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September 25, 1938 – January 3, 2023

Luverne “Vern” Leo Klinkner, age 84, of Elk River passed away on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at Regency Hospital in Golden Valley.

He was born on September 25,1938 in Bluffton, Minnesota the son of Frank & Margaret (Vorderbruggen) Klinkner.  When he was very young, Frank and Margaret moved the family from Bluffton to a farm in Madelia, Minnesota. This is where he spent the rest of his childhood, helping on the farm with his 8 older brothers and 4 older sisters. During this time, he attended Holy Trinity high school, graduating in 1957. Vern then went on to honorably serve his country in The United States Army.

After his return from the Army, Vern worked at a service station in Minnetonka. Sue Ring worked at a grocery store across the street. Vern would see her walk by his work place often to go to the bowling alley to eat. Then one day, she had a flat tire. Vern very quickly jumped on the chance to change that tire! As they say, the rest is history, Vern proposed to Sue 5 months later, on Valentine’s day in 1964 and they were joined in holy matrimony, later that year on August 8th. God blessed their marriage with four daughters, Tina, Tammi, Tricia, and Tonia.

In the early years of their marriage, Vern and Sue moved several times, before settling with their 4 girls, on a 2.5 acre hobby farm just north of Albertville, MN.

Vern was a farmer at heart and a mechanic by trade. After the Army, he worked as a lead mechanic at different service stations before managing and eventually buying Douglas Drive Servicenter in Crystal, MN. He owned and operated that station for over 25 years, retiring around 1998.

Vern enjoyed fishing, gardening and just tinkering around the house, garage, and yard. He was a very skilled handyman who could fix anything! But he really was a farmer at heart. One of his sayings, was “You can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the boy!” He was a farm hobbyist and tried his hand at horses, cows, pigs, chickens, pheasants, turkeys, goats, cats and dogs on our small hobby farm in Albertville, MN. Just because he had only girls, that did not change his expectations of his family. His girls were expected to help with chores (for the excessive numbers of animals that he had), help split wood, and change the oil and tires on their own cars (except Tonia, the baby). He loved spending time with his family.  From food fights around the family dinner table, water fights in the house, and just hanging out watching TV in the evenings to spending time together with Susie, his four daughters, and their families meant everything to him.

Survived by his wife: Sue; daughters: Tina (Tim) Eull and Tammi (Scott) Pierson both of Buffalo, Tricia Klinkner of Mesa, Arizona and Tonia Klinkner of St. Michael; eight grandchildren: Cassandra Papa, Ashley Cluka, Victoria Godnyuk, Anna Sickmann, Mitchell Eull, Tessa Alonzo, Jaricha Klinkner, and Jayden Klinkner and thirteen great grandchildren; a sister: Luella Heiling; many other relatives and friends.

Preceded in death by his parents, eight brothers and three sisters.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Vern Klinkner will be held on Friday, January 13th, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at The St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael, MN.   Father Connor McGinnis will be the Celebrant.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2023 from 4-8 P.M. at The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home.  Prayer service will be held at 6:00 P.M.  Further visitation will be held on Friday morning, January 13th one hour prior to Mass at the church.

Casket Bearers will be Vern’s eight grandchildren, Cassandra Papa, Ashley Cluka, Victoria Godnyuk, Anna Sickmann, Mitchell Eull, Tessa Alonzo, Jaricha Klinkner, and Jayden Klinkner.

The Peterson Chapel St. Michael-Albertville Funeral Home is serving the family.   Online condolences may be made to





12 Guestbook Entries

  1. Tiffany and Logan Heineman

    We are so sorry for your families loss. Vern was such a blessing to have as a neighbor. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Mary becker

    THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS TO FAMILY.he will b missed.glad i got to know him we (mel) and i had lots of laughs.He will b mary I by

  3. Jane Gauker

    Dear Sue, T’s, and grandkids,
    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Vern was a wonderful guy and a great neighbor. My prayers to you and yours for peace and comfort.

  4. Peggy Scott

    I work with Tonia, Luverne’s daughter. I am so sad to hear Luverne has passed away. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace and strength during this difficult time.

  5. Hank & Pat Prentice

    We had many fun times with Vern & Sue! Vern was a good friend & will be missed. Our sympathy to the Klinkner family!!! ❤️

  6. Ken and Shirley Baartman

    Sue: So sorry to hear of Vern’s passing. We have many good and fun memories of him at Twin Knolls. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. Paula Makepeace and David Martinez

    Prayers for you all in the coming days. My you all keep your memories of you father, and husband in your hearts. God Bless. Paula and David.

  8. Gary & Yvonne O’Brien

    Such wonderful memories of time spent time with Vern at the “Douglas Drive Servicenter” a lot of coffee, donuts, teasing and laughs!!!! and then of course, there were those lunches out, and by the way Vern, it was your turn to buy!!!!😉 Rest In Peace, dear friend. We will be keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers🙏🏻❤️

  9. wesley perisian

    My condolences to the family. I have known Vern for many years. I used to work with him at Ty Abels service and Vern was a very high-spirited guy I called him crazy Vern. He had a 55 Mercury that he always had the hood up on for one reason or another. When he left the station after fixing it he would wind that merc out headed west on 101 until the pistons almost traded cylinders and even at that he was only doing about 60. That car would do o to 60 in about 3 days. When Vern opened his station on Douglas Drive he bought a lot of equipment and inventory from my brother who had a station in Foley. I stopped in to see Vern several times at his station but lost track of him over the years. I always considered him a good friend and I am sorry to hear of his passing.

  10. Linda Christian

    Dear Sue and girls,
    I am so sad to hear about Vern. I’m sure going to miss my sweet neighbor. Please let me know if you need anything. My deepest sympathies to you all, I am so sorry for your loss.

  11. Alan and Esther Freitag

    Our Deepest Sympathy to Aunt Sue, Tina,Tammi,Tricia,Tonia and the rest of Uncle Vern’s family. We sure had some great times with Uncle Vern;the sticky buns he made from scratch and I cheated using frozen bread dough. The time you decided to make sticky buns at 11;30 p.m. The time a number of us were visiting and “LO” and “BEHOLD” I could see the barn; we were having such as good time and here the sun was coming up-made it to church too. Grandma Klinkner and Mom could do that too. The laughs, jokes, visits, teases,fishing trips Just a few of so many MEMORIES.OH,what an Uncle, GREAT Uncle Vern. He will surely be missed LOVE to HIM and his family. GOD had a chair for him!!!!!

  12. Sandra Schuster

    I wish I had known when hie passed. I so enjoyed visiting with him at our reunions. He will certainly be missed this year. He was a very special person. So sorry for your loss.


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