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Johannes Hjelmeland

Kossuth County Advance - Staff Photo - Create Article


May 17, 1941 - April 24, 2023


A funeral service for Johannes ‘John’ Hjelmeland of Algona will be held Monday, May 8, 2023, at 10:30 a.m., at Trinity Lutheran Church in Algona. The funeral will be live streamed on Trinity Lutheran Church YouTube Page. Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery in Algona with military honors conducted by the Iowa National Guard Honor Guard.  Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona and will continue Monday one hour prior to the service at the church. Services will be livestreamed.  

Johannes ‘John’ Hjelmeland, the son of Gjert and Ingrid (Nedrevåg) Hjelmeland, was born on Norway’s National Day, May 17, 1941, in Granvin, Norway. He was baptized in the Granvin Church. Later the family moved to Dimmelsvik, Norway, where he completed school. He was a carpentry apprentice in Seimsfoss, Norway, prior to immigrating to the United States in 1959 at the age of 18. 

John came to Lu Verne, where he stayed with his sponsor family, helping on the farm and learning English through work and family members already living in the area. He then moved to Ames where he worked for Fjare Home Builders. John also spent a summer in Fairbanks, Alaska working for a contractor building homes and working on the university campus. In 1964, he returned to the Algona area and started his own construction business, Hjelmeland Builders. Noticing a need for quality apartments in Algona, he built his first apartment building in 1969. During that time, John also served in the National Guard from 1965 to 1971.

 On Aug. 29, 1970, John married Carol Anliker of Whittemore at Zion Lutheran Church in Lu Verne. The couple made their home in Algona, raising their two children, Lisa Ingrid and Michael John.  

On June 28, 1979, the tornado that tore through Algona damaged both the Hjelmeland Builders building on the north side of Algona and the Hjelmeland home on the south side. The family briefly relocated to live with Carol’s family in Whittemore while John helped rebuild Algona. John continued to build homes, apartments, commercial buildings and other unique projects in the Algona and surrounding area through the years. Hjelmeland Builders celebrated 50 years of business in 2014.

While John was always busy with large and small work projects, he enjoyed traveling back to Norway to visit family, friends and spend time at his cabin there. He always looked forward to fishing in Norway and at his cabin in Minnesota, working with his farms and had a love for cars. Along with spending time with his children and grandchildren, he enjoyed the companionship of his dogs, Coco, Bailey and Cece, taking them on many walks through the years.  

John died peacefully on Monday, April 24 at his home in Algona. 

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Carol and children: Lisa Ingrid Hjelmeland (Are Fostervoll and children: Emily and Eric Johannes) of Telemark, Norway, and Michael John Hjelmeland (Pinky and children: Fiona, Tyler, Karina and Tierra) of Algona; his sisters: Margrete Sundal; Marit Hjelmeland Berge; Inger Søllesvik (Knut); Liv Bente Hjelmeland Fjogstad (Karl); and brothers: Per Hjelmeland (Gerd) and Kjell Hjelmeland (Karin), all of Norway; sisters in-law: Mary Melick (Mike) of Burt; Doris Anliker of Whittemore, Karen Hjelmeland of Algona and brother in-law George Cooperider of Omaha; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents: Gjert and Ingrid Hjelmeland; parents-in-law: Elmer and Agnes Anliker; nephew: Jonny Hjelmeland; brother: Jan Kristian Hjelmeland; sister: Gerd Skogseth; and sister-in-law: Arlene Cooperider. 

He will be forever loved, missed and very dear. John’s attention to detail and quality can be seen in everything he worked on, and his legacy will live on. Memorials may be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church or to the Water’s Edge Nature Center in memory of John.  

Oakcrest Funeral Services of Algona in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be made to

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