Rahn G. Bjornson

April 8, 1954 to November 14, 2020

On Nov. 14, 2020, Retired Police Officer Rahn Bjornson ended his watch on this earth and moved to a place where there is no pain.

Rahn was a lifelong resident of the Des Moines area. He graduated from Des Moines Hoover as a member of the state track team, the all-metro football team, and the all-state football team. A football scholarship drew Rahn to Drake University in the fall of 1973. In April of 2019, he was inducted into the Hoover High School Alumni Hall of Fame.

Rahn married his high school sweetheart, Maurine Westrick; they were happily married for 45 years. They established their home in Urbandale and raised two daughters, several dogs, and a cat who liked Rahn more than he liked her. Rahn coached recreational softball for his daughters and served as the president of the Johnston Booster Club. He enjoyed coaching and encouraging young people and tried to attend all the events of his four grandsons.

Rahn served in the Des Moines Police Department for 39 years, where he was recognized with commendations for his outstanding teamwork and exemplary conduct throughout his career. His assignments included patrol, robbery, homicide, the tactical unit, internal affairs, and vice and narcotics. In 2001 he was named Des Moines Police Officer of the Year. His hobbies included woodworking, gardening, refinishing treasures, and completing projects for his home. He was a dedicated college football fan, especially of the Hawkeyes.

Rahn could be described as a stubborn Norwegian with a great sense of humor. He was a loyal friend, hardworking employee, and generous neighbor. His family and friends enjoyed many trips to the beach with him.

Rahn was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Bertha Bjornson. He is survived by his wife, Maurine, and daughters, Kim Lane (Ryan) of Grimes and Sara Kraft (Nick) of Grimes; grandsons, Zachary Lane, and Derek, Blake, and Kaleb Kraft. He is also survived by his brother, Fred Bjornson (Mary) and his sister, Laura Snyder, as well as many nieces, nephews and their families.

The family would like to acknowledge the many family members and friends who supported Rahn with parades, cards, food, and visits that allowed Rahn to know he was not alone on this journey.

A special thank you for the knowledge and compassion from Dr. Behrens and staff, and UnityPoint Hospice staff. Our heartfelt thanks to the Des Moines Police Honor Guard for their salute to their colleague. The family was deeply touched.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the PANCAN organization, or the Des Moines Police Volunteer Honor Guard, or the UnityPoint Hospice in memory of Rahn Bjornson.

A visitation for family and friends will be held at Iles Westover Chapel on Friday, November 20, 2020, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Masks and social distancing will be required. A celebration of Rahn’s life will be held at a later date. Online condolences are welcome at www.IlesCares.com.

Due to the new guidelines issued during this pandemic, a limited number of visitors will be allowed in the chapel at the same time. When you arrive at the funeral home, you will be directed where to go. You will be able to remain in your car and watch the video tribute at www.IlesCares.com while waiting to greet the family.

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