Daniel R. Brockton, 81, of Longville, died Nov. 5 while surrounded by family while in hospice care in Baxter. He was diagnosed at Mayo in 2017 and treated by CRMC Oncology in Crosby.
Per Brockton’s wishes there will be no funeral; the family may plan a get-together in the spring.
Brockton was born May 16, 1940 in Northfield, to Elroy and Maxine Brockton. With his family with him, he left us on November 5, 2021 while in hospice care in Baxter, MN.
Brockton grew up in the Northfield-Dundas area and graduated from Northfield High School in 1959 and married his high school sweetheart Pat Klingbile. He attended the University of Minnesota before transferring to St. Olaf, graduating in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in English education. He wrestled in both high school and college and won several awards and also worked at the Northfield Farm Service.
Brockton began teaching at Morris and Princeton, then earned a certification to be a librarian/a-v coordinator; Litchfield was his first job in that area. In 1969, after his wife graduated from St. Cloud State University, both were hired in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district and spent the rest of their careers there. Dan also coached wrestling at Morris, Princeton and Sartell. He went through expansion programs developing libraries for two new buildings; he also helped develop and supervise computer labs, then a new concept. While teaching, early traveling included fishing and canoeing trips to northern Minnesota, the Canadian wilderness and a road trip to the west coast.
The couple both retired in 1997 and moved to their lake home on Long Lake in Longville where they had been building their future retirement home since 1981. They learned a lot about construction and basically did everything except the well and septic system. Besides relaxing, those first few years at the lake were spent finishing the house, landscaping, and building a workshop and two garages. Dan didn’t keep busy enough so worked part-time a few years at Arrowhead Lumber. In the couple’s spare time, they volunteered driving seniors to errands and medical appointments. They also helped neighbors and friends with building projects including a complete cabin.
The couple loved to travel and after buying a small camper started going south in the winters –starting at a few weeks in 2001 and ending with three-plus months each year. Campers and tow vehicles got bigger as the years went on. The couple also enjoyed western trips and Minnesota State Park trips in warmer seasons. Longer trips were made to the East Coast and provinces in Canada. An almost yearly excursion favorite was Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Campers were sold after his diagnosis and he settled in for winters at home. His computers and the thousands of photos he took kept him quite busy until he went into the hospital. His specialties were wildlife (especially birds), flowers and scenery. The couple visited and photographed many historical sites on their travels.
Survivors include his wife Patricia (Longville), son Andrew (and Christine of Minneapolis), son Scott (and Nina of Lake Elmo), daughter Jo Franta (and John of Andover), five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, sisters Bernice Stenhaug (Northfield) and Marianne King (Breezy Point), a step-brother Ed Wolf (Faribault) and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; stepfather Willis Wolf; a sister Ida Brustad; brothers-in-law Joel Stenhaug, Ralph Holbrook and Lynn King; a nephew Tracy Lundstrom; and niece Shelby Lundstrom.
Arrangements were by Kline Funeral Home in Pine River. Memorials may be made to Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, Longville Area Food Shelf, the Minnesota Historical Society or for Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic.