Delbert Mandelko, 85


July 25, 1931—Feb. 21, 2017
Preston, Minn. -  Delbert Carl Mandelko, age 85, died peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 at home, surrounded by his family, after a short illness with pancreatic cancer.
The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Granger, Minn. with Pastor Mary Waudby officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery, with Preston American Legion Post 166 and VFW Post 6893 in charge of military rites. Visitation will take place from 4-8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 at Hindt-Hudek Funeral Home (formerly Thauwalds) in Preston and one hour before the service at the church. 
Blessed be his memory. Memorials may be given to the Justin Delbert Mandelko Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Delbert was born July 25, 1931 to Carl and Vilda (Krueger) Mandelko. He attended country school at Blooming Valley and Prairie Queen and graduated from Preston (Minn.) High School in 1949. 
He farmed with his parents, until being drafted into the Army in 1952. On Jan. 4, 1953 he married Donna Mae Hahn in Preston and was immediately deployed. He was honorably discharged as Staff Sergeant, Korean Conflict, Co. H 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion. He served in Berlin, Germany during the Korean War from 1952 to 1954.
After his discharge he resumed farming with his father. They bought 22 cows, which started a career in dairy farming that he would later expand and continue with his son and grandsons. He farmed with his son until his death.
Delbert had a passion for politics and served on many boards. He was president and director of Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Executive Vice Chairman of Foremost Farms USA, President of Preston Dairy and Farm Board, Director of National Milk Producers Federation, Director of the American Dairy Association, Treasurer of Carimona Township Board for 40 years, Board President of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Granger and lifetime member of the Preston American Legion Post 166 and VFW Post 6893. He received the Southern Minnesota Ag Ambassador of the Year Award in 2003.
He was a strong supporter of the DFL Party and an ardent Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings fan.
Delbert is survived by his wife of 64 years Donna; his son, Steve (Susan) of Preston;  daughters, Joan (Dave) Wissing of Preston and Jean (Craig) Nagel of Onalaska, Wis.;  three grandsons, Nathan (Cassie) Mandelko, Rocky Nagel and Stoney Nagel;  two great-grandchildren, Jada and Jacob Mandelko; a sister, Delone Langum; a brother, Allen (Virginia) Mandelko; “son,” John Moore; and many beloved nieces and nephews, including Kyle Langum who he was especially close to.
Delbert was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Charles Mandelko; his grandson, Justin Delbert Mandelko; and two brother-in-laws, Robert Hahn and Rodney Langum.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
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