NORTHFIELD — Paul Richard Lovestrand passed away unexpectedly at home on December 1, 2020. He lived and continued to smile through rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain for the last 7 years, which contributed to an early death peacefully in his sleep.
Paul was born on March 15, 1967, grew up in Bloomington, was married in Wisconsin on June 2, 1990, and lived with his wife and raised their children in the Black Hills of SD, Bozeman, Montana, and finally, Northfield, MN.
Paul was exceptionally smart and remarkably down-to-earth. With a warm smile and open heart, he was always willing to help and was generous in time and spirit. He saw the best in everyone and was humble about his own vast skills and knowledge. He was valedictorian of his class and summa cum laude at Pacific Lutheran University Tacoma, WA. As an avid reader and seeker of knowledge, there was rarely a subject in which he wasn't interested or had a thoughtful insight. He was a master of trivia, a history and music buff, and had a beautifully well-rounded scope of interests.
At home, he was rarely seen without the New Yorker & crossword puzzle tucked under his arm, a piece of poetry he was writing, recipes he was working on along with a handful of perfectly sharpened pencils. He had a life-long love of the pencil and quest for the perfect one. He strived for doing the best he could and mastering his passions. To wit: Bread, Biking, and Books.
Baking bread was Paul's vocation and what he loved doing. It is incalculable the number of people he fed over the course of his career at Carleton College and elsewhere. He was recognized with the esteemed Cal Ripkin award for never missing a day of work for 30 years. He cherished his time baking at the restaurant of his long-time friend, Nancy Gellerman in SD and more recently, for his daughter, Alliya Lovestrand, owner of The Ole Store in Northfield. He was responsible for baking bread, desserts and at times the famous Ole Store Rolls until the day he died.
Paul was rarely seen inside a car because he was a life-time four-season die-hard bike commuter. Nobody got more miles out of his bikes than Paul did, which he maintained and brought back to life in his undercroft bike shop. Mountain biking in the Black Hills was his favorite sport (among many). The Black Hills was his spiritual land and Joseph Campbell was his spiritual guide. Paul biked with the bison and took awe in all things in nature.
In his lifetime, he mastered many things. In his vocation, he achieved perfection in his ciabatta bread which gave him much happiness. With his wife and children, he achieved true love and faithful devotion. He was overflowing with pride in his children and wife. In his life, he stayed true to what was essential and was a man of many simple joys and few needs. He loved hiking, camping with family, sitting by a fire, and watching birds and all things wild. He was gentle, thoughtful, and easy going. Truly, to know Paul was to feel loved, to love him, and to be drawn in. He is so utterly missed and so dearly beloved.
Paul's favorite poet, Mary Oliver, once posed this question: "Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Although it was way too short, to be sure, Paul gave it his all and lived it well.
Paul is survived by his wife, Karen Olson, Northfield, children Alliya Lovestrand (Ben Simpson), Northfield, Kaya Lovestrand (Kellen Kirchberg), Minneapolis, Arye Lovestrand, St. Paul; his mother, Joyce Lovestrand, Bloomington; his mother-in-law and friend, Sue Olson, Northfield; sibling, James Lovestrand (Julie Ann), Oregon; and, brothers-in-law Eli Olson, South Dakota and Ezra Olson, Montana, and countless friends. Paul is preceded in death by his father, David Lovestrand, Bloomington.
A memorial service to be determined post-COVID.
Memorials can be sent directly to Karen Olson or to Karen Olson Bereavement Account, Community Resource Bank, 1605 Heritage Drive, Northfield MN 55057. biermanfuneralhome.com.