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Rainstorm victim was man who 'liked being by himself'

  • Article by: Paul Levy
  • Star Tribune
  • August 21, 2007 - 1:31 AM

David Roland Ask, 55, grew up one of 10 children, but as an adult, he lived alone.

He never married or had kids.

A self-employed electrician who collected old radio tubes, he lived in a trailer in Sheldon Valley, between Houston and Caledonia.

"I wouldn't say he was a hermit," his brother, Terry Ask, said. "He just liked being by himself."

Raised on a dairy farm in southeastern Minnesota, David Ask enjoyed fishing, gardening, raising chickens and the Radio Shack catalogs he eagerly awaited in the mail.

But what appeared a simple life was not without hardships.

One of his sisters died of leukemia, Terry Ask said. Another sister was 16 when she drowned in Lake Michigan.

David Ask was home Saturday night when his father, Roy Ask, 90, called to see how he was weathering the rainstorm.

David looked out his front door, saw water a foot away and said things were fine, Terry Ask said.

Around midnight, a neighbor called David, suggesting he head to higher ground.

David told him he thought the water was receding, Terry Ask said.

Two hours later the valley flooded. Pieces of David's trailer were scattered about, Terry Ask said.

Upon learning that David was missing in the storm, their father suffered a heart attack and was flown by National Guard helicopter to a hospital in La Crosse, Wis.

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