Harlund G. “Hal” Routhe, 87, professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension Service, died Jan. 29 at his home in Falcon Heights after a five-month battle with small-cell cancer.
After graduating from high school in 1944, he served in the Navy as an aviation electronics technician. He was passionate and proud of his 35 years with the University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension Service, beginning in Redwood County as 4-H club agent in 1946. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees with distinction from the U.
Hal was named a Paul Harris Fellow twice by his Roseville Rotary club and in 2010 received the Service Above Self award for leadership on the “Build a Chair for Bridging” project. He delighted in working on Habitat for Humanity homes and traveled to Guatemala with a Common Hope Vision team to build a home there. He shared his woodworking skills with family, friends and church in multiple ways. Hal maintained his beloved ’74 Airstream trailer in mint condition to travel throughout the United States, Mexico and, in 2001, to Panama as a honeymoon trip with Elaine.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Helen. Hal is survived by his wife of 13 years, Elaine Christiansen; his four sons and their families, Rich (Louise), Mark (Debora), Carlyn (Thomas) King and Curt (Mary); Elaine’s four sons and their families; and a host of relatives and friends in the U.S. and in Denmark.
A celebration of Hal’s life was held Feb. 8 at Centennial United Methodist Church in Roseville, with interment at Roselawn Cemetery.