Services
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Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018
11:00 AM
St. Mark Lutheran Church
Phoenix, AZ
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Joel Jon Torgerson


1940 - 2018 Obituary Condolences Flowers
Joel Jon Torgerson Obituary
Joel Jon Torgerson

Phoenix - Joel Jon Torgerson was born in Stewart, MN on February 14, Valentine's Day, 1940, to Joseph M. and Goldie M. Torgerson. He entered his heavenly rest in Phoenix, AZ, on July 4, Independence Day, 2018. Services will be held August 18 at St. Mark Lutheran Church in Phoenix at 11 am, with military honors. Interment will be in the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix. Grandson-in-law, Rev. Tyler Poppen will officiate.

Joel was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, and often recalled to the grandchildren, as an incentive, that he had been president of his confirmation class. He had been attending St. Mark Lutheran Church for the past 14 years.

He graduated from Anoka, MN High School in 1958. As a young man, he worked after school for a local grocery store and also held various construction jobs to put himself through college. He began his college education at the University of Minnesota, where he met and married Carillon R. Kintzi, of Wabasso, MN. After receiving a two-year degree from the university, he paused his education to volunteer for the United States Army, serving for three years in Security and Intelligence at Fort Gordon in Augusta, GA, where their daughter, Beth Anne, was born.

Following his military service, Joel returned with his family to Minnesota and completed his college degree in economics at Hamline University in St. Paul. Over the next few years, Joel held various management positions with Federal Cartridge, and Electric Machinery in the Minneapolis area and Erickson Oil Products of Hudson, WI. He and Carillon welcomed their second daughter, Kristin Anne, in 1968.

In 1972, Joel and Carillon purchased the Hendricks Pioneer, a small weekly newspaper and printing shop in rural Minnesota. Over the next several years, Joel significantly expanded the business by starting two additional regional publications and converting from hot metal typesetting to "cold type" computer offset printing.

In 1983, the family relocated to the sunnier climate in Phoenix, AZ, where Joel and Carillon started a new business, Panda Travel, which is still in operation. They celebrated 56 years of marriage in Feb. 2018.

Joel explored many hobbies and interests over the years, including hunting and fishing, horses, dogs, gun and coin collecting, antique cars, weight lifting, sailing, learning about and sharing his Norwegian and Swedish heritage, and building computers. He was known as a dynamic and entrepreneurial man, full of ideas and energy, and he often encouraged others towards success. Although he loved to talk and visit, he was also a man who would take action; one of his favorite phrases was, "Let's not talk about it—let's do it!"

He especially enjoyed spending time with his family and loved to invent imaginative games to play with his grandchildren. He had a great sense of fun, a quick wit, and loved lively conversation. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, and will be deeply missed.

Joel is survived by his wife, Carillon, daughter Beth, sons-in-law Bob Nieman and Kevin Carter, grandchildren Katie (Tyler) Poppen, David (Samantha) Nieman, Sarah Nieman, Erin Carter, and Lauren Carter, as well as great-grandchildren Dean, Henry, and August Poppen and Torger Scott Nieman; by two sisters, Valene (Gene) Cornelius and Deanna (Michael) Burgess and by nephew Charles Cornelius. He was preceded in death by two infant siblings, Dennis and Joann Torgerson, both parents, and by his younger daughter, Kristin. Blessed be his memory.
Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 12, 2018
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