The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Obituaries

May 14, 2010

Harold Paulsen

— Harold Woodrow Paulsen, age 91, of Mankato died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at Mankato House Health Care Center.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 17, 2010, at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato. Visitation will be 3-5 p.m. on Sunday at Mankato Mortuary. Private family interment will be in Glenwood Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to Minnesota State University-Mankato, or the Alzheimer’s Association.

Harold was born on March 3, 1919 in Virginia, MN to Laurence and Agnes (Johnson) Paulsen. He graduated from Virginia High School, received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Minnesota, and attended graduate school at the University of Minnesota and the University of Michigan. An All-American hockey player, scoring leader and team captain for the National Champion (1941) University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, “Babe” Paulsen was selected as a member of the 1940 United States Olympic Hockey Team before the games were canceled at the outbreak of World War II. Following college, Harold signed a contract to play hockey professionally with the Chicago Blackhawks, but entered the Navy during WWII. In 2001, Harold was selected as one of 50 Gopher hockey “Legends on Ice.”

Harold was united in marriage to Clara Ann Epp of Mountain Lake on August 2, 1941, in Minneapolis and served as a U.S. Naval officer from 1943 to 1946. He was recruited to start the Michigan State University hockey program in 1948 and served as the first Michigan State hockey coach before completing a doctorate at the University of Michigan. In 1956, Harold became the athletic director at Slippery Rock State Teachers College in Pennsylvania. In 1962, Harold and Clara moved with their three children to Mankato and he joined the faculty of Mankato State University in the Department of Health and Physical Education. He retired in 1988. Harold was an active member of Centenary United Methodist Church and the Mankato Rotary Club. An athlete all his life, Harold was a prominent handball player in Mankato and continued to play handball well into his 70s.

Harold is survived by his three children, James (Christi) Paulsen of Sandpoint, ID, Sandra (John) Friedlander of Memphis, TN, and Robert (Selena) Paulsen of Fort Collins, CO; seven grandchildren, Kristin Friedlander of New York, Rachel Friedlander of Memphis, Alexandra Janes-Paulsen of Boulder, CO, Gunnar Paulsen of Salem, OR, Austin Janes-Paulsen of Albuquerque, NM, Sierra Paulsen of Ft. Collins, CO and Jackson Paulsen of Ft. Collins, CO; sister, Lucille Korsman of Farmington; and many nieces and nephews. Notwithstanding his significant achievements, Harold was a humble man, devoted to family and community. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Lester of Virginia, MN; and his wife, Clara (2006).

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