Memories of the Rober’t family
From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND.
This message is for the Rober’t family. I remember all the fun times
we had at your house as kids…your mother was a wonderful lady. I am
sorry you had to go through this tragedy. Please know that we are
thinking of you.
Diane Larson Sjol
From Susan Brew Roussin (59): Rolla, ND.
Remembering…. Do any of the older classmates from Dunseith remember early days when Paster Lovaas lived near the school house in town. He had a son named Danny. Danny worked for a while at the Peace Garden with my step-grandpa (Jerry Demo). I must have been in first grade, the teacher was Eunice Larson, if I recall rightly. We thought it was a good idea if we got these two people together. I don’t know how it actually happened, but we felt like match makers, when they did get married. Does anyone know where are they now. Have a great day. Thanks much, Gary and all who keep the past alive in our thoughts and prayers. “Daddy” Jerry was the gardener at the Peace Garden in the late 40’s.
From Susan Malaterre Johnson (69): Alvarado, TX
One of the Ft. Hood victims was born in Williston, ND. Capt. John Gaffeney.
Reply to Shirley Olson Warcup (49):
From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Again, I’m delighted my family was able to help you folks out when you needed help. I would so love to relay your thanks to them, but unfortunately, both of my parents and all of my Dad’s siblings have been gone for several years. I have often wondered what life was really like back then and your little historical story and shone a bit of light on that. Thanks
Keith Pladson (66)
George Loab – Former San Haven Superintendent:
Reply from Karen Loeb Mhyre (65): Bellevue, WA.
You asked about my dad’s history before he came to the San. George L. Loeb was the only son of a German, Jewish Professor of Chemistry in Germany. Dad was born in 1912, in Gottingen, Germany. In 1914, his father was killed in a fall from a horse while he was serving in the German military in World War I. His father’s name was Loeb. Dad’s mother took my dad home to her parents in Celle, Germany. Her father was a Bishop in the Lutheran Church in a big cathedral in Celle, Germany. Dad’s maternal grandparents were names Beurker. With the help of her parents, my grandmother was able to go to medical school after the loss of her husband.
My grandmother, Lenke, met and married one of her surgery professor’s, a Dr Fromme. They had 4 additional children, all full blooded Germans. I think my dad was considered kind of a “black sheep” by this step father. In 1938 or 39, after my father had finished medical school in Germany, his stepfather arranged for him to go to England where some of his Loeb relatives lived. Dad’s Aunt Marie Tutour (a sister of the professor Loeb, Dad’s birth father) helped my dad with the arrangements needed to come to the United States. He traveled by ship to New York City, entering our country through Ellis Island. Dad would tell us that he spent about 3 months in New York City. Mostly he went to movies to hear English spoken and worked on his language skills.
Next, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he sold used cars! He always loved fast cars with big engines! From there he moved to New Orleans where he repeated an internship at the big Charity hospital we heard so much about during the Katrina Hurricane days. On Sunday, December 7th 1942, Dad was working on Obstetrics and stayed all night with a woman in labor. On the morning of the 8th at 7 AM, Dad and his supervising faculty physician were walking across the street from the hospital to have breakfast and to discuss their cases from the night before. In the street, coming towards them were 2 FBI agents who arrested my dad as an enemy alien. We were now at war with Germany. Dad told us that if he had not been arrested that morning, he had planned to enlist in the US Army!! Dad said that he believed he had been on a “watch list” by our government. My Dad was always a man of strong political beliefs and he felt strongly that the German government of that time (Nazi) was very BAD. Dad frequently would talk about the political climate in Germany and the rest of Europe. He loved a good political discussion. My dad believed that someone probably reported him for how he talked about the Nazi’s at the time and that he had a lot of knowledge about what he thought was going on in Germany. Maybe too much knowledge of our enemies for a person living and working in the USA, wanting supposeedly to become an American.
Dad was sent to Stringfellow, Oklahoma where he was “@&&’m qqinterned” with hundreds of other enemy aliens who were also arrested when we went to war. Most people know that the Japanese on our West Coast were interned in prison camps in Idaho, Oregon and other states as well. The German’s were interned in similar camps. I do not know how long they were in Oklahoma, but at some point Dad was moved by train to Fort Lincoln near Bismark where he spent most of the rest of the WWII. Dad was a physician, so in both camp locations, he was given responsibilities to help with the medical care of his fellow prisoners.
As the war was ending, and I am not sure exactly when, Dad was “paroled” to the San as they were in desperate need for doctors. He was required to report weekly to a US Customs official who was stationed at the Peace Garden border crossing. I think the man’s name was Nesse (?) or something like that. (Not Elliot Ness!!!) He was not allowed to travel any further than Dunseith. Any other travel required special permission, etc.
My mother, Hannah Higgins grew up in Dunseith. She was the daughter of Alida Olson Higgins (sister of Christine Olson Carlson), from Trail County near Larimore/Grand Forks. My mom’s Dad was Frank Higgins, an Irishman who homesteaded several farms in the area and managed the hardware store in Dunseith in the 30’s. Frank was a widower with one son who suffered from TB of the bone. This half brother, Francis was post master of the Dunseith Post office while my mom was growing up. Frank died fromop some liver disease when my mother was 16 (1937). Both my mom and her sister Pat, went to high school in Fargo at Sacred Heart Academy (now Shanley High) and then to nursing school at St John’s hospital in Fargo. My mom was a nurse at the flight training school after she graduated until the war was over in 1945.
With the war over, Mom went home to Dunseith and lived with her mother for a while. She got a job at the San as a nurse. She and my dad have social security numbers one apart from each other as they were hired nearly at the same time.
My parents were married in the spring of 1947 and I was born in October of that year. Dad continued to have to report to his parole officer for some time, even after he married my mom.
My parents stayed at the San until 1958 when Dad moved us (Mom and 4 kids aged 11-2)to Minneapolis so he could do a residency in Radiology at the University of Minnesota. Dad was 39 at the time. My youngest sister, Jane was born in Minneapolis during Dad’s first year of residency. Following the 4 years of residency, we moved for 2 years to Seattle, WA where he worked for the VA and ran the Radiology department while the man who normally had that job was on a sabbatical. In 1963 our family moved to St Cloud, Minnesota where Dad practiced Radiology at the St Cloud Hospital. He loved radiology and was greatly respected for his skills in seeing the whole patient, not just the Xray. in using his many years of treating TB patients, he was able to really communicate with his patients and they really appreciated his sense of respect of the patient as well as his great diagnostic skills.
Sadly, Dad passed away unexpectedly, May 29, 1975 (age 63). He had been suffering some sleep apnea related seizures that caused his sudden death. My mom remained in St Cloud for a few years and eventually moved to her summer cottage in Longville, Minnesota. In 1998 ???? my mom and sister, Jane built a home near Jim and I in Bothell, Wa. My sister, Marianne also lives with them. Mom is now 88 and is slowing down a bit, but she reads everything she can, as well as plays amazing games of Scrabble and Pinnacle, We are so lucky to have my sisters and Mom close by (about a 20 minute drive).
Dad was a man with a huge need to be a successful physician. I think he always was trying to show that step father that he was worthwhile. Dad never went back to Germany to visit his half brother & 3 half sisters and Mother until after the step father had passed away. It is interesting to us to think about what a perfectionist and man of high expectations he was. He was a tough father on all of us kids, but he expected a lot from my mom and anyone he worked with as well. It was not always easy for kids or his employees to live up to his standards.
It is sad that he passed before he could see what ‘our” next generation of scientists, physicians and horsewomen have accomplished. He would be very proud of all that has been accomplished. We all have our own troubles and failings as well. Those would have killed him for sure!!
Thanks for asking about my Dad’s history. I do ramble on, but then we all think he was an amazing man. I hope I have most of these “facts” right.
Take care, and again, thanks for asking!
Karen Loeb Mhyre
Karen Loeb Mhyre (65) with her granddaughter Katelyn
Hannah Higgens Loab (39): with her Great Granddaughter Katelyn
Reply from Tom Hagen (51): Mesa, AZ & Williston, ND.
Gary, thank you so much again for sending obituary for Loren Smith as we
had not gotten all of that even though Dot attended the funeral!!!!
So sorry to hear about Jose and pray his pain will soon end. You
really do a remarkable service in your daily messages and they are
always interesting. We know Clarice Aus well and enjoyed Aggies blog
We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot
Dot, I think some of our readers will remember your brother Loren, so I have posted his Obituary below. We are so sorry to hear of his passing. Gary
Loren E. Smith
Jan. 21, 1931-Oct. 21, 2009
POSTED: October 25, 2009
Loren E. Smith, 78, Rugby, died Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, at the MeritCare
Medical Center in Fargo.
Loren was born Jan. 21, 1931, in Rolla, the third of four children born to
Melford Dewain and Lillie Augusta (Carlson) Smith. He was raised in St. John
until the family moved to Rolette in January 1946. Loren graduated from
Rolette High School in the class of 1948.
He met Esther Violet LaVerne Tastad at Luther League and the two were
married July 29, 1951. They moved to Rugby that year, and Loren began
working at a gas station in town. He moved on to jobs at Anderson Funeral
Home and Jacobson’s Department Store before becoming the working partner at
Leegard and Smith Men’s Store. He later purchased the store, owning it until
1978, and then finished out his professional career as a traveling salesman.
Loren was an active member of First Lutheran Church from the time he moved
to Rugby until his death, serving as a Sunday school teacher, council
president, custodian and choir member.
He was also active in other areas of the community, as a member of the
Chamber of Commerce and Red Cross, a school and district PTA president, and
a charter member of the Heart of America Concert series. After retirement,
Loren kept busy cutting lawns for people around town, volunteering at the
Heart of America Hospital, and taking care of the grounds at the Rugby
Loren is survived by: his wife of 57 years, Esther, of Rugby; six children,
daughters Laurel (Kevin) Toyne, of Rugby, Naomi Schmitz, Cashton, Wis.,
Cynthia (Mark) Granger, St. Louis Park, Minn., Sidonia (Bob) Burnell,
Oshkosh, Wis., Sonja (Milt) Myhre, Fargo, and a son, Tim (Kristin),
Russellville, Ark.; one sister, Darlene (Thomas) Hagen, of Mesa, Ariz.; 14
grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews, other
relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Christine Cooper; a
son-in-law, Mike Schmitz; two brothers, Neil and Doug; his stepfather,
Seivert Solhein; and his parents.
Funeral service: Monday at 10:30 a.m. in First Lutheran Church in Rugby with
burial in the Persilla Watts Cemetery, Rugby. Pastor Sharon Baker,
Friends may call today (Sunday) from 4 to 7 p.m. at First Lutheran Church in
Rugby and for one hour prior to the time of services at the church on
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby.
Rick Casavant’s mothers Obituary
Note: Rick is married to Denise Wheeler. Rick/Denise are on our distribution.
Rick, we are so sorry to hear of your mothers passing. It’s always hard loosing a parent. Our condolences are with you and your family. Gary
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Aug. 7, 1916-Nov. 3, 2009
POSTED: November 6, 2009
ROLETTE Alma Emma Casavant, 93, Fargo, formerly of Rolette, died Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009, in a Fargo nursing home.
She was born Aug. 7, 1916, to Hector and Eugenie Malo in Union Township, Rolette County. She married Merle Joliffe in 1935 and he preceded her in death. She married Lucien Casavant on July 9, 1946.
Survivors: sons, Garry Joliffe, Chandler, Ariz., Richard Casavant and DuWayne Casavant, both Rolette, Doyle Casavant, Mora, Minn.; daughters, Janice Pickard, West Fargo, Julie Luoma, Tehachapi, Calif., Colette Olson, Fargo; 22 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Rita Boe, Devils Lake, Jeanine Zeffero, Suttons Bay, Mich.
Funeral: Saturday, 10 a.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rolette.
Burial: Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Rolette.
Rosary service: Today, 7 p.m., in the church.