Rodney Norman Hietala, 96, of Esko, MN went home to be with his Lord and Savior and beloved wife, Betty, on May 21, 2023.
Rod was born December 12, 1926 in Duluth, MN to Ester and Norman Hietala. While in high school, he began employment at the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company (better known as Diamond Tool and Horseshoe Company). He joined the Navy at 17, serving first as an airplane mechanic on Ford Island in Pearl Harbor and then in air traffic control at Kaneohe Naval Base on Oahu during WWII. After his discharge, he returned to work at Diamond for a total of 46 years. He also supplemented his income as a tax accessor for Carlton County. Rod married Betty Mae Westlund in 1950 and together they raised 5 children. Upon retirement Rod and Betty wintered for several years in Texas and Arizona enjoying both old and new friends. He was very active in his church and was an all-around handy man helping his children, neighbors, church, and Bible camp with projects.
Rod was preceded in death by his wife, Betty.
Rod is survived by his children, Sue (Jim) LeVahn, Stephen (Betsy) Hietala, Paul, Gail (Jon) Fuenning, and John; 19 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; and a sister and brother.
Private services will be held.
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