David T. Torrel, 78, Eveleth, died February 28, at St. Raphael’s Health and Rehab Center, Eveleth.
David was born on May 9, 1940, the first of six boys, to Betty (Niska) and Vic (Toyryla) Torrel. Growing up in Sparta, he graduated from Gilbert High School in 1958. He joined the U.S. Marine Corps with an early enlistment while a senior and was honorably discharged in 1962. He then attended Eveleth J.C. and Bemidji State College, and also in the mid ‘70’s, attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul.
In 1965, when the Marines were sent to Vietnam, David volunteered to serve and in ’66-’67 spent 13 months seeing combat as a rifleman, earning the rank of Lance Corporal. As a result of his service, by coming in contact with Agent Orange, his health was affected for years.
David was very enthusiastic about Sparta hockey, little league baseball and softball as a player and coach. He was a member of the 1955 Sparta state champs junior hockey team. He took great pride in making ice on the Sparta rink - boasting of having the first ice and the last of the season. One of his biggest joys was having a “hot game”, as he called it, up the rink, where all were invited to skate.
David was a very accomplished photographer taking a multitude of pictures of family, local people, hockey, and Sparta; the Sparta pit always being a major photo subject - where he hiked for years, swam, canoed and walked on its winter ice.
He got to know many WWII veterans and visited them on a regular basis, as well as many of the older Finnish people in the area. He was always popping in on family and friends for coffee.
David loved music and singing, and was amateur recording artist, making a 45 record. “Ode to St. Urho” under the name, “Davy Dobro.” Also recording a 14 song CD, all on the trombone, called “D’Leader - Pickin’ up the bone.” And who would ever forget the 4th of July sauna float, complete with a blazing wood stove and steaming hot rocks!
He is survived by brothers, Mike (Mary Jane), John “Yutch”, Victor “Bobo”, Mark “Nick” (Linda), and Tim (Diane); numerous nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and nephew Vic.
A heartfelt and sincere thank you to the nurses and staff of St. Raphael’s for these last many months of David’s care.
Upon his request there will not be a service.
“Näkemin”! David, ‘Til we meet again.