John Andrew Cedergren, 89, of Cambridge, formerly of Spring Lake/North Branch passed away on Sunday, September 22, 2019 at Parmly on The Lake in Chisago City.
He was born November 30, 1929 to Carl and Myrtle (Griffin) Cedergren in the upstairs bedroom of his father’s farm house in Spring Lake, MN. He attended country school near Spring Lake and graduated from North Branch High School at the age of 16 in 1945. After graduating, he stayed home to help on the farm.
In April 1952 he volunteered for the draft and joined the U.S. Army, training in Ft. Benning, GA and later as an MP at Ft. Bragg, NC. John went on to the 10th Special Forces Group Airborne where he served as demolitionist and radio operator. He was honorably discharged in April 1954. Upon returning home, he met Betty Rolien from Kerkhoven, MN who was teaching at Rush City, while roller skating at the Rush City roller rink. They would later marry on July 30, 1955 in Kerkhoven.
The couple made their home on Maryland Avenue in St. Paul and he worked at the 3M Company. They would have three children Mark, Alan and Karen. In 1965 they had an opportunity to move to Africa as missionaries. The family made Liberia, West Africa their home for the next three years. They returned to North Branch where they raised their children. John worked in a grocery warehouse for 11 years and also attended night classes at Anoka Ramsey Jr. College. John had a calling to devote his life as a missionary and said that after Karen was done with school, they would return to the mission field. He attended RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, OK for one year, finishing in 1982. In 1983, John, Betty and Karen went to the Philippines to begin their mission work. They founded a Ministerial Training Center for adults that is still going on today, now being overseen by Karen. In 1995 John and Betty retired from their mission work and returned to Aitkin, MN until 2001 when they moved to Cambridge.
John was a past member of Spring Lake Lutheran Church, current member of River of Life Church, and was a member of the Harris American Legion. He earned his private pilot’s license and wished he could have flown more. John was passionate about God’s Word and loved to preach and teach.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son Alan in 1991 and brother Ed in 2005. John is survived by his wife Betty, son Mark (Beth) Cedergren of North Branch, daughter Karen Cedergren of Switzerland, daughter-in-law Heidi Cedergren of Sioux Falls, SD, four grandchildren Melissa (Patrick) Gregory, Aaron Cedergren (Amy), Andrew Cedergren, Molly (Thad) Jockheck, two great grandchildren Jacqueline and Bennett Gregory, as well as other relatives and friends.
Memorial Service 11AM, Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home in Cambridge. Visitation one hour prior to the service. Interment in Spring Lake Lutheran Cemetery.