Paul Eric Korsness

Sunday, March 3, 2024 6:38 pm

Paul Eric Korsness, age 54, of Hesper, peacefully passed away, after a 10-year hard-fought battle with pancreatic cancer on March 2, 2024.

He was born Sept, 16,1969, to Lester and Thelma (Nelson) Korsness in Decorah, Iowa.

Paul was the youngest of four children and grew up on his family farm near Hesper. He attended and graduated from North Winneshiek Community school in 1988. While in high school he was an accomplished athlete competing in football for Decorah High School, where he still holds the record of the longest touchdown run in school history —  a 96-yarder against Waukon in 1986 – and was an early-season starter for the undefeated 1987 state championship team before a knee injury ended his season; he also played basketball for North Winneshiek, lettering three times.

But it was in track and field that Paul really excelled; he was a four year letterwinner for the Mustangs, and was a two-time Upper Mississippi Conference champion in both the 100- and 200-meter dash in 1987-88; he was a two-time district champ in both events, and capped his junior year with a state title in the 100-meter dash. He finished his track career at North Winn as a two-time, two-event state qualifier, and held the school record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.0.

After high School he went to NICC in Calmar, where he graduated from the carpentry program In 1989. He then started working for Malek’s Builders of Cresco, where he worked until his illness in 2014.

Paul was united in marriage to Nicolle Hutchinson on Jan. 25, 1992 at the Hesper Lutheran Church. This union was blessed with four children: Kelsie Korsness of Decorah, Dylan Korsness of Decorah, Cameron (Aubrey) Korsness of Shadyside, MD., and Jensen Korsness of Decorah. 

Along with being a talented carpenter and wood worker, Paul loved farming. He and his father raised and sold beef cattle until 2022. He also fell in love with sheep, after one summer day, when Paul was gone, a neighbor dropped off a single ewe she was trying to get rid of. He was then later gifted a herd of rambouillet ewes from an acquaintance who raised them for wool, and didn’t want to sell them at a sale. That started his years of being a dedicated sheep farmer. One of Paul’s favorite activities was going to local and state fairs walking through all the sheep and beef barns looking at all the different breeds and talking to other farmers about their livestock.

He served as a faithful servant for Hesper Lutheran Church, and was on the Church Council many times, serving as its President on several occasions. He would also be an usher for many years. Paul was a long time Hesper Township Trustee, and was extremely proud of his Hesper roots.

In 1995, Paul started playing dartball for the Hesper Lutheran Church, where he was a standout player for both the Hesper team and the Stateline Dartball League, which stopped playing in 2019. Paul was many times named the leagues top thrower and was the top “hitter” for a Hesper team that won the league title several times.

He was an avid outdoorsman. He especially loved hunting and fishing.  He always knew the “good spots” and loved being out in the woods bow and shotgun hunting. He would spend hours at the local streams and ponds fishing.  

Paul loved to strike up conversations with anyone and anywhere – especially when he was out and about around the community or at family gatherings. He would never be the one to end a conversation; he would sit and happily talk as long as anyone would be willing to do so. 

Paul is survived by his wife, Nicolle, of 32 years, his children: Kelsie, Dylan,Cameron and Jensen. Father Lester Korsness, sisters Martha (Mark) Jepsen and Linda (Jeff) Hermes, brother-in-law Edward Darrington. Mother and father-in-law Tim & Dixie Hutchinson. Sister-in-laws Brooke(Mike) Little, April (Jeremy) Brill and brother-in-law Lee Hutchinson.  Nieces and nephews Joseph (Lorien) Darrington, Heidi (Bryce) Muenchow, Jonathan(Wren) Darrington, Tyler (Heather) Jepsen, Nathan (Lauren) Jepsen, Joel Jepsen, Brian Hernes, Melissa (Geno) Pickerign, Maliyah, Mayia & Amira Little, Tavin,Tessa and Tia Bril. As well as seven great nieces and nephews. His aunts Helen Danielson and Kay Korsness and cousins Debby, Nancy, Steve and David Danielson, Lori Olson, Mark and Sarah Korsness, Jon and Carl Erickson.

He was preceded in death by his mother Thelma Korsness, sister Lois Darrington, Uncles Curtis Dainelson and Norman Korsness, his aunt Margaret Place, nephew Brennan Hutchinson, as well as grandparents Guy & Thea Nelson and Lawrence & Melissa Korsness.

A Celebration of Life will be held at Hesper Lutheran Church on March 6, 2024. Visitation will be an hour prior to the 11 am service. In Lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent  to 1893 370th St Decorah, IA 52101. A college fund will be set up to help Paul’s youngest daughter, who will be starting college in the fall.

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