Obituary: Gregory Paul Elstad


April 21, 2023

Gregory Paul Elstad, 76, of Carlton died suddenly at his home on April 15, 2023. He was born July 2, 1946 in Hallock, Minnesota. Greg graduated high school in Franklin, Minnesota in 1964, and went on to the University of Minnesota, graduating with a bachelor's degree in forestry. Later he studied silviculture at Oregon State University. After college, he entered the U.S. Navy and worked on the USS Saratoga in the Tonkin Gulf during the Vietnam War from 1969 to 1973. Due to his exposure to Agent Orange, Greg battled many health issues including Parkinson's and cancers that later led to his death. After Vietnam, Greg worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Idaho and Oregon. After retiring in 2000, he settled in Carlton, where he spent most of his time nurturing a tree farm, which he donated to the University of Minnesota. He was named Tree Farmer of the Year in 2022. He worked as a forestry consultant to landowners in the Carlton area. After spending his life as a bachelor, in 2007 he started "wooing and winning a wife." He stated he "had to act lovable for TWO solid months." He got "not only a wife but also a best friend." After teaching Lola how to hunt waterfowl and fish, he decided she was the one, and they were wed in November 2007.

Despite the infirmities resulting from his military service, he never lost his unique sense of humor or his love for outdoor activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George Martin and Berenice Olive (Loftness) Elstad; nephew, Josh Lamken; and stepdaughter, Christie Lund.

Greg is survived by his wife, Lola Elstad, of Carlton; stepsons, Len (Jody Greniger) Lund and Jerry Lund, both of Cloquet; step-grandchildren, Amber (Spencer) Kadlec and their children Ava and Mila Kadlec, Haley (Drake) Egge and their children Jaela and Zion Egge, Davin Lund, Derek Lund and Elise Lund; sisters, Marilyn (Dick) Jaeger of Savoy, Illinois, and Reeni (Jack) Knudson of Prescott, Arizona; nieces and nephews, Kelly Knudson LaFave, Ted Knudson, Jonathan Vold, Daniel Lamken and Anneliese Potter; and many great-nephews and great-nieces, relatives and a host of friends.

We wish to thank the many caregivers and the VA health care system who helped Greg.

Visitation: 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service Wednesday, April 26 at Hope Lutheran Church, 4093 Munger Shaw Road in Cloquet. Lunch will follow the service. Arrangements entrusted to Atkins Northland Funeral Home, Cloquet. To sign the guestbook and leave an online tribute, see

A life complete, God called him home, and we rejoice with tears in our Savior's timing.


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