We are deeply saddened by the loss of a sailor from the greatest generation: Chief Petty Officer Howard Warnberg. Howard is a key figure and supporter of the Vets Art Monument–where he modeled for the Navy painting as the Navy Chief. Howard was a gentlemen’s gentlemen, and prominent figure in the community of Little Falls. He served as a County Comissione and ran a successful flooring business. It was a great honor to have known him for 40 years, and I got to know his spirit well as he posed for his portrait in the studio. He leaves a wonderful legacy, and will truly be missed, however as the Navy Chief he stands watch at the Cemetery.
The long-awaited Marine Corps painting is stretched! One of my least favorite tasks, it’s made easier with help, in this case joined by Erik Sogge, who is the Cemetery Administrator and clearly willing to get his hands, and knees, dirty. Also joining was Val Pilarski. While there’s been work on the initial sketch ideas in my studio, the Marine Corps painting becomes “real” when it takes shape in the 8 X 10 foot canvas, which was stretched this week at the Maintenance Building at the Cemetery.
We take this opportunity to thank all the men and women of our Armed Services who have served, and are serving. Wherever you are in the world, we think of you today.
We are truly saddened by the loss of Mr. Gordon Gerling, Air Force Veteran and former state representative, who died on July 14th. It was through Gordon’s passion and commitment that the project came to life. Gordon wanted something that portrayed how democracy has been preserved and protected, “something educational to help future generations understand our history and the role our military played in maintaining freedom and democracy.”
We hold his wife of 73 years, Bette, and his family in our thoughts and prayers. Gordon was a thoughtful, respectful and genuinely kind human being and we are grateful to have known him during his long life. He is already dearly missed.
For the third year in a row, Charles Kapsner has welcomed members of the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange to his studio. Shown here is Kapsner presenting Lt. Colonel Per Olav Vaagland with a giclee print of the US Army, the first painting completed for the Veterans Project. Kapsner is also joined by several members of the Norwegian Home Guard at the Committal Hall.
The exchange began in 1974 and is the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations. The yearly exchange promotes good will and sharpens military readiness between the nations as well as provides opportunities for cultural understanding among its participants. The Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers are staying at Camp Ripley.
Kapsner is honored to host members of the Norwegian Home Guard, and will have Lt. Colonel Vaagland at his studio again this week to complete a drawing sketch of him. “It is a complete honor to engage with the intelligent, articulate and skilled members of the Home Guard. It’s the third year for me, last year Lt. Colonel Seland sat for me, and the year before it was Colonel Wold. This is a fantastic cultural exchange, given the great artistic heritage of Norway.”
On behalf of the project team, the Minnesota State Veterans Memorial Association, and artist Charles Kapsner, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Potter family on the tragic loss of Dr. Earl Potter, III.
Dr. Potter was President of Saint Cloud State University, and he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1969 to 1993 and retired at the rank of captain. We are truly saddened by the loss of this wonderful man, committed Veteran, and champion of education. We hold his family in our thoughts.