George Joseph Hendel, 89, of Caledonia, died Dec. 28, 2017.

George was born May 19, 1928, at the Hendel Farm in Caledonia, the oldest child of George J. and Hilda (Thill) Hendel.

George attended elementary school in a one-room schoolhouse located directly across the road from his farm. He graduated from Loretto High School in 1945. Following high school, George was a lifelong farmer.

In 1958, he married Mary Jane Huesmann and together they raised four children.

George loved history and sharing stories. His interest in history encompassed family, Houston County, Minnesota and the Civil War.

While never wanting to be far from home, he always kept informed of national and global events.

George served nine years on the Caledonia Area School Board, was a mediator for in-crisis farmers in the 1980s and a Rotarian.

He was a kind and gentle man who loved nothing better than a gathering of family and friends around the kitchen table for a lively conversation.

With the exception of his Army service during the Korean War, George lived his entire life on the family farm with Brown Swiss cattle in the barn and his much beloved cats at the back door.

George was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Harold, sister, Grace, and daughter, Greta Ingvalson.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Jane; children, Katy (Dewayne) Ullsperger, Minnetonka, Minn., Karl Hendel and Matt (Pam) Hendel of Caledonia, and son-in-law, Don (Sherry) Ingvalson of Caledonia; grandchildren, Eric (Julia), Jessie (Charlie), Devin, Hannah, Lauren, Sydney and Callan.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Caledonia. The Rev. Matt Fasnacht officiated and private burial occurred on Wednesday in Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia.

McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia is assisting the family with arrangements and on-line condolences may be given at mccormickfuneralhome.net

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Houston County Historical Society, Caledonia FFA or the Caledonia Library.