Cover photo for David Robert Kvalsten's Obituary
David Robert Kvalsten Profile Photo
1941 David 2023

David Robert Kvalsten

February 8, 1941 — May 24, 2023

Hager City, Wisconsin

David Robert Kvalsten, 82, of Hager City, Wisconsin died peacefully on Wednesday, May 24, 2023 in his home on the Mississippi River.

It is impossible to summarize this big, wonderful life but here is a brief overview. Beloved father, brother, uncle and friend. Papa, Padre, Banker Dave, Unkie Dave, Captain: Your adventurous, kind and generous nature has touched so many lives and you will be deeply missed. Listen for the resounding “Uff da!” from the heavens as a glorious amount of troublemaking is certain.

Dave was a former Marine corporal. His home was a houseboat on the Mississippi river that he built with his brothers Peter and William and his son Keven and his daughter Kristen. He was an avid snowboarder, boater, water skier, hunter, accordion player, dancer and a fiercely loyal friend. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota he has called Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, Okinawa, Japan, Camp Pendelton, California, Chicago, Illinois, Tucson, Arizona, Clear Lake, Wisconsin, Green Bay, Wisconsin and Red Wing, Minnesota home during his lifetime.

He loved to dance. His favorite dance was the two step, but he has also polka-ed his way across many dance floors. If he encountered someone who didn’t think they could dance, he whisked them out on the dance floor and made them look like they have been dancing their whole lives.

He rarely met a thing he couldn’t fix. After retiring from a successful career in banking, he started working semi-full time rebuilding tractors with his friend Dean Tronrud. If you have visited with him in the last few years, you were likely asked to watch a video and listen to the purr of an expertly serviced vintage tractor engine.

He also enjoyed hitting the slopes on his snowboard with his family and his good friend Brian Flanagan. He qualified for the Nastar National Championships in downhill racing from 2011 to 2017 in his age group which was 75 – 79. He took home the gold in 2011 with no competition in his age group. In 2017 he went to the National Championships in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with his daughter Kristen and her partner Christopher. He has also enjoyed snowboarding trips to Colorado, Chamonix, France and all over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In 2018 he was able to visit the Kvalstein family farm of his Norwegian ancestors In Ellingsøya, Norway. On this trip he met family, hiked to the top of Mount Kvalstein, toured the fjords and soaked in his Norwegian heritage.

He was notorious for his boating adventures. If you were lucky to have joined him on a houseboat excursion on the Mississippi or Wolf Rivers or a sailing adventure on Lake Michigan or Lake Superior or on any number of vintage “runabouts”, you were certain to have had a good time.

Here is to an amazing life full of love, adventure and enduring friendships. Your enjoyment of life will have a lasting impact on us all.

David is survived by his daughter, Kristen (Christopher Palahniuk) Kvalsten; son, Keven (Kelly Hanneman) Kvalsten; granddaughter, Annabelle Kvalsten; grandsons, Arlo & Oliver Kvalsten; brother, William Kvalsten; nieces, Keri (Dave) Oligmueller, Kim (Dan) Cooney, and Kallie (Mark) Weaver; and Kristen & Keven’s mother, Judith Thomas

David is also survived by his Wife, Susan Wills; daughter, Brittany (Timothy) Fisher and their children Jaxtyn & Laikyn; daughter, Jessica (Mike) Deelstra and their children Riley and Katie.

He is preceded in death by mother, Helen Kvalsten; siblings, Carol Hazel and Peter Kvalsten; nephew, Kurt Kvalsten; aunts, Pauline Scott and Fran Hazel.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 11 a.m. with a visitation one hour prior at the Mahn Family Funeral Home, Bodelson-Mahn Chapel in Red Wing, Minnesota.

In lieu of flowers please donate to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Robert Kvalsten, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, June 17, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Mahn Family Funeral Home - Bodelson-Mahn Chapel

602 Plum Street, Red Wing, MN 55066

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 17, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Mahn Family Funeral Home - Bodelson-Mahn Chapel

602 Plum Street, Red Wing, MN 55066

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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