homepage logo


Virgil Hempstead Aug. 9, 1932 – Sept. 20, 2017

Sep 24, 2017

Funeral services for Virgil Hempstead, 85, of Estherville, will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Estherville with Pastor Randy James officiating. Burial will be in Swan Lake Township Cemetery, rural Gruver, with military honors by US Army Honor Guard and VFW Post 3388 of Estherville. He died Sept. 20, 2017, at Avera Holy Family Hospital in Estherville. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Sunday at the Henry-Olson Funeral Chapel in Estherville.

Virgil Lee Hempstead, the son of Victor and Vergie (Talledge) Hempstead was born at his grandfather’s farm Aug. 9, 1932, in Ceylon, Minn.

He received his education and graduated from Ceylon High School in 1950. Virgil joined the National Guard at 17 and served in the United States Army from 1950 until 1952.

On June 27, 1954 he was united in marriage to Lorabelle Knudson at Immanuel Lutheran in rural Estherville. The couple made their homes in Charles City, Maple Hill and Estherville. Virgil ran a gas station, drove trucks and was a supervisor at John Morrell for 25 years.

Virgil was an active member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Cylinder Coachman Camper Club, the American Legion and VFW. He loved woodworking, camping, yard work, telling Orphan Train Stories and keeping up with his grandchildren. He proudly earned Boy Scout’s highest award for many years of leadership, the Silver Beaver.

Virgil and Lorabelle suffered unimaginable losses of their three children: Valerie, died as a newborn from a heart defect; Monty, died at 46 in a vehicle accident; Gayle, died of brain cancer at 51. Granddaughter, Emily died in 2009, and great-grandson, Parker, in 2011. With broken hearts they continued to enjoy lives filled with wonderful friends, great adventures and 63 years of being at each other’s side.

Left to cherish Virgil’s memory are his wife, Lorabelle of Estherville; daughter-in-law, Barbara (Eric) Hempstead Paulson of Stanton, Iowa; son-in-law, Gregg Waylander of Montevideo, Minn.; five grandchildren, Cory (Alison) Hempstead, Bradley (Hope) Hempstead, Marc (Ellie) Hempstead, Joshua (Rachel) Waylander and Abigail Waylander; great-grandchildren, Harper, Morgan, Hank, Carlie and Penelope; three adopted grandchildren, Jennie (Mike) Rutter, Megan and Brooke Johnson; siblings, Velmer Hempstead (Norma), of Tacoma, Wash., and Vergene Munson of Bentonville, Alaska.