemetery in Northfield. Memorials are preferred to Minnesota Waterfowl Association, Trinity Lutheran Church or to an environmental organization of the donor's choice.

Funeral Home
Michaelson Funeral Home
1930 Austin Rd
MN 55060-4404
(507) 451-7943
Printed Obituary
Published in the Owatonna People's Press
on September 19, 2016
Click to view a printable version