Cover photo for Darwin Cogger's Obituary
Darwin Cogger Profile Photo
1937 Darwin 2023

Darwin Cogger

July 21, 1937 — April 15, 2023



Darwin “Teen” Eldon Cogger, 85, member of the White Earth Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, entered the spirit world on April 15, 2023 at his Strawberry Lake home with family at his side. He was born July 21, 1937 at home in Sugar Bush Township to Sylvester and Inez Cogger. He was the youngest son of six children and was raised in the Catholic faith. Darwin married the love of his life, Janet Smith Cogger on September 19, 1959 in Waubun, MN. They welcomed their only child, Terri Lee Cogger on September 8, 1963. Darwin and Janet were married for sixty-three years.

More than anything he loved his family and his country. Darwin was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Korea with the Big Red One. He made lifetime friends during this time of conflict in U.S. history.

Throughout his life Darwin was very active. He loved playing baseball with the Strawberry Lake community team and with his employer, Control Data. He was a Golden Glove boxer in his youth and continued his love of boxing by creating his own boxing team in White Earth with many talented boxers. He went on to become a head coach with the Anoka/Coon Rapids Boxing Club and trained nationally titled boxers throughout his career. Darwin’s boxers reached national rankings in the Golden Gloves, National Boxing Federation (ABF), and American Indian Boxing  tournaments.

Over his lifetime he worked at Boeing in Seattle, WA; was a counselor at Lino Lakes Correctional Facility; and spent most of his career at Control Data in Arden Hills and Mpls, as an engineer. He retired at the age of 55 and enjoyed his retirement traveling and enjoying life at his home on Strawberry Lake. He loved to hunt with his brothers, nephews, and great nephews, spending hours upon hours fishing, wild ricing, picking morel mushrooms, berries, and hazelnuts. Over the years his ricing partners changed from his brother, uncle, friend, and finally his wife. Each year he anxiously awaited the Annual White Earth Pow Wow to visit family that would come from across the country He also enjoyed eating his beloved Fry Bread Tacos. Darwin has touched so many lives and was dearly loved by his family and friends. He had a quiet nature about him and was trusted and respected by those that knew him. He is known for his great sense of humor, jokes, and his storytelling.

Teen is preceded in death by his grandparents, Charles and Sophia Pelland Cogger and Claudious and Nellie Masden Hilst; his parents, Sylvester and Inez Hilst Cogger; siblings, Vernon Cogger, Carl Cogger, Leonard Cogger, and Marion Cogger Snelson.

He is survived by his wife Janet; daughter, Terri Lee Cogger Bradley; grandchildren, Quinn Parker Cogger Bradley and Asha Leigh Cogger Bradley; sister, Geraldine Cogger Thomas; and many cousins, extended family, and friends.

Miigwech to all those that have expressed their condolences. The Cogger family appreciates all the support they have received from extended family, friends, and the community.

 “Seek the wonder of life and love, for it lasts but a short time. Open your heart to the unknown, though it may bring fear or pain. Believe that the Creator will guide you, for there are grand rewards within mystery.”

Funeral Services will be on Saturday April 22, 2023 at the Strawberry Lake Mennoite Church, rural Ogema, MN. Visitation from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m., Clelebration of Life and telling stories at 11:00 a.m. and lunch to follow. Interment will be in the Aura Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Darwin Cogger, please visit our flower store.
FOLDER Cogger, Darwin.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, April 22, 2023

9:30 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church

33480 Co Hwy 34, Ogema, MN 56569

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Strawberry Lake Mennonite Church

33480 Co. Hwy 34, Ogema, MN 56569

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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