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Obituary for Glen A. Jostad


Glen Jostad, 87, of Brownsville, Minn., passed away quietly on February 20, 2011.  He was born August 25, 1923 to Laura (nee Fuhre) and Edgar Jostad, and graduated from Holmen High School in 1941, enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps and in the Army Air Corps where he rose to the rank of Tech Sergeant as radio operator and gunner on a B17 bomber in the 731st Squadron of the 452nd Airborne Division. 
On February 8, 1944, on their third mission, Glen’s plane lost an engine.  They lost a second engine and the order to bail out came.  In the midst of heavy machine gun fire, Glen saved the life of the ball turret gunner by getting him to bail, rather than riding the plane down.  Glen parachuted safely and hid for several hours before being captured.   He was interred for 15 months in five camps in Lithuania, Poland, and Germany.
 During his time as a POW, Glen experienced and witnessed many of the unspeakable horrors of war.  The final 12 day 200 mile march from Nuremberg to Moosburg nearly took his life.  Two friends helped him struggle into Moosburg where he was diagnosed with severe malnutrition and jaundice.  With the help of a fellow POW, an American doctor, Glen regained strength to continue, despite having lost 60 pounds.  He was liberated from Moosburg prison camp on April 29, 1945, following a brief but intense battle by General George S. Patton’s troops.  Glen was honorably discharged in November, 1945.
Seeing the American flag flying over Moosburg remains Glen’s most profound memory – he was free at last!  A close second was the sight of the Statue of Liberty as the GIs returned to the USA.  In his words, ‘FREEDOM – I want you to think about it.  I want you to love it, embrace it.  If necessary, don’t be afraid to lay down your life to preserve that freedom for your family and all your fellow Americans.  Believe me. It’s worth that. Freedom isn’t free.’
During his service, Glen received the following medals - Sharpshooter for 45 caliber and Thompson sub machine gun, European Theatre Operations, POW, Good Conduct, American Defense Medal, and Air Medal.
In 1946 Glen married Carmel Hanke, and they made their home in Brownsville, Minn.  Together they reared two daughters, Karen Gail and Cherryl.  Glen and Carmel took pride in their black angus cattle, and enjoyed square dancing, hunting, fishing and travelling.
In addition to farming, Glen worked at Allis Chalmers, sold insurance in the 1960s, and retired from Pacal Industries. 
Glen was a voracious reader and astute student of nature and history.  He will be remembered for his pleasant, quiet demeanor, generosity, integrity, love for travel, phenomenal memory and exceptional vocabulary.  He took interest in everyone he met, and enjoyed learning their stories.  He was a father figure to many. 
In recent years, Glen shared his WWII POW experience in a variety of venues, including two international conferences on WWII, a WWII roundtable, Memorial and Flag Day celebrations, and home school groups.  Glen was also privileged to participate in La Crosse’s first Freedom Honor Flight in October 2008.  
Glen is survived by daughters, Karen Gail and Cherryl, as well as sisters, Alice McHugh, and Lucille Garbers, brother-in-law, Samuel Vance, nieces, nephews, and beloved cat, Blackie.
Glen was preceded in death by his wife, Carmel; parents, Edgar and Laura; sisters, Elsie (Dick) Vance and Violet Vance; brother, Lyle (Marian) Jostad; and brothers-in-law, Lee McHugh and Delvin Garbers. 
Funeral services will be Saturday, February 26, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. at Zion Evangelical Church, Brownsville. Pastor Brian Cuda will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military honors by the Le Roy D. Holzwarth VFW Post 6801 of Brownsville, Minn., and the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Friends may call at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, 518 W. Main St., Caledonia, on Friday from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and also at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. 
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the ISD #299 Foundation, Caledonia, Minn., the National World War II Museum, New Orleans, La., or Zion Evangelical Church, Brownsville, Minn.