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JOSEPH DONALD EYSTAD

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JOSEPH DONALD EYSTAD

Joseph Donald Eystad, 61, of Morris, died Saturday, January 4, 2014 at his home with his wife by his side.

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Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, January 17 at Pedersen Funeral Home, Morris. Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, January 18, 2014 at Assumption Catholic Church, Morris.

Joe was born August 12, 1952 to Donald "Tub" and Louise Eystad, the second of six children. He attended St. Mary's School and was baptized and confirmed at Assumption Catholic Church in Morris. He graduated from Morris High School in 1971.

During his high school years he worked at Willie's Red Owl and ran movies at the Morris Theatre and drive-in. In the summer of 1971 he began working for Burlington Northern Railroad on the gangs, then as a welder and grinder, working his way up to machine operator. His last job was running a front-end loader. He continued working for the railroad until 2003 when he was forced to retire due to a back injury.

He met his wife-to-be, Nicole "Nikki" Heiberg of Herman, in August of 1986 on a blind date. They were married on July 18, 1987 in his parents' backyard. The couple raised their two sons, Joel and Jake, in Morris. He was a wonderful husband and father.

Throughout their marriage, Joe and Nikki enjoyed working together (with help from the boys) continuously remodeling and upgrading their old home, finally finishing in 2007. They loved being outdoors as much as possible - working on the yard and garden, watching birds, and soaking up the sun. Joe was especially proud of his weed-less lawn. He took pleasure in campfires in the yard, playing bean bags, get-togethers with family and friends, and grilling throughout the year.

Before his back injury limited his activity, he liked to hunt and fish. In recent years he was a man about town, taking long walks every day. Joe was a fun-loving guy, pulling elaborate pranks on family and friends. He was often the life of the party and told outlandish stories, most of them true. He loved blues music, dancing with his wife, and was always humming a little tune. He had plans to do some traveling, but pancreatic cancer cut his life short.

He is survived by his wife Nikki; two sons: Joel Eystad (and Courtney O'Malley) of South Haven, MN, and Jacob "Jake" Eystad of Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; one sister Deb (and Mick) Rose of Morris; four brothers: Dan (and Judy) Eystad of Morris; Steve (and Lisa) Eystad of Hutchinson, MN; Dale (and Connie) Eystad of St. Michael, MN; and Jay (and Nancy) Eystad of Park Rapids, MN; nephews: Eric (and Jenny) Rose, Kyle (and Krissie) Rose, Corey (and Jennifer) Eystad, Trevor Eystad, Zach Eystad, and Sam Eystad; nieces: Sara (and Jason) Buntin, Haley Eystad, Autumn Eystad, Rhianna Eystad, Whitney Eystad, Mariah Eystad, Cierra Eystad, Kiana Eystad, Emily Eystad, and Abby Eystad; two sisters-in-law, Annette Heiberg (and Harvey Uken) of Crookston, MN, and Andrea Heiberg of Phoenix, AZ; mother-in-law Michele Heiberg of Herman; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, grand-nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Louise Eystad, his father-in-law Owen Heiberg, and sister-in-law Lynette Eystad.

Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements. To send condolences to the family please visit www.pedersenfh.com.

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