William ‘Bill’ Saaranen

ELK RIVER, Minn. — William “Bill” Saaranen, 79, died Thursday, August 16, 2018, at Guardian Angels Nursing Home, in Elk River, Minnesota.

Bill was born to William and Ida Saaranen, deep in the heavily wooded Upper Peninsula community of Nisula, in 1939.

A proud “yooper,” Bill enjoyed hockey, skiing, scuba diving, playing the drums in a local band, and shooting at the gun range while growing up. However, his sport of choice was golf.

Golf quickly grew to be a lifetime sport for Bill, and loved ones would often find him playing more than three times a week.

In the fall/winter months, Bill’s time was spent cheering for the Green Bay Packers.

In February of 1969, Bill married Shirley Ann Burnette of Oklahoma, and quickly stepped into the father role of Shirley’s two children, Terri and Christiania. Bill taught both kids how to ski and drive.

In 1986, Bill and Shirley moved to Austin, Texas, as a relocation assignment for Bill’s position at 3M. He worked for 3M for 30+ years as an engineer.

Bill and Shirley built a house in a suburb of Austin, where they remained until 2002. While there, they loved to entertain guests at their home, and were proud members of the community.

Bill and Shirley moved to Elk River, Minnesota, in 2002, to be closer to family.

In 1989, Bill became a first-time grandfather, and he fell in love with the role. He was an excellent supporter of his grandchildren’s interests and successes, continuously cheering them on regardless of athletic or academic pursuits; he was a very proud grandfather, and as of January of 2018, a great-grandfather.

After moving back to Elk River, Bill quickly became active in the local community. He was the head usher at Central Lutheran Church, president of the Home Owners Association where he lived, active in politics, and was a frequent patron at the VFW and other local establishments where he could be with friends and enjoy his treasured cup of soup and sandwich for lunch.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley A. (Burnette) Saaranen of Elk River, Minnesota; daughter, Christiania (Randy) DuPaul of Blaine, Minnesota; two grandchildren, Patrick (Tana) DuPaul and Sara (Rachel) DuPaul; great-grandchild, Kendra DuPaul; and two nephews, David Kuivanen and John Kuivanen; and two nieces, Beth (Kuivanen) Steffen and Amy (Kuivanen) Harvey.

He was preceded in death by his son, Terri (Janice) J. Saaranen; his sister, Betty (Saaranen) Kuivanen; and his parents.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 24, 2018, with visitation one hour prior at Central Lutheran Church, 1103 School St. NW, Elk River, Minnesota.

Arrangements are handled by Dares Funeral Service- Elk River, Minnesota, 763-441-1212, daresfuneralservice.com.