Denny passed away peacefully at River’s Edge Hospital on Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Denny was born to George and Eleanor (Struck) Nygard on April 12, 1942 as the oldest of three and with the exception of his military service lived in St. Peter his whole life, choosing to raise his family where he was born and raised. After graduation from St. Peter High School in 1960, he worked for the City of St. Peter doing general maintenance. He was drafted into the US Army in 1964 and served with the 1st Infantry Division as logistical support to forward combat teams, spending the last 6 months of his duty in Vietnam until his discharge in 1966. Denny was the first military personnel from Nicollet County who was sent to Vietnam. He was a lifetime member of the VFW and was a member of the American Legion, proudly serving on the American Legion Honor Guard. After returning from his military service, Denny began working at the St. Peter Post Office as a carrier and later the window clerk. He worked for the post office for 34 years before retiring in 2000. After retirement he worked part time at Gustavus Adolphus College and Minnesota School Boards Association, killing time until he could go fishing. He was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church, serving on the church council and as an usher.
After being introduced by mutual friends, Denny married Marian (Lind) on September 20, 1969 in Norseland, MN. Together they made a home in St. Peter and had two sons, Paul and Brian. Denny loved lake life in all seasons and spending time with friends and family. His best days were spent on the boat fishing at Lake Washington for pan fish, taking his boys and their friends’ water skiing, pulling his grandchildren on the tube and ice fishing in the winter. He loved his annual trips with a group of friends, and later on joined by his sons, to Lake of the Woods to catch the big walleye on the Rainy River. He also had the opportunity to take several fishing trips into the Canadian wilderness with his friends. The annual summer weeks spent at Gull Lake fishing, laughing and playing cards, were that much better when his grandchildren were able to be there. He taught each of his six grandchildren how to fish off the dock at Gull Lake Resort when they were young. He enjoyed traveling to several states for family vacations and in the last several years he especially enjoyed spending winters in Arizona with Marian and several friends.
Even when it didn’t involve fishing, Denny very much enjoyed spending time with family, especially his grandchildren, teaching them how to play his favorite card games and games of cribbage. He loved passing the time having coffee with friends, shaking dice and winning at cards.
Denny is survived by his wife of over 51 years, Marian; sons Paul (Eileen) and Brian (Erin); grandchildren Chris, Keegan, Josie, Sylvia, Grady and Lydia; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Steve, sister Andrea and nephew David Nygard.
Memorial service will be held at 11am, Monday, August 9, 2021 at St. Peter Lutheran Church with visitation starting at 9:30am. Military honors will follow.