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Allen Dykstra

 

December 14, 2017

Allen Dykstra passed away Nov. 27, 2017 at his home near Thompson Falls after a long, hard battle with cancer. Allen was born April 10, 1942 to Henry & Delta (Parrish) Dykstra, the 13th of 14 children. He loved growing up on the family farm. He attended Thompson Falls School (which was not his favorite thing to do). At the young age of 16 he moved to the Cut Bank area to work on a large grain ranch and be near an older sister, but he soon moved back home to be closer to family and his girlfriend. There he began his time as a logger; hooking logs under a jammer, felling trees, and operating various logging equipment. He loved telling stories about his experiences in the woods and his time spent logging in Alaska. Later, he drove over the road, worked in several sawmills, hauled the mail from Whitefish to Kalispell, and worked for the local Napa store. In 1985, Allen was seriously hurt in a logging accident. He and Karen started a greenhouse which they ran for 20 years. He was surprised to find he enjoyed this work immensely. After retiring, Allen went with a SEAT airplane as ground crew and met many new friends as he traveled around the west fighting wildfires. He enjoyed new experiences and was always ready to learn something new and different. While his children and grandchildren were in school, he enjoyed helping with the Christmas program as Santa Claus, making caramel corn for the students' bags and passing out his homemade sourdough donuts to the sports teams.

In 1961, Allen married Karen Kolden and together they raised 4 children and cared for over 400 foster children throughout a 20-year span. They enjoyed 55 years together.

Allen is survived by his wife, Karen, at the family home, two sons; Craig (Victoria) Dykstra of Pahrump, Nev., and Art Dykstra of Missoula; two daughters; Elizabeth (Mark) Riffle of Thompson Falls and Carol Dykstra of Las Vegas, Nev. Also surviving him are his 9 beloved grandchildren; Spencer, Logan and Bryce Dykstra; Lauren, Ryan and Michelle Dykstra; Tyler, Riley and Trinity Riffle; siblings June Mercer, Delta Smith, David (Erlice), Cathy Sandon, Martin (Marie), Mertie (Paul)Gardner, Ted (Joann) and Lee (Gracie) and many dear nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Allen loved his family and was truly a "people person." We all loved listening to him tell stories, play his Martin guitar, and sing the older songs he enjoyed.

A memorial service will be held this Saturday, December 16, 2017, 11 a.m. at the New Life Fellowship Hall east of Thompson Falls.

The service will be followed by a potluck luncheon at the same location. Please stay for the luncheon and share your memories of Allen.

 

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