Harry Poitra, 71, Dunseith, died Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2009, in a Minot hospital.

He was born Sept. 23, 1937, to Robert and Eva Poitra in Belcourt. He married Leona Delorme on Aug. 6, 1957, near Dunseith

Survivors: sons, Richard, Dunseith, Larry, Rapid City, S.D., Douglas, Grand Forks, Randy, Bottineau, Kevin and Michael, both Belcourt, Sandy, Park River; daughters, Donna Fredericksen, Grafton, Cheryl Trottier, Williston, Peggy Parisien, Dunseith, Diana Poitra, St. John; 36 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; sisters: Theresa Manson, Rolla, Helen Sunblad of Minnesota, Amanda Poitra, Grand Forks; brother, Virgil, Dunseith.

Funeral: Saturday, 10 a.m., in Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau.

Burial: St. Louis Cemetery, rural Dunseith.

Visitation: Today, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the funeral home.

Marlin (Virgil 64), you are the only one of your brothers family members I recognize. I am sure many of our readers know many of your family members. Our condolences are with you and your family with the passing Harry. Gary

Request from Lyle (61) and Sharon Pearson Zeiler (62): Rugby, ND
Hi Gary,
We would like to be included in the Dunseith Blog.
We moved to Rugby in Jan.2008 and just got hooked up
to the internet again. Our e-mail address is
Our address is 410 -7th st sw
Rugby,ND 58368.
Copy of message sent to Janice Leonard Workman (56): Auburn, WA, From
Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Hi Janice, Good to see you in Seattle. Sure did enjoy your brother Bill on the cruise. We really had a lot to talk about.

Though I know you did not work full time for Judge Ray Wilson, I thought you might have been there the day Tony Christianson paid his fine for whatever. He gave the Judge and extra $20 and said, “I am gonna feed you so well that I hope your short leg grows out to match the other one.”
Tony wasn’t in Dunseith that long, I think he was Danish and some kind of a character. They all had a sense of humor those days. Tony was married to Velva House.

Hope you had a good time in S.D. for the reunion and that you found Bonnie and Keith doing well!!

Thanks Janice. Gary Metcalfe

Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Marshall Awalt’s latest picture of the Ladies Aid was at one time in
the papers with the caption ‘Fried Chicken Experts’. The ladies served
the Peace Garden board of director’s annual meetings at the old lodge.
They did this for many years and used the proceeds for the church. My
guess on the date is ’46 or ’48, by looking at the bottom part of the
numbers. They continued the serving tradition for probably close to 30
years. After looking, I believe only four of the ladies in this picture
are still living today. One is Joy Peterson who was in the kitchen today
helping with the lunch at Greg Grimme’s funeral. She is going strong!

When Vickie Hiatt LaFountaine mentioned the cream cans, I thought of a
neat thing that happened just a couple years ago. I’ve been known to
take an early morning drive over to St. John to have coffee with the
guys. One morning Doug Stewart came in after I did and told me he put a
‘present’ in the back of my pickup. When I left I noticed this old rusty
smashed cream can in my pickup box and thought it was a joke of some
kind, probably just something that was laying in the street and needed
to go to the junk. We pull tricks on each other too, so it could be
something like that. I went to throw it in my scrap iron pile and then
noticed the brass name tag on the can—Paul Strietzel-St. John, ND–my
great grandfather! I took it to the shop and heated the tag to loosen
the solder and now I have the tag as a keepsake. Doug had also noticed
the name and thought I might like to have it–he was sure right!

Greg Grimme’s funeral today was well attended and even though it was
sad to have lost our friend at such a young age, folks came together to
support the family and to remember all the good times we had. Several
classmates of Greg and Gwen came to pay their respects and visit with
Gwen and Bill. Greg was buried at Riverside Cemetery in the Grimme
family plot by his parents and brother, Conley. The Grimme family was an
integral part of our community and I think that was reflected by those
in attendance. My sympathy sure goes out to Gwen and Bill in this time
of sorrow.


Reply from Geri Metcalfe Munro (59): Fargo, ND
THANK YOU , Marshall Awalt and Gary Stokes for the precious picture of the Little Prairie Lutheran Ladies Aid group. My mom had it framed and on a wall at the farm, but I lost track of it, so I was DELIGHTED to get this back, and it prints so well. I am thinking the picture was taken in about 1951. Joy Peterson would probably remember the year. I was just about to write and ask her if they still have the picture. I remember these ladies so well from my childhood–good friends and neighbors all. They made money to support the church by serving chicken dinner to the Kiwanis and other organizations; it was the best in the world!

Many thanks and Marshall, I’ll bet you have other great pictures, too.

Geri (Metcalfe) Munro

Replies from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND
Gary I try to inform my cousins (Kith and Kin) of family news It is so great to tell them to log onto your blog.. Always great when a special treat appears. Thanks Gary.

Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 14:12:28 -0500
To: Kith and Kin,
From: “Vickie L. Metcalfe”
Subject: Fried Chicken Experts

On today’s Gary Stokes #560 web site, there is a photo of the Little Prairie Ladies Aide. I’m sure you will recognize many familiar names. Each a wonderful rolemodel. These farm women served meals at the Peace Garden during the summer to earn monies for the ladies Aide.I think this group was called “The Fried Chicken Experts”. I hope Geri Munro writes in on Gary’s blog to tell him about her mom, Ella and others’ frying the chicken’s at home and how we all have Ella’s coleslaw recipe. When,after the big serving day,they would bring home roaster scraps to feed the family. ….What about it Geri?… I recall most of these ladies in the congregation at Little Prairie and also at Peace Lutheran.
Little Prairie merged with Dunseith Lutheran and Rendahl Lutheran, the ladies aide from all of those congregations grouped together and continued to serve at the Peace Garden for special meals. However, as time moves on and congregation grew smaller that doesn’t happen any more.
Tall evergreens now stand stately in place of the old church over the final resting place of many of these fine women. Clean up day at Little Prairie Cemetery is the first Saturday in May. After cleaning up, Little Prairie folks gather around, under the trees for….coffee, sandwiches, bars and commune.
Love, Vickie


Vickie L. Metcalfe
Geri You’d remember more than I. I think you are right about the cooking at the Peace Garden because of the big ovens. Our mom wasn’t part of that earlier group, she did help in later years.
I know for the 1980 Metcalfe family reunion that’s what we did, led by Lorraine Somer’s and Cousin Barbara Straub cooked the in the day’s before.

Help Geri out here.

Please correct me if I’m wrong about the ladies frying chicken at the Lodge. They used to serve 150-250, I think–not sure of the #’s–it would have made sense for the ladies to fry at home–since they served so many…let’s hear from you guys out there!


From: chuckgerimunro
To: vickie.metcalfe
Subject: RE: Fried Chicken Experts
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 2009 15:15:27 -0500

Hi Vickie–You know, I remember that the ladies aid fried all the chicken at the Lodge at the Peace Garden, not at home–maybe they browned it the day before and went back–it was a long day and I know Mom was tired by the end of it, but it was so enjoyable for her. All she brought home was the scraps in the bottom of her roaster (my mouth waters just to think of what a wonderful flavor that chicken had–of course, they did not spare the butter, cream or browning) –the folks that were served always rushed to purchase the chicken that was left and it always sold out, no matter how much chicken there was.

Mom used to say that she didn’t know what they would do once Christine Carlson and Ingrid Seim were no longer available, so I guess that she decided to learn to be one of those in charge, which she often was after they were gone.

Love, Geri
This is the Little Prairie Lutheran Ladies Aid picture. We know the names of who all is in this picture but we do not know who is who. Geri, Vickie, Dick & others; can you guys help us out? Thanks, Gary
Reply from Geri Metcalfe Munro (59): Fargo, ND
Hi Gary and Marshall Awalt,
My cousin, Vickie Metcalfe and I were talking this week about old pictures and she suggested I send this picture to the Dunseith blog.
Gertrude Awalt had given Lottie and Vickie the picture, and they had it copied and gave copies to relatives. The kids are left to right: Jim Metcalfe (my dad), Uncle Lucky Metcalfe, friend and neighbor, Charles Anderson, (uncle of the Awalt kids)and Uncle Archie Metcalfe in front. We are not sure of the date but maybe 1924 (?)
Thanks, Gary

Geri (Metcalfe) Munro

Back L to R:Jim Metcalfe, Lucky Metcalfe, Charles Anderson
Front: Archie Metcalfe