Paul Magelssen

June 14, 1948 ~ September 20, 2021 (age 73)

Life Story

Paul Magelssen, age 73, of Woodbury, MN and formerly of Fosston, MN, passed away on Monday, September 20th, surrounded by his family. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, September 27th, at Shepherd of the Valley Church in Afton, MN with the Rev. Johan Hinderlie officiating. Interment will be in Lakeview Cemetery, Mahtomedi, MN. Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 26th at Mueller Memorial in White Bear Lake, MN. There will also be reviewal for one hour prior to the service on Monday morning at the church. Arrangements are with Mueller Memorial of White Bear Lake with local assistance by Carlin Family Funeral Service of Fosston. The funeral service will be live-streamed on the Carlin website and on the Carlin Facebook page.

A Celebration of Paul’s life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29th, outdoors at the baseball field in Fosston (the one north of the football field). Please come as you are and feel free to wear your favorite sports team jersey or Greyhound wear to honor Paul’s lifelong love of sports. There will be seating in the bleachers and some additional seating as well. However, you may want to bring your own chair as the total seating will be somewhat limited. Messages of condolence may be shared at In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given “In Memory of Pastor Paul” to Fellowship of Christian Athletes-Fosston Chapter or World Mission Prayer League.

Paul Steven Magelssen was born June 14, 1948, in Park Rapids, MN, to parents H. Millard and Mary (Bickle) Magelssen. He grew up in a loving family that lived their deep faith, valued community service and had a joy for life. Traits that he made his own. 

In early childhood, he enjoyed being a paperboy, playing neighborhood baseball and football games, and being a cowboy with his brothers on the front porch, where the good guys always ordered a sarsaparilla and the bad guys always ordered a whiskey. In high school, Paul was a good math student, enjoyed band and excelled in baseball and basketball.  Graduating in 1966, Paul briefly attended Texas Lutheran College (now TLU), Augsburg College and Brown Institute where he received his First Class Radio License.  His radio career took him to Hasting, NE and Fosston, MN.  

In Fosston, Paul’s desire to work in Christian radio led to Seattle, WA, to attend Lutheran Bible Institute for a deeper understanding of God’s Word.  There he met the true love of his life, Sheryl, and they were married on November 29, 1974.  Immediately after, he began work at a Christain radio station in Rockford, Illinois.  Then he returned to Fosston, this time with Sheryl, to be Fosston’s Community Recreation Director.  It was at this time, Paul responded to a call on his heart to serve God in full time ministry.  They returned to LBI for a biblical studies degree, then attended the University of Northwestern (St. Paul) and Luther Northwestern Seminary.  During these years, Paul went to school full time, worked part time, and together with Sheryl raised their three daughters, Laura, Rachel, and Kara, who were the joys of his life.  

Paul was ordained in 1984 at the age of 36.  

Paul and Sheryl’s marriage was always a true partnership.  With Sheryl’s encouragement and support they served three congregations in Crookston, Rothsay, and Fosston, MN, making their home in Fosston for 25 years.  

Paul became deeply involved in community life.  Beside serving Hope and Zion Churches, he was active on community boards, started a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Huddle and coached 8th grade boys basketball, and junior high girls softball.  He was chief coach and cheerleader to his daughters' sports careers.  He became Fosston’s pastor.  

When grandkids came he was the baby whisperer, always able to calm them.  He won their hearts as they grew, with the time he took to play and nurture them.  All three girls and each grandkid think they are his favorite!  

Paul was a person of grace, compassion, humor, and humility.  He made friends everywhere and made everyone feel valued and included.  He loved Jesus deeply and shared that love with everyone. 

Paul died peacefully, Monday, September 20, 2021, surrounded by his wife and daughters.  

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Sheryl; daughters Laura Wahlstrom (Todd) and son Drew, Rachel Johnson (Scott), children Boaz and Adele, Kara Voss (Jeff), children Matt, Ella and Easton.  Siblings Millard (Cheryl), Dave (Diana), Muff Magelssen (Dave Hallan), Lowell (Deb), Maia Glader (Jeff).  Also survived by countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of Paul.  


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Paul Magelssen, please visit our floral store.


September 26, 2021

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Mueller Memorial
4738 Bald Eagle Ave
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Video is available for this event

September 27, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Shepherd of the Valley Church
14107 Hudson Road South
Afton, MN 55001

Funeral Service
September 27, 2021

11:00 AM
Shepherd of the Valley Church
14107 Hudson Road South
Afton, MN 55001

Video is available for this event

September 27, 2021

1:00 PM
Lakeview Cemetery
1877 4th St.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110

Video is available for this event

Celebration of Life
September 29, 2021

6:00 PM
Fosston Baseball Field
219 N. Omland Ave.
Fosston, MN 56542

Video is available for this event


Fellowship of Christian Athletes - Fosston Chapter
508 N. Foss Ave., Fosston MN 56542
Tel: 1-218-435-6765

World Mission Prayer League
232 Clifton Ave. #3497, Minneapolis MN
Tel: 1-612-871-6843

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