Golf 03
Official Obituary of

Kell Erwin Lovell

July 28, 1929 ~ March 22, 2024 (age 94) 94 Years Old

Kell Lovell Obituary

Livestream for Kell's service can be reached at this address:

Kell Erwin Lovell (94), passed away peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2024 in Bemidji, Minnesota.  

Mass of Christian Burial will take place 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 11, 2024 at St. Philip’s Catholic Church, Bemidji.  Father Bill DeCrans will officiate.  Visitation will start one hour prior. Inurnment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Bemidji.

Born on July 28, 1929 in Grand Forks, ND, Kell was the first of five children born to Robert and Ruth Lovell. As a child of the Great Depression, Kell learned early on about working hard. He sold popcorn outside the movie theater in town at 10 cents a bag. He was able to buy his own clothes, his first bicycle and still manage to put money into savings at the young age of 8. He also had his own paper route at age 12, and his hard work was rewarded with a train trip to Minneapolis to see a Golden Gophers football game.  Kell enjoyed many school activities including band, football and basketball. During the summers he hitchhiked to and stayed at area farms where he helped with plowing, driving the combine, and milking cows. 

Kell graduated from Minneota High School in 1947 and started his college education at the School of Forestry in Bottineau, ND. Two years later, with a nudge from his dad, Kell applied and was accepted to the University of Minnesota Dental School.  He continued his summer work on the Kensrud farm in ND to help offset the expense of school. The Kensruds were like family to him and have stayed in contact to this day.  

In December, 1952, Kell was sworn into the Army. After graduating from dental school and attending basic and field training in 1953, he proposed to Delphine Tacheny and they were married on May 8, 1954 in Oakland, CA. They enjoyed the many adventures and challenges that a military life can bring as they welcomed 6 children throughout his career.  One exciting event was surviving the Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964! Kell also served one year in Vietnam providing dental treatment to soldiers and running mobile dental units to visit the locals who were in desperate need of care. Kell was known for establishing programs that resulted in highly efficient dental clinics with trained, expanded assistants so they could provide quality care in a timely fashion. 

Kell’s last military assignment was at Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. He retired as a full Colonel from the Army in 1976 and entered into private practice in Colorado Springs. Six years later he purchased his dad’s cabin on Grace Lake in Bemidji, MN. He opened a successful dental practice in nearby Cass Lake with Del serving as assistant. After retirement from this practice, he continued to help local dentists in their clinics for several years. In 2003, Kell finally gave up his dental license after holding it for 50 years!

After a long illness, Kell lost Del in August 2006. He was a man of strong faith, and during this time, continued attending and volunteering for St Phillip’s Catholic Church where he met his future bride, Flavia Sagedahl. They were married June 16, 2012. How fortunate he was to enjoy 12 years of love, travel and companionship with Flavia.

Kell was always busy. His many activities included golf, gardening, landscape oil painting, fishing, hunting, picking berries, making fruit wine, and cooking for friends and family with the belief that jalapenos could be added to any recipe. He also loved attending the symphony and staying on top of local and world news. He was an avid reader, who could often be found with a book or newspaper in hand.  He loved wintering in Florida where he enjoyed golf, oysters on the half shell, blackened grouper and fresh Gulf shrimp. Kell's love of travel included trips to Ireland, Australia, the UK, Cuba and numerous fishing trips to Canada and Lake of the Woods. He was also an avid sports fan, cheering on (or yelling at) the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. Kell supported, attended and closely followed his grandchildrens’ sporting events and activities with great enthusiasm. 

His special needs son, Jim, was always a priority, especially after Del passed. You could often find them together attending church, special events or enjoying a meal at one of the local restaurants in town. He made sure Jim was actively engaged and involved and they soon became not just father and son, but best buddies.

Kell is survived by his loving wife of 12 years, Flavia Sagedahl, daughter, Jean Stewart, son, David (Deb) Lovell, daughter, Mary (Craig) Ketels, son, James Lovell, daughter Janet (Jeff) Weaver, and daughter, Laura (Mitchel) Schwindt. He is also survived by his brother, Robert Lovell Jr., sisters, Patricia Derner and Bonnie Lovell, 12 grandchildren, William Stewart, Anne Stewart, Amy Sorenson, Mike Ketels, Megan Marsh, Sarah Lovell, Andrew Weaver, Sam Weaver, Lauren Reller, and William, Garret and Ella Schwindt, as well as 8 great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and godchildren. He is also survived and loved by stepsons, Desi and Tom Sagedahl, and stepdaughter, Alyson Berg along with their families.

Kell was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Ruth Lovell, his beloved wife of 54 years, Delphine “Del” Lovell, sister, Shirley Ponwith, brother-in-laws, Don Ponwith and Ralph Derner, and sister-in-law, Marion Lovell.

The numerous facetime and phone calls, letters, cards, photos and visits Kell received during his final weeks of life were a tremendous source of joy, peace and comfort. Heartfelt thanks to the medical staff and volunteers who provided much more than care, but also a peaceful and compassionate environment during his transition from this life to the next.

Memorials are preferred to St. Philip's Catholic School or Sanford Bemidji Home Care and Hospice.

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

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Kell Erwin Lovell?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Kell's memory.


April 11, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Philips Catholic Church
702 Beltrami Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Memorial Mass
April 11, 2024

11:00 AM
St. Philips Catholic Church
702 Beltrami Ave NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

April 11, 2024

Holy Cross Cemetery
Ridgeway Ave. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601


© 2024 Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home & Cremation Service. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility