From Jeanmarie (Jean) Abrahamson (65): Denver, CO
Hi Gary!
a friend give me a computer so I’m online again, still have limited
amount of time since i’m sitting in dialysis over 12 hours per week.
need a kidney transplant
Folks, I had a wonderful visit with Jeanmarie this morning. She has been on dialysis for a few months now. Things have been pretty rough for her the last while. She has been struggling, but she is hanging in there. She has lost about a third of her body weight and she was not heavy to begin with. She currently weighs about 100 lbs. She can be reached at her email address listed above. For those of you wishing to call her, please let me know so I can give you her phone number. I know she’d love to hear from some of you folks. She mentioned she had just talked to her mother a short time before I called.
Jeanmarie, Now that you have a computer, I have you back on our distribution list. Please keep us posted with your situation. Hang in there, you are on the upswing now. Gary
First Cousins and DHS class mates of 65:
Kenny Nerpel & Jeanmarie Abrahamson – August 2007
Reply from Florence Pladson Sime: Dunseith, ND
Gary, in response to my brother talking about my brother David. We were snowed in so our aunt Adeline Olson met dad at the main road and took my mother and David to Botno. They got to doctor Malveys office and Adeline went in and the doctor came out to the car and he told them to get David to the hospital and he died in route. He had pnemonia and there was 3 more of us that had it.
Florence, As I remember you guys were living on the Zieman place west of Salem Church up in the hills when David died. Those were some mighty tough years for you guys. Adeline Pladson Olson was your Dad’s sister. Gary
2009 Alaska Cruise:
Florence Pladson Sime, Keith Pladson & Becky Sime Coles
Question from Lois Tweten: Helena MT
Hi Gary,
You certainly have a lot of wonderful information! Thanks to you and Bev Morinville Azure for adding me to your list/blog even tho I don’t know many folk.
But…I do have a question. In the 40’s 1942-49 when I lived on Ohmer street – a block North on the East side of the hospital…two houses to the North, on the corner, Johnnie and I played with Smallie Houle…Do you know who that is now? Maybe you do Neola?
We played with Dennis Langehoud, Billy Sauscer (spelling is all wrong). But after my Dad, Kenneth Tweten died, and Mom married Harold Skjervem we moved away and then I’ve lost touch with so many until this Dunseith blog.
Thanks for any information…
An old Bottineau classmate until 1949, in my 4th grade. Lois Tweten
Picture L to R: Sarah, Danelle, Greg & Angela (Berube) Malget

Back: Ray Brennan

Front L to R: Max Peterson, Nels Landsverk & Lee Stickland

Security State Bank & the Alan Campbell Family:



Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND.

I knew that was Ginger LaRocque I worked with Ginger Belgard she must have been thinking of me. lol Sorry for the mix up. I wanted to ask where is Ken Kofoid is at ? I would like to know how his mother is I run into her at Walmart one day about a year ago. His parents and my parents were wonderful friends.In fact they helped build my parents house ,


Bev, I knew you knew that was Ginger LaRocque in that picture. We are all human and make those kinds of mistakes with me being right at the very top of the list.
Ken Kofoid, I’m assuming your mother is still living in Bottineau. Your folks, Freddie and Wilma, were wonderful people. I saw your dad several months before his passing when I was with my dad up at Bottineau Oil. Your brother Terry was managing Bottineau Oil at the time. Your dad was in good spirits and was very much aware his days were numbered with his cancer. I saw your mother in 2007 at a family reunion in Bottineau. She was looking good. Gary



Reply from Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.


Hi Gary

You asked for an update of Luella’s condition: Its been a year and a half since she broke her hip and shoulder, and cracked the other shoulder. She has been walking with a cane for some time now and she has a limp, she does not think it will get much better. Her arms are good except the one with the broken shoulder, she cannot lift it up all the way.She has a built up shoe, as her leg is 1 inch shorter than the other one, and this is the second time that hip has been broken. As we get older it takes longer to heal and may not get back to normal.

Thanks Gary for sending Erling Landsverk my email. I have heard from him and will write him an email now.

I look forward to your blog every day





From Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND.


Gary and friends, I remember Woodfords bar well as I used to deliver the Grand forks Herald there. Also a story I recall as a youngster. On some Saturdays the town was especially live with excitement. On one particular evening at dusk, I watched a couple of inebriated men stumble out merrily from Harold’s Bar. One had a jug opened and they had each an arm around each other. The guy without the jug, said to his friend, come on my buddy give me a swig! No! His buddy replied, get ur own! They quickly separated and the man without a jug swung at the man with the jug as he also swung. I watched as the two men’s punches miss each other and both rolled off the curb into the street, with the man holding the jug closed with his thumb never breaking the bottle or spilling a drop. When friend and I were struggling to keep from bursting out with laughter and give away our hidden lurking presence, it got worse. When the two men fought their way out and over the gutter back on to the street, the comedy continued; The conversation continues, Oh! My buddy you got a got hook, arms around each other again, You too my buddy the other replies, Here have a swig my buddy. Needless to say we were in tears of laughter as we watched the two men wobble and stagger down the street. Those were the Days.



Reply from Gina Ford, our travel agent.


Folks, With the success and enjoyment endured by our recent cruise and per your requests we presently have plans in the works for another cruise. We are looking at the Western Caribbean in 2012. Bernadette and I are also working with a local travel agency here in Cebu, putting together a 2 week Philippine/Southeastern Asian vacation group tour package. We are planning this for July 2010. I will keep you posted with both of these packages as they are developed. Gary



Thank you so much! I love the photo and your blog as well.

It is such a treat to match the faces to your beautiful photo.


Thank you again,



Gina S. Ford
Cruise At Will, Inc.
Cruise and Travel Planners
1-866-870-6986 (toll free)
703-580-1190 (local)



Kelly & Charlene Pearson Woods’ pictures:


Folks, You have nailed these photos identifying them all. Good work!


Kelly, we truely enjoyed these old photo’s of your mothers. They truely are priceless. Who would have ever thought when these snap shots were taken that they’d show up 45 years later to be enjoyed by so many.


Kelly & Jeff woods, We’d love to hear from your mother too. Last I talked to her they were moving into a place south of #5 west of Dunseith. I think they go to AZ or south for the winter months. Maybe you guys can talk her into getting email?





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


Gary and Friends,

The pictures of the high school kids should be as follows:

Picture 6 L-R Alan Houle, Warren Anderson, Mitch Evenson, Judy
Wheeler, and Virgil Evenson.

Picture 7 L-R Jean Nicholas, Tom Evans, LeaRae Parrill, and Warren

Picture 8 Carol Jasper and Kenny Kofoid

Picture 9 L-R Debbie Mongeon, Joanne Houle, and Charlene Pearson

Picture 10 This is probably from a dance in Bottineau. I think the
singer is Merton Johnson from Upham. He had a band and played at the
Forestry in ’67-’68. Don’t recognize the others. Thanks Gary!



Reply from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ
Picture 6-Allen Houle on the left, Warren,??, Judy Wheeler, ??. #7 ME, Tom Evans, Lea Rae Parrill, Warren A. #8 Carol Jasper and I guess Ken Kofoid. #9 Debbie Mongeon on the left, Joanne Houle center, Charlene Pearson on the right. # 10 I don’t know anyone there either.
Jean Nicholas Miller (66)

Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI


First — Corado duran was a great guy with a quick wit and fun loving nature. I enjoyed the “noon hour cruises” taking girls to Dales for lunch. I’m sad that we can’t find him.


Now to the pictures


#6 –Allen Houle–Warren Anderson –Mitch Evenson– Judy Wheeler Virgil? Evenson


#7 — not sure– then Tom Evans Larae Parrell — Warren A?


#8 — Carol Jasper


#9 Debbie Mongeon– Joanne Houle — Charlene Pearson


#10 — Beats me too

Picture 6:

L to R: Allen Houle (67), Warren Anderson (65), Mitch Evenson,

Judy Wheeler (67), Virgil Evenson



Picture 7:


L to R: Jean Nicholas (66), Tom Evans (66), LeaRae Parrill (67) & Warren Anderson (65)




Picture 8:


Carol Jasper (65) & Kenny Kofoid (Bottineau)




Picture 9:


L to R: Debbie Mongeon (66), Joanne Houle (66) & Charlene Pearson (67)



Picture 10:


Singer is Merton Johnson from Upham. This is probably a Bottineau picture?





From Allen Richard (65):


In August Nathan and Kristina were inn ND while he was on furlough fro his position in Homeland Security in Alaska. They didn’t have time to make it to MI and I couldn’t make it to ND. We met in the Minneapple for a fun couple days.
To make an adventure of it by taking the old Charger. Yeah — I still have it. Some of you may remember it as “Dakota Midnight” in CB radio days.
I want to dispel any rumors that my trip caused gas prices to go up — although i could have created a temporary shortage of premium in a couple places —- I re did it mechanically — and watering 450 horses takes a considerable amount of fluid. Yeah–its “baditude” is much worse than ever. (13 MPG on premium–saving up for an overdrive transmission — should get close to 20 mpg then)
The trip was event free and I managed to shave nearly two hours off my usual time from Midland to the Minneapple — partly buy using a GPS and finding a great route. Alaina and I made it in 12.5 hours out and 12 flat back — of course it rained most of the way back mand Ol’ Midnight will create a “religious experience” in a split second on wet pavement.
There is a “MOPAR Power Tour” every year and so far I’ve not been able to participate. So this summer we did one of our own. In the next few years I’d like to drive back to Dunseith for a Peace Garden car show. The Charger hasn’t been there for nearly 25 years. Dick — keep me posted OK? In respect to our old friend Jack Smith — I’ll drive — not haul it.
Anyway here are a few pictures —
Nathan, Kristina and Alaina — only 5 min from the Mall of America–but she still didn’t find a dress for homecoming.
OK — so I always have to get in the picture–must be a throw back to political days

About my T-shirt—The Great Lakes Loons is the name of our minor league baseball team — Clayton Kershaw went straight to the Dodgers from Midland MI.




Dunseith News Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND


From Bev Morinville Azure (72): ndgal1953@yahoo.com Dunseith, ND.


I thought this was cute and maybe you wanted to share it with the group


After having dug to a depth of 10 feet last year, New York scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 100 years and came to the conclusion, that their ancestors already had a telephone network more than 100 years ago.

Not to be outdone by the New Yorkers, in the weeks that followed, a California archaeologist dug to a depth of 20 feet, and shortly after, a story in the LA Times read: ‘California archaeologists, finding traces of 200 year old copper wire, have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech communications network a hundred years earlier than the New Yorkers.’

One week later, The Fargo Forum, reported the following:
After digging as deep as 30 feet in his pasture near Napolean ,
North Dakota , Ole Olson, a self-taught archaeologist, reported that he found absolutely nothing.. Ole has therefore concluded that 300 years ago, North Dakota had already gone wireless.

Thank Heaven for Ole.

Who said North Dakotans are hicks?


Message & email request from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI


Hi Gary!


Sorry to bother, but I do need clarification on Floyd Dion’s E Mail address. I just wanted to see how Louella was getting along after she fell and broke some bones. At any rate I got the E mail back, so there must be something wrong with my Address Book, so could you please ship me your copy of Floyd Dion’s E Mail Address. Thank you for your help and i promise not to be such a bother. By the way, it sounds like your cruise was a howling success, and no wonder, you and your team made certain all the I’s were dotted and the T’s crossed. The only way to go. Congratulations on a job well done.I must admit that I was just a bit envious, but I really don’t kno how I could possibly get much out of a cruise, but I sure enjoyed greeting old friends and neighbors and of course class mates in Dunseith in 07. Come to think of it, I guess my trip on the troop ship back in 45 was enough to last a lifetime.. I must say however, that the more I read your daily messages, the more certain I am that I was a very fortunate person to have lived as long as I did in the hills among the greatest people in the world! Thank you for doing such a great job, and make everything so easy to understand.


Best Wishes to You and Yours


Erling Landsverk

Floyd Dion’s email address
Floyd, We’d like an update with Luella’s condition. We are hoping she is doing fine. Gary
Email address change for Gordie (55) & Jeri Neameyer: Moorhead, MN
Just wanted to let you now that we have a new email address: We enjoy all the work that you put into this web site.
Gordie & Jeri Neameyer
Reply/request from Gary Houle (63):CHAMPLIN, MN
Hi Gary–
Please add my name and e-mail to your master list. I sent the information to you about the time you were having computer problems, so it may have gotten lost. Both my wife(even though she is not from ND) and I enjoy reading your daily blog.
My e-mail is:
Gary Houle from Champlin, MN, a suburb of Minneapolis
Dunseith class of 1963
Thanks, Gary Houle
Gary, I remember well you providing me with your email address. You are right, I lost it when I computer problems. I have added you to all my lists now again. Thanks for this reply. Gary




Reply from Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Bottineau, ND




I wanted to thank you, Gary for sending my blogs to the right people and thank you for all you do!!


I talked to Jean and she said Adeline Olson was the one who took David William Pladson to the Dr. There were a lot of people who died from pneumonia years ago. My great grandmother and my great, great grandmother both died from pneumonia. They can do so much more now.




Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX


I didn’t realize that Audrey and Jean were sisters. I saw Jean up at the Christian Center a couple weeks ago while we were home and she, Diane and I had a really nice visit. Then we met again at Dales when Bev and I had lunch together. Jean and Becky joined us and we had a really good visit about family. We traded some information with promises of more to come. I have more photos, Audrey, and if you’d like I can send some to you by email.




Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO


Hi. Regarding the photo Dick sent in of the wedding of his aunt and uncle. The second photo was definetely Bertha Westerman with the glasses on. I wrote to Phylomena and have not heard back yet, but gave her Garys email in case she wants to write there. Bertha and Phylomena sang duets. I loved the photo, and thank you for sending it. Makes me so anxious to hear where she is. Sharon Zorn G.



Reply from Bob Hosmer (56): Lynnwood, WA
The Westerman sister that’s in Dick Johnson’s picture is Bertha Westerman.
Bob Hosmer

Bertha Westerman (right) with Cynthia Johnson & her
Sister Verna


Reply from Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.



The picture that Sharron sent of her dad Dale Gottbreht and another man, I beleive was Adolph Moum.

He worked at the Stadium& Woodford bowling alley. Before that he drove a bus from Rolla to Minot in the early 40 s

. I worked with his wife Selma in the Rolla Creamery in 1965-66.



Adolph Moum & Dale Gottbreht




Kelly & Charlene Pearson Wood’s pictures:



Folks, We have identified everyone in pictures 1 thru 5. Today I have added the rest of Kelly’s pictures 5 thru 10.

I located Lawrence (LD) Hiatt too. He is living in Hankinson, ND located south of Fargo. Lawrence’s parents are Willie E (deceased) and Maxine Hiatt. Norris Knutson purchased their farm in about 1955 that is located 1 mile east of our old home place up in the Ackworth community. Willie/Maxine & my folks were very close friends from their Ackworth days. Willie told us at our dads funeral that it seemed as though he had just lost his brother. Lawrence’s wife has email, so I have included them with today’s message.


Thanks again Kelly for sharing these precious pictures. I’m sure your mother won’t mind. Gary



Reply from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD


Gary, The pictures from Kelly Woods are priceless. The unidentified young man to the left of Charlene is Conrado Duran, who was the son of one of the drs at the San and whom I’m sure , every young lady in high school had a crush on.


Reply from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
The unknown dark haired guy in the prom pictures is Conrado Duran. His dad was Dr Duran, one of the last Cuban Doctors at the San.
I think he only went to DHS for less than a year. He would have graduated with the class of ’64.
Allen Richard
Reply from LeaRae Parrill (67) & Terry Espe (64): Bottineau, ND

Terry identified Conrado Duran as the one on the left in picture #2. I believe he was one of the Cuban students who lived at San Haven. He graduated in 1964. In that same picture behind and to the right of Patti Metcalfe I can recognize Beverly Azure Lavallie Class of 67.


Isn’t that Conrado on the far right in picture #5 also. Gary, I don’t think Conrado was located when you did your big search. LE

LeaRae, You are absolutely correct. We searched high and low for Conrado and could never locate him, however we were able to locate most of the other Cuban folks. We are thinking Conrado possible went back Cuba? Gary

Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND.
Gary, In Picture number 3 I am sure the couple behind Patti etc is Ginger Belgarde and Tony Poitra whom she later married. I remember them so well cause Ginger worked at the cafe for my mom, and I always thought she was the prettiest girl in Dunseith.


Bev, I’m think you maybe meant Ginger LaRocque (65). This sure looks like Ginger to me too and yes she and Tony are married and live in Belcourt. I’m hoping Ginger has gotten her mail box cleared out. It’s been full the past several days. I know she’ll get it cleaned out when school starts. Gary



Reply from Ken Kofoid: Floral, AR


pic #1can’t put a name on that gal———-#2 that has to be patty——-#3 not mark anderson ,I should know all these people ,I spent half my time in dunsieth——#4 she with LD and I beleive she is from the Souris area– thats Dwight C oleman { he went with me to Alaska in 68 } #5 Thats me and ron cote is next to me —– I can’t remember ever having a picture of jay and I together or Ron ever knowing Jay================ IF this is 68 it had to be Jan or Feb because Dwight and I drove to Alaska and got there March 1 1968======= If I were putting a date on these I would say 1964 or 1963 I went to the army June 1964 for three years=======I was invited to 3 proms on different dates–gal from towner-botno and dunsieth—dunseith was the only one I went to=======Who had these pics ? Ken

Ken, Do you remember which Family Ron Cote fits into? If you don’t remember, I’m sure we have a whole lot of Cote relatives among our readers that probably remember Ron. Thanks so much for this reply. You and I are related too, with our fathers being first cousins. Gary


Picture 1: DHS Class of 67 folks
L to R: Judy Wheeler, Charlene Pearson & Allen Houle




Picture 2:


L to R: Conrado Duran (64), Charlene Pearson (67), Jay Vanorney (66),


Patti Metcalfe (67) & Beverly Azure Lavallie (67)





Picture 3:


Back: Ginger LaRocque (67) & Toni Poitra


Front: Jay Vanorey (66), Patti Metcalfe (67) & Conrado Duran (64)





Picture 4:


Lawrence (LD) Hiatt (64 Bottineau), Jean Nicholas (66) & Dwight Coleman



Picture 5:


L to R: Jay Vanorey (66), Ken Kofoid (Bottineau), Charlene Pearson (67),


Ron Cote (Bottineau) & Conrado Duran (64)



Picture 6:

L to R: ??, Warren Anderson, ??, ??, ??



Picture 7:


L to R: ??, Tom Evans?, ??, Warren Anderson




Picture 8:


This sure looks like Carol Jasper with Ken Kofoid




Picture 9:


L to R: ??, ??, ??



Picture 10:


I don’t recognize anyone in this photo



Reply from Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Bottineau, ND




I want to thank everyone for their messages to Toni and Bev (Morinville– my first cousins) and Neola and Eileen Brudwick and to Cheryl (Larson) for the beautiful pictures of the Larsons. I printed them on photo paper and they turned out lovely. I will write some information by the pictures. My Dad, Bert Hanson and Frances (Hanson) Morinville were brother and sister.

Folks, I have now added Audrey to our distribution list. Audrey and her sister Jean Pladson are my first cousins too, on their mothers side. Dad and their mother Olga were brother and sister. Audrey’s daughter Amie is the gal that designed and maintains the Dunseith WEB site. http://dunseithnd.com/




Reply from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

Hi Gary
If I’m not mistaken, Patrina is buried up at Nordland cemetary along with my great-grandfather Martin Larson and Nikolena, Norbert, Aunt Mabel, my grandpa Mensvil and my grandmother Alma Marie Anderson Larson, and several others. It’s a very picturesque and serene little clearing. There used to be a church there as well but it was moved off the property years ago..
Cheryl Larson Dakin



Reply Marge Longie Langan Wilcox (56): Vancouver, WA.



yes connie wold was Louie Longie’s wife Carol Moe Longie’s niece

i just saw them this last week end.



Marge, I have posted Connie Moe Wold’s obituary at the bottom of this message. When I talked to Phyllis McKay yesterday, she told me about Connie being killed on her bike when that Semi ran into her. Phyllis had forgotten her name, but knew it was Orrin Moe’s Daughter and Louie/Carol (Moe) Longie’s niece. Orrin was with the Dunseith HS class of 61. Before mentioning Orrin’s name I wanted to make sure I had located the right accident victim with yesterday’s posting. Gary
Moe Orrin 802 24th Ave SW Watford City, ND 58854 (701) 842-6431 No email address 61
Longie Louis 202 N Dixon St Tioga, ND 58852 (701) 664-2090 No email address 58



LeRoy Birkland’s obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


LeRoy Birkland

March 7, 1931-Aug. 20, 2009


BOTTINEAU LeRoy Henry Birkland, 78, Bottineau died Thursday, Aug. 20, 2009, in a Bottineau nursing home.

He was born March 7, 1931, to Henry and Josephine Birkland in Dunseith. He entered the Marine Corps in 1951 and served until his discharge in 1953. He married Delores Hiatt, and she died in 1982. He married Alice Jayne Dec. 12, 1995, in Seattle.

Survivors: wife; stepsons, Terry Hiatt, Randy Hiatt, Dan Jayne, Terry Jayne and Tim Jayne, all Seattle; brothers, Norman, Seattle, James, Dunseith; sister, Emily Boucher, LaGrande, Ore.

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

Burial: Little Prairie Cemtery, near Dunseith.

Visitation: Today, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., in the funeral home.



Posted on the Dunseith Alumni WEB site


From: Brent Armentrout

Brent, Thank you so much for posting your contact info. I have added you to our Distribution list. I have you listed as living in Phoenix, AZ Gary



Reply from Sybil Johnson:Cheyenne, WY.


You are very welcome. I enjoy reading each email and learn more and more about Dunseith. I’ve been away from there for many years; especially since my divorce from Augie (Dickie’s counsin). May you have a quiet and peaceful evening. Sybil



Reply/Picture from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.


Gary and Friends,

Sharon Zorn Gerdes wrote about the Westerman sisters who stayed at the
Lutheran Mission north of Dunseith. In one of the pictures of my uncle
and aunt’s wedding, I think one of the sisters was also included. This
was the wedding of Cliff Johnson and Joy (Babe) Nordquist in April 1960,
in the old white Dunseith Lutheran Church. Best man was Don Johnson,
matron of honor was Bernice Johnson, bridesmaid was Sharlotte Nordquist,
groomsman was Harlan Nordquist, and I was the ring bearer. The picture
of my grandmother, Cynthia Johnson and her sister Vera, was taken in the
basement at the reception. To the right of them is, I believe, Bertha or
Phylomena Westerman. Sharon, can you identify which one, if either? I’m
quite sure it’s one of them. Thanks Gary!



Message/Picture from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.


Good morning Gary,

I’ve just returned from a busy visit home to Dunseith and have many experiences to relate. It was my first visit to Dale’s since the fire. Although the fire was a nightmare [literally] the restoration was a huge success. I commend George and Rose, Sandy and Rick, and all those who had a hand in making all things new. I had been told about the old photos enlarged and well framed. They are great and really give a concrete link with past and present Dunseith and it’s citizens. I need help identifying the gentleman seated with Dale Gottbreht at the Woodford Bar, December 1950. The face is vaguely familiar and I thought it might have been Virgil Vanorney. George and Lola both corrected me about this. Perhaps one of the bloggers might know.

Dunseith, where the women are strong, the men all handsome and the children above average! Sharron


Kelly & Charlene Pearson Wood’s pictures:


Folks, The following are replies to the pictures that Kelly Wood’s posted with yesterday’s blog. We have identied all those in Pictures 1 & 4. We still need some help with the others. I will repost pictures 2, 3 & 5 as folks are identified. I will post the remaining 5 pictures (6-10) tomorrow. Gary


Reply from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ

As far as the pictures: #1 that is Allen Houle, Charlene Pearson, and Judy Wheeler on the left. I’m pretty sure this is 1964 or 65. Picture 2 is Patty Metcalfe and Charlene P., Jay and I don’t know who the other guy is- 65? Picture 3 is Patty M., Charlene, Jay, the other guy? Not sure which year. Picture 4 is L.D. Hiatt, Me, and Dwite Coleman. Charlene was his date. This was 1966.Man, I sure wish I still looked like that!!! Oh well. Look forward to the other pictures Kelly sent. I’m sure Kelly doesn’t remember me but Charlene and I were best friends then. We still communicate.
Jean Nicholas Miller (66)




Reply from Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN

I’m still smiling after seeing the photos Kelly Woods sent!!! Thanks, Kelly – your Mom will LOVE them!!! In Picture #1 – the gal on the left, I believe, is Judy Wheeler. I’m not sure of some of the others, but in Picture #4 – the guy on the right is Dwight Coleman…….back when he was cool!!!

Paula Fassett



Reply from Aggie Cassavant (69):Fort Mill, SC

Hi Gary, Welcome Back!!!! I think the gal in the first picture of Alan Houle and Charlene Pearson is Jimmy Wheelers sister but I can’t remember her name…I think her name is Sharon. The last picture….the guy standing behind Jay V. looks like an Abrahamson…I don’t even know if I spelled that right…Wow if that is Lola I don’t remember her looking that much like Margaret. Who’s that “pretty boy” Sal Mineo looking guy at Jay and Lolas table. I can’t beleive he didn’t have a date for the prom….I think the guy in the background at the table is Gene Anderson… Hope you all have blest day! Aggie


Hey Gary it’s me again,the guy in the 4th picture on the right has got to be a Coleman kid…what you think???? Aggie



Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


Hi Gary,


In the picture of L.D. Hiatt, a girl, an unknown fellow. To me, the fellow resembles a Coleman.


In one of the pictures, there is a guy who resembles Kenny Kofoid. I’m going to send the picture to him, and ask if he is the fellow in the picture. I’ll let you know what I find out.



Here’s the reply from Jonnie Kofoid, Kenny’s wife.

Neola, The guy in the blue sport coat in picture 4 is Dwight Coleman. And yes, the guy in picture 5 is Ken but I’ll
have to have him look to see if he remembers the others. Jonnie

Picture 1: DHS Class of 67 folks
L to R: Judy Wheeler, Charlene Pearson & Allen Houle




Picture 2:


L to R: ??, Charlene Pearson, Jay Vanorney, Patti Metcalfe, ??





Picture 3:


Back: ??, ??


Front: Jay Vanorey, Patti Metcalfe, ??





Picture 4:


Lawrence (LD) Hiatt (64 Bottineau), Jean Nicholas (66) & Dwight Coleman




Picture 5:


Jay Vanorey (66), Ken Kofoid (Bottineau), Charlene Pearson (67), ???, ???



Connie Jean Wold
Williston, North Dakota
Watford City, North Dakota
View Memorial Folder
Connie Wold, 46, of Watford City, ND, died Tuesday afternoon, August 25, 2009 as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident that occurred south of Watford City, ND.

Connie Jean Wold was born to Orrin and Joyce (Crimmins) Moe on February 16, 1963 in Williston, ND. Connie was raised in Watford City along with her younger brother Terry. Connie attended school in Watford City from Kindergarten until she graduated from high school in 1981.

In high school Connie was on the track team and the girls’ basketball team. She was also a cheerleader and on the student council. Connie continued to be a cheerleader when she attended the University of North Dakota. She was a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. Connie graduated with a degree in recreational management from UND in 1985.

After college Connie worked for the Body Firm in Williston, ND. Connie had a lifelong love of helping others through physical activity. Later she worked in the swing bed unit at Mercy Hospital in Williston, ND doing physical therapy.

On July 19, 1986 Connie married the love of her life, Cordell Wold, and they made their home in Watford City. Through their 23 years of marriage they enjoyed traveling together, working together and loving and raising their daughter Molly and loving each other.

While Cordell worked in the oil field, Connie began her own business, Aerobics Plus. The first classes were held in the basement of the Professional Building in Watford City. Connie had the dream of a wellness center that would serve the entire community. The Healthy Hearts Wellness Center opened in 1995 and Connie served as the manager for 12 years. Connie not only brought the Wellness Center to Watford City; she also introduced lattes and specialty coffees sold at the Wellness Center.

Connie and Cordell were always open to challenges and they took over the McKenzie Bay Marina for six years in the 1990s as owners and managers. This was along with Cordell’s work in the oilfield and Connie’s work at the Wellness Center.

As important as work was for Connie, her family always came first, especially their daughter Molly, who was born in 1990. Molly was the pride and joy of Connie. Connie was never too busy to be at one of Molly’s skating programs, basketball games, track meets, volleyball matches or gymnastics performances. Their dog, China always held a soft spot in Connie’s heart.

Connie bought Front Porch Floral and for awhile juggled both, running the Wellness Center and the floral shop before she concentrated on her floral business. Connie loved the floral shop and serving her customers in happy and sad times.

Connie retained her love of sports and fitness. She ran many marathons. She loved the Iron Man Triathlon and fulfilled her goal of completing two Iron Mans and working at the Hawaiian Iron Man. She was currently training for her third Iron Man at the time of her death.

Connie was active in her community. She was a member of First Lutheran Church and served on the church council. She was a member of the Watford City Chamber of Commerce and also served on the board of directors for the Watford City Municipal Golf Course. She served on the board of directors for the Watford City Skating Club. Connie was a member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority in Watford City. She was a member of the North Dakota State Floral Association and had just been approached to serve on their board. Connie supported the Vocational Education program at Watford City High School hiring a student each year, including her daughter, Molly, in 2008. Connie could be counted on to support any and all community events.

Connie loved all aspects of life. She found joy in her work. She loved to laugh and play pranks, especially on her Dad on April Fool’s Day. She loved decorating her home or the homes of her friends. Connie loved all holidays but especially Christmas when she decorated not only her home and shop, but found time to help friends decorate as well. She loved the lake – camping, skiing, all water sports, but not fishing. She loved encouraging her friends in their running. She loved a good glass of wine and being with friends and family. And she loved her bike, riding it in her exercise room in the winter and around the area roads in the spring, summer and fall. Connie loved all music, singing along to the radio, whistling while she worked, and traveling to the next great music concert.

Connie and Cordell had recently purchased their dream get away in Mesa, AZ. Typical of them, they bought a fixer upper with a golf course for Cordell and a swimming pool and biking trails for Connie. Connie had just finished decorating their Arizona home.

Connie arrived in heaven while training for her 3rd Iron Man on August 25, 2009.

She is survived by her husband, Cordell; her daughter, Molly; her parents, Orrin and Joyce Moe; and a brother, Terry, his fiancé Angie, and their daughter, Hayley Moe. She is also survived by Cordell’s brothers and their families, Clint, Ann, Jarret, Jettie, and Jamal; Kirk, Tanner; Kris, Sheri, Michel, Brandon, Kaylene and Heather; Kevin and Susan. She is also survived by her Godfather, Raymond Iverson and her Godson, Zach Frick. She is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents Frank and Vernice Crimmins and Ida Moe and Carl Moe, and one Uncle Frank Dean Crimmins, and her Godmother DeAnn Iverson. She was also preceded in death by her father-in-law and mother-in-law Ralph and Gloria Wold.

Connie had a huge heart with room to love all her family, her friends and all of life. Her life here brightened our lives and her joy of life will help us carry on without her.



Connie Wold killed in an accident:
Folks, I am pretty sure Connie Wold has Dunseith Connections via several family members. I don’t want to say anymore until I know more of the details. If any of you knew Connie or know anything at all about this accident, please reply?

Minnesota trucker could be charged in N.D. cyclist’s death


August 26, 2009




Watford City, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Highway Patrol says a Watford City bicyclist was struck by a semitrailer and killed. The patrol says 46-year-old Connie Jean Wold of Watford City was pedaling across a city street at the intersection with U.S. Highway 85 late Tuesday afternoon when she was struck.

The patrol says charges are pending against the semi driver, a 46-year-old St. Paul Park, Minn., man




From Marge Longie Langan Wilcox (56): Vancouver, WA.



just would like to give you an update on the Longie family reunion and our mom’s early 90th birthday.

we had several relatives from no.dak. the louie longie family ffrom tioga, no.dak.

we had family from many states that attended, we had 100+ attended.


margewilcox-langan tigerlady414@ aol.com


marge langan wilcox

Marge, Is Louie Longie or any of your relatives related to Connie Wold, the lady that was killed in a Semi/bicycle accident in Watford City yesterday posted above? Gary
Reply from Toni Morinville Gredsky (68): Farimount, ND
Audrey, Neola, and Cheryl, thank you so much for the information and photos of Petrina Larson Hanson and family. Gary, Petrina was my great grandmother and as the previous story stated, we did call her Grandma Besta. Her daughter, Cora was my grandmother. (Cora was Burt’s mother).Petrina died when I was about three, but there was always discussion about her. I remember a picture taken when I was a baby of four generations: Petrina, Cora, Frances (my mom), and me. Petrina is buried up at the lake. Audrey, I’m sure that you know the little cemetery. They were indeed, hearty Norwegian folk. As you know, my cousins Audrey and Jean are cut from that same cloth. Both are talented musicians who play and sing music that is disappearing. Audrey and Jean, I hope that you have recordings somewhere. I loved the times when I was a kid and you would pull out your music binders and instruments and play and sing.
Thanks again.
–Toni Morinville Gredesky
Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): ndgal1953@yahoo.com Dunseith, ND.
Gary , I am sure you will get a few of these .Petrina was my great grandmother….Petrina’s daughter Cora was my Grandmother. we always called her Grandma Bottineau lol I guess cause she lived in Bottineau. She was a sweet quite lady. Petrina we called Besta which means grandma in Norweigen
Reply from Keith Pladson (66) thepladsons@hotmail.com Stafford, VA
This is in response to Audrey Hanson Aitchison’s comment/question about my brother David William Pladson. I was about eight years old when he died so I don’t remember much about it (Or maybe because it was such a sad time I’ve subconsciously blocked out much of it in my mind). In any case I do know he died of pnumonia. But the details are sketchy. I seem to remember our car wouldn’t start and the snow drifts between the house and the road were really deep. So just getting out to the road was almost impossible. I believe we used the horses to get to the road and then someone else provided a car ride to Bottineau. Unfortunately, I believe he died enroute. As an adult I’ve often wondered how difficult it all must have been for my parents to accept.

I grew up and married and twenty-eight years ago my wife and I named our third child and only son after my long lost brother. Today David Keith Pladson is a young man in the prime of his life. Somewhere I have a picture of my sister, Florence, holding my brother David, but I don’t know where it is right now. In any case, if my sister reads this and remembers it more clearly or differently, I welcome her comments.
Keith Pladson Class of 66

Keith, Your sister Florence’s mail box was full, so she did not get the message about the death of your brother David. We’d love to hear from her about his death. Gary
Reply from Sybil Johnson: great_grandma2007@live.com Cheyenne, WY.
Gary, I noticed that my name wasn’t on your email list. I would like to be listed, thank you. Sybil Johnson
Sybil, Thank you so much. I know there are others I have missed on that list too. Folks, please let me know if you are not listed on the master email list. Thanks, Gary
Message/Pictures from Kelly Woods (89): Massena, NY.

I apologize, I sent off the email with pictures and THEN got my phone message!

My address:

28 Cornell Avenue

Massena, NY 13662

You had the New York part right!

I moved to New York in 1993 and have been here since. It’s beautiful here, but nothing quite compares to the Turtle Mountains

I’m not really sure what kind of history and pictures you like to post, but I found these in a box my mother sent to me many years ago. I believe it’s PROM from 1967?


I’m sure she’ll probably kill me (or at the very least get her to finally call me! Hehe) for sending them.


Kelly Woods

1989 Alumni

Kelly, I do not have an email address for your mother, Charlene Pearson Woods (67), but I’ll bet she will get the word that you posted these pictures. I am posting 5 of the 10 pictures you sent with today’s blog. I will post the rest tomorrow. These will for sure bring back a few memories. Thanks so much for sharing. Gary

Folks, Please reply with the identies of those in these pictures. Thanks, Gary


Picture 1: This sure looks like Alan Houle and Charlene Pearson? Who is the gal on the left?





Picture 2:


I recognize Jay Vanorney and Patty Metcalfe. If this is Lola, she sure


looks a lot like Patty? If this is 1968 It must be Lola.






Picture 3:


Again I recognize Jay and Patty? Is that an Anderson in the Back?






Picture 4:


The guy on the left with a tie sure looks like Lawrence (LD) Hiatt to me.


I’m not sure of the other two.





Picture 5:


Jay Vanorey, Charlene Pearson, ??????




Folks, I just noticed that Ken Striker was not included in the master email list that I sent out several days ago. For any of you receiving these daily messages that are not on that email list, please let me know so you can be added. Thanks, Gary
Kelly Woods and Vicky Bergan,
It is my pleasure to add you guys to our daily distribution. For any of the rest of you not on our distribution list that are reading these daily messages on the WEB site, please get back to us via the WEB site or just zap me a message gws123456@hotmail.com so we know you are out there. I do not post anyone’s personal contact info on the WEB site.
Request from Kelly Woods (89): New York
From: Kelly Woods
E-mail: Message:
I would love to get email updates. I am an alumni from 1989 and the youngest son of Charlene Woods.
Request from Vicky Bergan Dietz (82): Princeton, MN.
From: Vicky Bergan-Dietz
Phone: E-mail: Message:
Hi, I was wondering if you could add me to your mailing list, I truely enjoy all the great articles! I was in the Dunseith graduating class of 1982, My parents are Dunseith residents, David and Glenda Bergan, I have been in Princeton, Minnesota for nearly 25 years but I miss the Turtle Mountains very much. Thanks for all the great reading!

Thank you,
Vicky Bergan-Dietz

Vicky, I just happen to have this picture in my archives. Congratulations 26 years later! Gary

Vicky Bergan – “1983 North Dakota state Horse show
association queen”

From Ken Striker: Dayton OH
Attention Striker Descendants: A Striker Reunion was held at Berne Indiana this past 13th of June. The video of the Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of the Strikers immigration to the U.S. is now available. There is a nominal $5.00 for the video (DVD). Please send your check to: Elaine Dykstra PO Box 23 Moline, Michigan 49335 Be sure to include your complete mailing address. see pic of DVD atch

Message/Pictures from Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX


Hi Gary

In reply to Audrey Hanson Aitchison, I am enclosing a photo of Kjersten and her sons (in the back row Martin, Hans Peter, Lars and Adrien. Kjersten is in front with her daughter Petrina) This was taken on Kjersten’s 90th birthday. The other picture is of Martin Larson and his sons. My grandpa Mensvil is on the far left. I’ll have to call Dad to get the names of the other boys. And to Bev and Jean…I’m still working on peaches I brought back from North Dakota last week so between catching up with grandchildren and fixing peach preserves, I haven’t had a chance to put together the other Larson information I promised. But I will get it to you soon.

Cheryl Larson Dakin
Martin Larson and his sons. Mensvil is on the far left





From Audrey Hanson Aitchison:


Patrina Hanson celebrated her 95th birthday on March 20, 1949. There were 40 relatives and friends there. She received a rocking chair. Reverend T. Weltzin spoke a Norwegian message. Patrina was 27 when she came to America. Martin Larson was her only living relative at her party. Does anyone remember where Hagrop and Patrina lived?


Gary’s comments:


I Believe Petrina Larson Hanson in the picture below was a grandmother to Toni, Bev and Duane Morinville and also to Jean Pladson and Audrey Hanson Aitchison who are also my first cousins on their mothers side?



I believe Martin Larson in the picture below was a great grandfather to Diane Larson Sjol (70) and Cheryl Larson Dakin (71)? Martin Larson was Mensvil Larson’s father. Mensvil Larson was the Bottineau county Sheriff for many years. His son Mensvil Jr. (Norman) Larson, father of Diane and Cheryl, lives in Bottineau.



Please correct me if I have interpreted some of this wrong. Gary


Back: Martin, Hans Peter, Lars and Adrien Larson

Front: Kjersten with her daughter Petrina



Email address update for Bill Awalt (61): Lincoln, NE

Hi Gary,


We received your message on the phone and here is our e-mail address:



Bill & Eunice





Email address update for Kenny Nerpel (65): Devils Lake, ND.


Just wanted to let you know our new email address:
From LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND
Gary, Just wanted to thank you for planning the awesome Alaska Cruise. Terry & I loved every minute. When we set foot back on shore we visited a whole string of relatives and continued to have a wonderful vacation. When we were on Whidbey Island with my cousin Ardis Metcalfe Steggal and her husband Harley we received word that our uncle Thurman has passed away. That was the only cloud over our otherwise great three weeks. The wedding plans of Thurman’s grandson Troy Jordan in Spokane did continue on pretty much as planned for August 8. (He is the son of Lynda Parrill Jordan.) Clayton & Linda and Marie had just started out for Spokane and were somewhere between Velva and Turtle Lake when they got the call that Thurman has passed away. They turned around and planned the funeral and I believe it was about 24 hour delay for them. Clayton was scheduled to take pictures at the wedding which he did. Mike Nero of Nero Funeral Home encouraged Marie to go to the wedding as most of her family was there and it would have been even harder for her to stay back alone. Marie did pretty good.
One of the relatives we visited was Terry’s first cousin Donna Striker Neumeyer. She is the daughter of Mabel Espe and Elmer Striker. Mabel, Elmer and Art Espe were the three children of Ivar Espe and Martha Mikkelmayer. Two of Ivar’s sisters are Bertha Myer and Ingrid Seim. We also spoke by phone to another cousin Pat who is a sister of Donna. Pat is the older in that family and I believe she said she was 78 years old. I was telling them about some of the Striker information that has been on your emails and they are interested in learning more. This family left ND in the early 40’s.
Request for Help When you have time.
I would like to know if all the emails are on a website, and if so could you give that to me. I do believe you gave that out before and I am sorry I don’t know if I can find it. Another request is if you could do the search of your emails for Striker and I could forward those to them. I have all of the emails, but I don’t know how to search them. I don’t believe I have mine set up for that, but I believe you told me you did. Thanks again for everything. LeaRae
LeaRae, I was saddened to hear of the Thurman’s passing shortly after we returned from the cruise. I was also told that his family attended and continued with the wedding plans of his grandson, Troy. We all know that would have been Thurman’s wishes and yes I believe Marie did the right thing by attending the wedding. The Nero’s at Nero’s funeral home are wonderful folks. The were close friends of my dads. He’d wander through their funeral home on a regular bases just to shoot the breeze. He’d always take me along with him when we were in the area.
Lynda, Janet & Clayton, please give my regards to your mother. She has been through a lot emotionally. It’s tough. Your parents, Thurman and Marie, are my godparents. I believe I was baptized in Salem church in the early 50’s. My baptismal certificate is locked up in our bank safety deposit box in Bremerton, WA, so I can not reference it. I’ll bet Marie remembers though.
LeaRae, It’s time for another posting with an updated email list of which I have attached. I will do a find for the Striker’s in the past blogs and give you those numbers that can be viewed on our Dunseith Alumni WEB site http://garystokes.net/default.aspx

Thurman & Marie Parrill Family:

Back row: Janet ’68, Clayton, 72 and Thurman

Seated: Lynda ’69, Rodney ’73, Myron ’76 and Marie



Terry & LeaRae Espe and Bill Leonard


Master Email List:
Folks, It’s time for another posting with an updated Dunseith Alumni email list. I have attached an Excel copy of the master email list that I have. It is sort by both total name and by class year. Click on the desired sort tab at the bottom left of your screen when opening the file. For those of you that are unable to open this attached file, please let me know so I can sent you a copies pasted directly into the body of an email message. Gary
Those that have been added to the master email list since the last update posted in April

1 Damstom Seda, Irene RHAMIK@neb.rr.com 39
2 Seim Lawston, Margaret margaret.lawston@comcast.net 54
3 Liere, Larry lkliere@gondtc.com 55
4 Eurich Knutson, Mary mkbom@utma.com 62
5 Gottbreht, Ernie ejgcmb@yahoo.com 65
6 Fassett Klemmer, Kathy kathyjohn@bellsouth.net 71
7 Richard, Nathan nathan.richard@hotmail.com 2000
8 Brudwick, Mike mwbrudwick@yahoo.com Auxiliary
9 Dalbec Parks, Linda rlparks@charter.net Auxiliary
10 Hiatt Dalbec Martin, Marvel wmmrtn@charter.net Auxiliary
11 Hiatt House Gillies, Doris jimdorisgillies2@msn.com Auxiliary
12 Hiatt Levingston, Dianna levingd@me.com Auxiliary
13 Hiatt Peterson Dolan, Coleen dozipper@aol.com Auxiliary
14 Hiatt, Calvin ch3215@gmail.com Auxiliary
15 Hiatt, Harvey tlh322@yahoo.com Auxiliary
16 Hiatt, Larry lhiatt@me.com Auxiliary
17 Hill Fuchs, Elve elve@min.midco.net Auxiliary
18 Johnson, Brian & Carrie Salmonson reflexology911@hotmail.com Auxiliary
19 Salmonson Johnson, Carrie & Brian reflexology911@hotmail.com Auxiliary
20 Tweten, Lois slobagut@gmail.com Auxiliary

Neola Kofoid Garbe’s reply to Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Neola, Mensville Larson Jr. the gentleman you called and reference in your letter, I believe is also known as Norman Larson. He I believe is Diane Sjol (70) and Cheryl Dakin’s (71) father. Their mother was Verdellis Richard (Deceased). Norman is on our distribution list. I have pasted a copy of Norman’s Bottineau HS class of 43 reunion picture. You also reference other former Dunseith folks in your letter too. Gary

Hi Audrey,


I read your news with interest last night/this morning, especially when I saw Martin Larson’s name. I was quite sure Dad had bought the land by the creek (where we lived after September 1949) from Martin Larson. He lived on the same corner as we did. I wasn’t 100% sure Dad bought the land from Martin Larson, so I checked with Mom. She was quite sure it was Martin Larson, too. BUT, to be 100% sure, I called Mensville Larson, Jr. Martin was his grandfather. He verified Dad bought the land from him. Dad moved a house from, I think, a Roen farm, onto the corner of the lot.


Apparently, about the time Dad bought the land from Martin, Martin became ill/sold his house/moved to 5th St. Mensvil said the house Martin/his daughter, Emma, lived in, was the small gray house on the south side of the street, just west of the bridge. The house is empty now, but several families have lived in it, such as Shirley Sjule Osborn, Scott Dolbeare, one of the Klingbeil boys, etc.


Martin apparently sold his house next door to us, to Almer/Bertha Moe, as they are the family who moved into this house. Later, when Alvin married Jeanette Hahn, Alvin/Jeanette lived in the east end of the house. I’m not sure how many years after Almer died, the Moe families lived there. I think they sold the house to ? and Norma, Pierson, Clarence Lee’s in-laws (Gail’s parents). Piersons completely remodeled the house. Norma Pierson’s husband died; Norma remarried. She now lives at Good Sam. I don’t know if she has sold the house. If so, I don’t know who bought it.


Mensvil and I had a good visit–rather long, too. :) We both enjoyed the visit. I learned can now “place” more people/make more connections between people, than I could before. He said if I have other questions, to just give him a call–which I said I would. :)


Mensvil didn’t know where Patrina/Hagrop lived. He thought they might have lived in Minnesota at one time, but he wasn’t sure about this.


You probably know this, Audrey, but Mensville said Patrina stayed with Cora when Cora lived in the hills.


To me, it’s interesting that, when Cora moved to Bottineau, she/my family lived a few houses apart. Corbin Pritchard/his mother and nephew, lived “kitty-corner” from us. I think there was one house between Corbin’s and Jim Stevenson’s family (Jane Stevenson was married to Darryl Moum–Darryl passed away today.). I think Cora lived next to Stevenson’s–the memory dims somewhat. :) I went with Jean to visit Cora one time; it was a fun visit.


Again, I started to write a short note and ended up writing a “book”. :(


Eileen Brudwick’s reply to Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Fargo, ND.
Hi Gary,
First of all,welcome home, and I’m happy to hear your trip went well!! :-)
I have the writeup about Hagrup & Petrina Hanson, I thought might answer Audery Hanson Aitchison’s question. I’ve included it below.
Take care!
Eileen Brudwick
Source: The People of Bottineau County, 1884-1984, page 354.
In 1881 Petrina Larson immigrated to America with her two brothers, Martin and Lars. She was born in 1854 in Northern Norway near Tromos of parents Lars and Kiersten. There were five sons and three daughters in the family. The father, a fisherman, was lost at sea. Petrina’s mother, Kjersten, at age 62, came to America with her three other sons in the year of 1882. Petrina was the only daughter to leave Norway.
The Larsons first settled at Litchfield, Minnesota. Petrina married Hagrup Hanson and they had two children: Cora; and Harry, who died at age two. Cora married Oscar Hanson and they had eight children.
Petrina and Hagrup lived for a time at Reville, South Dakota, before emmigrating to Minot. Because of dry years they moved back to Ortonville, Minnesota, where they lived until 1910 when they moved to the Turtle Mountains and bought land just northeast of the farm of her brother Martin.
Hagrup died in 1922 at the age of 59 years. Petrina died in 1953 at age 99 years 10 months and two days.
Grandma Besta, as the family called Petrina, apparently had a mind of her own. The family recalls a story of an incident that happened when Petrina and Hagrup and other family members were on the way to Minot from South Dakota. Hagrup’s brother, who was traveling with them, disagreed with the decision to hold the cattle back from the water hole and let the horses drink first. Petrina who was a healthy, sturdy woman, simply picked up her brother-in-law and dumped him in the water hole, which seemed to solve the disagreement.


From Audrey Hanson Aitchison: Bottineau, ND.

Thanks for all the emails. I have a couple more things for your email:
Patrina Hanson celebrated her 95th birthday on March 20, 1949. There were 40 relatives and friends there. She received a rocking chair. Reverend T. Weltzin spoke a Norwegian message. Patrina was 27 when she came to America. Martin Larson was her only living relative at her party. Does anyone remember where Hagrop and Patrina lived?
6-7-1953 Martin Larson, 94, was confined to his bed for 4 years. He lived at 415 – 5th Street East. I believe Dr. Gerald Sveen bought this property later. Emma Perkins, Martin’s daughter was his faithful nurse for the last 4 years. Emma is one of 3 living daughters. Martin was born 6-6-1859 and died 12-1-1953. They had 10 kids: Ludwig, Elmer, Mensvil, Hildor, Arthur, Minnie, Emma, Clara, Maybelle, and Norbert Larson. Martin was married to Nikoline Adrine (Hanson). She was born in 1856 and died in 1923
David William Pladson, son of Eldon and Ella Pladson of Dunseith,was born 8-22-1955 and died 3-5-1957. I don’t know the cause of his death.
Thank you.
Folks, Audrey is my first cousin and also a first cousin to the Morinville siblings.
Audrey, Thank you so much for this bit of history. I knew you were related to Dianne and Cheryl Larson, but I did not realize that you guys are as closely related as you are. Reading this history It appears their Grandfather and your Grandmother were siblings. I remember Reverend Weltzin too. He was the pastor for the Metigoshe Lutheran churches when my folks were confirmed members of Salem in the early 50’s.
I remember the death of David Pladson too. I believe the Pladson family was living on the Zieman place west of Salem Church when he died. Keith and Florence, please correct me if I’m wrong. I remember visiting the Pladson’s at that time along with Gladys Rude. That is a memory that has always been stuck in my mind. LaVerne Rude, I don’t remember if you were along when our mothers visited the Pladson’s or not. I kind of think you were, but I’m not sure.
Reply from Dick Johnson: Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Peggy Wurgler Axtman for filling us in on the
Lider-Halvorson wedding picture. I think it’s great to get names and
dates on these pieces of old Dunseith history. Nice work, Peggy! Thanks


Scenes from the Alaska cruise:
Ice in the water from the glacier. Because of the Ice we had to turn around and go back.
We were unable to see the Glacier. Alaska has some pretty rugged untouched country.





From Bonnie Smith Kohler: Mountain Iron, MN.

Bonnie, Darrel mentioned seeing you guys at their son-in-law Rob’s sisters wedding. It is a small world. And yes, you are related to a lot of the Dunseith folks with your father/you being Smith’s. Some of your cousins are Terry & Dennis Espe, Bradley Salmonson, Wayne & Keith Smith, Obert & Marlys Medlang and the list goes on. Gary
Reply from Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND.
Hi Gary
Happy to know you are back home and on line again. Hope you don’t mind the 5 comments below and maybe you can answer some of the ?s below.
1. I really enjoy your mailings because most of them have names I remember. Names like Margaret Seim, my mother could have been her teacher because she taught in a one room country school in the hills by Dunseith. Margaret could have been in 1st. grade before we moved to Devils Lake. If she has older brothers they very well could have had my mother for a teacher because I remember the Seim name. It could have been her Mother & Dad knowing my folks that I remember the Seim name from so I am not sure on this one. Since she went to school at Notre Dame I would guess that was the Catholic school in Willow City so she would know Carmen Leonard since she and her sister Carole also went to Notre Dame.
2. Would Jess Hosmer be Bob’s sister? Gary’s reply – Jess Hosmer is married to Bob’s brother Don.
3. In this Obit. I see two Azures from Devils Lake. I could not find Damian or Melanie in our phone book. I have a friend Martin (Chip) Azure in Devils Lake so I will ask him about these two.
4. The Grimme’s: My Mother was a very good friend of Kathleen Grimme and I think her husband was Carl. Conley and I would play when the folks would visit at each others homes. Conley was a little older then me and I think Bill Grimme was like Dave Shelver, born a few years after their brothers. I would guess since Carl and Conley were big people. Bill Grimme is on the right in the picture below. Gary’s reply – Yes Bill and his twin siblings, Gwen and Greg are Conley’s siblings, children of Carl and Kathleen. I don’t remember Conley, but I do remember Carl. Bill, like his dad, carries a larger frame, but not obese. Bill and I are 65 class mates. Gwen & Greg were with the class of 68.
5. Is Bill Leonard Janice’s brother or a relation to me? We have a Bill Leonard in our family from Rolette. Gary’s reply – From what your cousin, Carmen Leonard Richard and the Leonard’s from Dunseith have told me, you guys are two separate families.

Reply from Toni Morinville Gredskey (68): Farimount, ND


Hi Gary,

I’m pretty sure that I am the other girl in the photo (yesterdays message). I remember that wedding and even recognize the dress.

We should wish Lola Metcalfe Vanorny a belated Happy Birthday! It was her birthday on the 21st.

Toni Morinville Gredesky

Toni, I just had a good chat with our first cousin, Jean Pladson from up in the hills. She mentioned going to Lunch with your sister Bev and Cheryl Larson Dakin last week at Dale’s.

Condolences from Bobby Slyter (70): Wichita, Kansas
Reply from Cathy Campbell Springan (72): Stanley, ND
Thank you for the birthday wishes although today is our anniversary not my birthday! That is yet to come!!
Man Cathy, I was given some bum info. We all wish you a belated anniversary and a happy future birthday. Gary
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Just wanted to thank Cheryl Larson for the peace garden photo. I remember every year it seemed our class would take a day trip up there. Its beautiful. Sharon Gerdes
Folks, Phyllis McKay invited Bernadette and me to her house in Auburn, WA for dinner one evening following the cruise. Her sister Minnie Mary and her husband Ed joined us too. These pictures were taken at Phyllis’ house. Phyllis and her friend Leo are wonderful hosts. Leo is a prince of a fellow too. Leo was on the cruise also, so we got well acquainted.
Phyllis McKay (65) with her friend Leo.






Minnie Mary McKay Merrill (48) with her husband Ed



Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.





Folks, I have been without internet service all day, so I am a little late getting this out. Gary
LEROY BIRKLAND, 78, Bottineau, died Thursday in a Bottineau nursing home. (Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)
Randy & Terry Hiatt and all of Leroy’s family. Our condolences are with you with the loss of Leroy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Randy & Terry, I know that Leroy, being married to your mother for most of your childhood days, was a real father to you guys. Gary
Posted by Randy Hiatt on January 30, 2009: NORTH BEND, WA

Gary, I have attached a picture of my step father Leroy Birkland and his wife Alice, and one of Wades sons so some of the folks can see. This was taken when I was back last December to visit him in Bottineau. I hadn’t seen my step dad in many years so it was really nice getting back and visiting with him. I took dad for a drive up in the hills and stopped to see Freddy Hiatts old farm by Willow Lake. A lot had change with that farm from the way I remember it when I was a kid visiting. The big red barn was gone and a lot of the out buildings as well.

Thanks for everything

Randy Hiatt

Leroy & Alice Birkland


Cathy Campbell Springan (73), Stanley, ND: Today, August 22nd, is your birthday. We wish you a very happy birthday, enjoy.



Reply/Picture from Peggy Wurgler Axtman (71): Kent, Wa




I was looking closer at the picture of Jess Hosmer and I THINK the little girl in the pink dress in the lower left of the picture is ME! The little boy on the right in the white jacket may be Terry Halvorson. I don’t know who the other little girl is, though. If I am correct, the occasion was the wedding of Arliss Halvorson and my cousin, Clayton Lider. See picture below of the day. Jess was a bridesmaid. I cannot remember who the older couple is on the left but they must have been Arliss’s grandparents. Jess is third from left, the guy yawning next to her must be Don Hosmer, Alma & Clifford Halvorson (bride’s parents), me (groom’s cousin), Arliss & Clayton (bride & groom), Terry (bride’s cousin), my Aunt Gladys & Uncle Carl Lider (groom’s parents), Caroleen Lider Williams (groom’s sister), Don Williams (groom’s brother-in-law), Karen Woodward (?), Curt Halvorson (bride’s brother), Gabe & Lisa Loken (groom’s and my grandparents), an unknown lady on the right and unknown boy in the foreground. The same car is in the background and the wedding was at the Dunseith Lutheran church. I believe the Liders celebrated their 50th anniversary last summer so this picture was taken in 1958.


I was happy to finally meet you in person at the SeaTac Ramada Inn before you all left on the Alaskan Cruise. What fun it was for me to connect with my classmate, Cheryl Haagenson, after 43 years! And, I met some other familiar names and faces, too.


Thanks for keeping this going . . .


Peggy (Wurgler) Axtman ’71

Peggy, it was such a pleasure seeing you in person too. I swear to god you look 25 plus years younger than the age that I know you are. Your are such a friendly charismatic person too. It was so nice that you were able to see us. I only wish I could have had more time to sit and chat with you. You did select a good time to see everyone though when we were in the hotel lobby getting ready to go to the ship. Gary


Jess Hosmer, Peggy Wurgler (girl with dress) & Terry Halvorston?



From Cheryl Larson Dakin: BEDFORD, TX

HI Gary,
So glad you’re back. Nancy and Diane said that the Alaska trip was a smash hit. I’ve seen some of their pictures. Looks like lots of fun. We all missed you.
George and I just got back from visiting my dad in Bottineau and of course while there, went to Dunseith, drove around town and then met Bev for lunch. After all the talk about Dales and the Jumbo, we just had to split one. And no, we didn’t finish the whole thing because what’s a jumbo without a plate of JoJo’s? It tasted even better than it looks! We had a great visit, but too short. Diane and I went to the Peace Garden. The flowers are in full bloom and it was just beautiful. I am enclosing a picture taken last weekend. The new reflecting pool will be so nice once it’s finished.
Cheryl Larson Dakin









Folks, Yesterday’s blog should have been number 532, not 531. I am continuing with number 532 today.
Gina (our travel agent), I am including you with today’s blog so you can see the group picture of those of us that were on the cruise. Some of our folks are already asking about our next cruise. You did an assume job accommodating our group right down to the minor details. It was such a pleasure working with you. You are to be commended for a job well done. Your contributed to a nearly flawless cruise. When things go well, folks have a much better time.
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO

Wow what a memory Dick. I remember your parents very well however. And I worked at the creamery for Minnie ?? ( forgot last name). I also waited tables at Rosies cafe until they found out I was underage and made me quit. I really miss my mind alot, and when I hear these stories I am totally amazed. Yes the carmel story was true, I got some permanent scars from that one. There were seven of us kids, and I was the only one who graduated from Dunseith. One of my little brothers ( Bill) married Kim Schmietz ( Marks sister). I have good friends still there however, and wonderful memories in spite of the many I have forgotten.

It was a great way to grow up, poor as church mice but happy. We didn’t have a TV but spent much time around a piano all singing hymns, and people just stopped in for coffee and lunch in those days. Good people who always helped someone in need. I miss those days and treasure those memories. Thanks much. Sharon.
Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN.
Hi Gary & Dick, Just thought I would let you know that I was in the same class as Sharon Zorn, which would make Marlys younger, and yes, I also remember her beautiful blonde hair, which went with the great person she was and is. Thanks also to Sharon with info of the Westermans. Bertha was also in our class, and have often wondered where she is. Gary, Mike and I had a great time on the cruise. After we got home we went to Rugby, and helped move move to the LTC at Rugby hospital. She is once again with Dad, and after 67 yrs. thats very improtant , Both are doing well. Lyle Sharon are living in Rugby, a blessing for Mom and Dad, and us also. Gave them your address, and they plan on getting hooked up with the blog. Plan on getting some pics in, but I procrastinate! Are granddaughter (Todd &Mary) is getting married next month, so things won’t be slowing down for awhile as Armentrout family from AZ will be here for a visit. Always a joy when family come home, just don’t see them often enough. Enough, thank you for everything, and thank you Dick for all your memories. Sandy
Lloyd Awalt (44) has new email address: Bottineau, ND.
Dear Gary,
Lloyd Awalt has a new e-mail address, lata@utma.com.
Thank you, Bonnie Houle
Reply from Bobby Slyter: Wichita, Kansas
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Larry’s story about driving was great. Living in rural ND, we seem to
know about the driving habits of most people and take special
precautions accordingly. When I was going to college in Bottineau and
driving from up here at the farm, I saw a weird deal happen on Thompson
Street in Bottineau. An elderly lady got in her car in front of the post
office and an older man got in his car directly across from her near the
creamery. As I was driving toward them, they both started to back up
directly at each other. It looked to me they were going to hit each
other and then—BANG! They both just looked over their shoulders
slightly and DROVE AWAY! I just sat there for a couple seconds trying to
absorb what I had just seen. With that, I have to tell a story about
Larry Hackman’s uncle, Frank Hackman. Bill Peterson was working in his
field near the highway, when he saw Frank driving east toward the
highway. He said that Frank never stopped at the stop sign when he
crossed the highway, so Bill looked up and down the highway to see if
anyone was coming. Sure enough, here comes a Canadian car. Bill said he
could see what was going to happen—it looked like a tie. Frank went
through the stop sign and right into the side of the Canadian. Bill was
already off his tractor and headed over to the wreck when he heard the
Canadian say, “Why didn’t you stop?” Frank said, “Why didn’t you stop,
you could see I wasn’t going to!” Thanks Gary!


Alaska Cruise total group picture:
Folks, Bill Grimme has provided us with a picture number key for the group picture located directly below the key. Angelina Metcalfe was not in the original photo, but Bill was able to add her in this copy as number 57. She looks very much a part of the this photo. Great job Bill.
In the remarks column that go with the name sort, I have listed the connections of the folks that were in our group.

Alaska Cruise Total Group Picture with number key
Key Number Sort Key Name SortCity, StateRemarks
1 Stokes, Debby   28 Abrahamson, Cindy Estes Park, Co Doyle’s spouse
2 Reing, Marlene   27 Abrahamson, Doyle Estes Park, Co Class of 68
3 Randall, Leona   21 Baldwin, Nancy (Hosmer) Lake Metigoshe, ND Class of 62
4 Galloway, Wayne   36 Cavaliere, Cora Bristol, RI Friend of Gary/Bernadette Stokes
5 Mjelstad, Carol (Hamnes)   31 Cavaliere, Ronnie Bristol, RI Friend of Gary/Bernadette Stokes
6 Mjelstad, Orville   52 Coles, Becky (Sime) Boise, ID Class of 83
7 Van Dyne, Dreama   38 Espe, LeaRae (Parrill) Bottineau, ND Class of 67
8 Van Dyne, Mark   32 Espe, Terry Bottineau, ND Class of 64
9 Sjol, Scott   50 Flynn, Laurice Zeitler Portland, OR Randy’s spouse
10 Kontzie, Keith   54 Flynn, Minnie (Knox) Dunseith, ND Class of 47
11 Stokes, Gary   49 Flynn, Randy Portland, OR Class of 70
12 Stokes, Darrel   55 Flynn, Rio Portland, OR Randy’s Daughter
13 Reing, Oliver   4 Galloway, Wayne Brandon, Manitoba, CA friend of Nancy Hosmer Baldwin
14 Millang, Edna (Susie) (Knox)   34 Gottbreht, Patty (Boguslawski) Dunseith, ND Class of 65
15 Sjol, Diane (Larson)   18 Grimme, Bill Birmingham, AL Class of 65
16 Stokes, Bernadette   22 Haagenson, Cheryl Dunseith, ND Class of 71
17 Richard, K. (Flynn)   29 Hamnes, Mel Bottineau, ND Spouse of Bev Handland Hamnes
18 Grimme, Bill   51 James, Herb Clearwater, FL Doyle Abrahamson’s father-in-law
19 Metcalfe, Gary   Klinger, Becky (not in photo)Seminole, FLDoyle Abrahamson’s sister-in-law
20 Vandal, Mike   Klinger, Chet (not in photo)Seminole, FLDoyle Abrahamson’s Brother-in-law
21 Baldwin, Nancy (Hosmer)   10 Kontzie, Keith Elgin, Manitoba, Ca Nancy Hosmer Baldwin’s fiancé
22 Haagenson, Cheryl   42 Leonard, Bill Mountlake Terrace, WA Class of 52
23 Munro, Chuck   47 Leonard, Lorette Mountlake Terrace, WA Bill Leonard’s spouse
24 Protassevitch, Irina   35 Longie, Al-lyn Vancouver, WA Bill Longie’s spouse
25 Metcalfe, Sue   41 Longie, Bill Vancouver, WA Class of 60
26 Vandal, Sandra (Zeiler)   33 Hamnes, Beverly (Handland) Bottineau, ND Class of 48
27 Abrahamson, Doyle   Mann, Connor (not in photo)Largo, FLGary/Joni Mann’s son
28 Abrahamson, Cindy   Mann, Gary (not in photo)Largo, FLDoyle Abrahamson’s Brother-in-law
29 Hamnes, Mel   Mann, Joni (not in photo)Largo, FLDoyle Abrahamson’s sister-in-law
30 Munro, Geri (Metcalfe)   40 McKay, Phyllis Auburn, WA Class of 65
31 Cavaliere, Ronnie   57 Metcalfe, Angelina Holister, MO Daughter of Leah Metcalfe
32 Espe, Terry   19 Metcalfe, Gary Holister, MO Class of 57
33 Mamnes, Beverly (Handland)   37 Metcalfe, Leah Holister, MO Daughter of Gary & Sue Metcalfe
34 Gottbreht, Patty (Boguslawski)   25 Metcalfe, Sue Holister, MO Spouse of Gary Metcalfe
35 Longie, Al-lyn   14 Millang, Edna (Susie) (Knox) Dunseith, ND Class of 60
36 Cavaliere, Cora   5 Mjelstad, Carol (Hamnes) Arnegard, ND Mel Hamne’s sister
37 Metcalfe, Leah   6 Mjelstad, Orville Arnegard, ND Carol Mjelstad’s spouse
38 Espe, LeaRae (Parrill)   23 Munro, Chuck Fargo, ND Geri Metcalfe Munro’s spouse
39 Shull, Leo   30 Munro, Geri (Metcalfe) Fargo, ND Class of 59
40 McKay, Phyllis   43 Pflepsen, Gloria Dickinson, ND Lee Stickland’s friend
41 Longie, Bill   56 Pladson, Alice Stafford, VA Keith Pladson’s spouse
42 Leonard, Bill   53 Pladson, Keith Stafford, VA Class of 66
43 Pflepsen, Gloria   24 Protassevitch, Irina Birmingham, AL Bill Grimme;s friend
44 Stickland, Lee (Leland)   3 Randall, Leona Brandon, Manitoba, CA Friend of Nancy Hosmer Baldwin
45 Shelver, Dave   2 Reing, Marlene Bottineau, ND Debby Stokes’s sister
46 Shelver, Linda   13 Reing, Oliver Bottineau, ND Merlene Reing’s spouse
47 Leonard, Lorette   17 Richard, K. (Flynn) West Farge, ND Class of 67
48 Sime, Florence (Pladson)   Roblin, Keith (not in photo)Elkhorn, Manitoba, CAFriend of Nancy Hosmer Baldwin
49 Flynn, Randy   Roblin, Marion (not in photo)Elkhorn, Manitoba, CAFriend of Nancy Hosmer Baldwin
50 Flynn, Lourice   45 Shelver, Dave Lake Havasu City, AZ Class of 63
51 James, Herb   46 Shelver, Linda Lake Havasu City, AZ Dave Shelver’s Spouse
52 Coles, Becky (Sime)   39 Shull, Leo Auburn, WA Phyllis McKay’s Friend
53 Pladson, Keith   48 Sime, Florence (Pladson) Dunseith, ND Class of 62
54 Flynn, Minnie (Knox)   15 Sjol, Diane (Larson) Minot, ND Class of 70
55 Flynn, Rio   9 Sjol, Scott Minot, ND Diane Larson Sjol’s spouse
56 Pladson, Alice   44 Stickland, Lee (Leland) Dickinson, ND Class of 64
57 Metcalfe, Angelina   16 Stokes, Bernadette Cebu, Philippines Gary Stokes’ spouse
Mann, Gary (not in photo) 12Stokes, DarrelBottineau, NDClass of 70
Mann, Joni (not in photo) 1Stokes, DebbyBottineau, NDDarrel Stokes’ Spouse
Mann, Connor (not in photo) 11Stokes, GaryCebu, PhilippinesClass of 65
Klinger, Chet (not in photo) 7Van Dyne, DreamaVancouver, WAFriend of Bill Longie
Klinger, Becky (not in photo) 8Van Dyne, MarkVancouver, WAFriend of Bill Longie
Roblin, Keith (not in photo) 20Vandal, MikeElk River, MNSandra Zeiler Vandal’s spouse
Roblin, Marion (not in photo) 26Vandal, Sandra (Zeiler)Elk River, MNClass of 62




From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

I just thought I might send a few memories of Sharon Zorn Gerde’s
family. I remember she had the prettiest long golden blond hair in the
country! She used to play piano for Sunday School at the old Dunseith
Lutheran Church. Her dad, Bill Zorn, was the president of the Sunday
School for a while and I think was also a Sunday School teacher. This
would have been when I was around 10 or 11 years old, in ’60 or ’61.
That’s just a guess, but should be close. I remember hearing about an
accident Sharon had while making caramel rolls. If I remember correctly,
as she was turning the pans over, which is how it’s done, the pan
slipped and she got badly burned by the hot caramel on her legs and
feet. Am I right here Sharon, or is my memory incorrect on this one. I
also remember when Sharon’s sister, Marlys, started school in Dunseith
in about the 4th or 5th grade. She had a friend who was also new. I
think her name was Sandy Vandal–I’m quite sure it was Vandal, but not
sure of the first name. They were both new in school and stuck together
for support. It seems to me that the Vandal girl didn’t stay in Dunseith
very long. I wonder if Marlys could refresh my memory? The rest of the
Zorns graduated from Bottineau High School, I believe, and Marlys went
to the School of Forestry when I was a second year student there. Her
picture was on a daily message (#508) on this site with other Smokey’s
queen candidates including our very own Miss Vickie Metcalfe! Thanks Gary!


Reply from Al-Lyn (Bill) Longie (60): Al-lyn.Longie@integratelecom.com Vancouver, WA


We enjoyed every moment of our cruise. It was more then we expected and couldn’t have been better. If there was anything we would have done differently it would have been to get more proactive scheduling time with folks to visit. But those we did “bump” into and have a chance to chat with proved to be part of what made the whole trip so wonderful for us. We even came away with contact information for LaVerne and Carrole Fauske/Rude who while they weren’t able to make the cruise we did get to meet at the pre boarding dinner to find out they live right here in Vancouver.


We can’t wait to here about future plans for other get togethers.

Al-lyn Longie



Integra Telecom



Network Cost Analyst II



Rely from Verena (Pete) Gillis (65): Dunseith, ND.


> Gary,
I do not have an address for Peter Jr. at this time, as soon as I get one
I will post it.
Thank you so much for the nice compliment. Cheryl was completely
surprised and I was so tickled for her. She teaches my little
grandchildren at the Day School, singing lessons for my 8 year old
granddaughter Thalia and of course Piano Lessons also. She has always been
one of my favorite people.
I of course had to be told due to golfing in my annual Les Jensen
Scholarship tournament. This was very unexpected and I will treasure this
award forever!



Another great story from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND

How are you? I’m happy to hear that everyone on the Dunseith alumni trip had a great time. But as you know and we all know is that it would have been even greater if more people would have joined the group. Maybe next time.
I hope you and others enjoy the story, I have attached.



A few stories about reversing the aging process?


Looking Back

You know looking back becomes a problem for us men as we get older.I know most of you don’t want to hear anymore about this because most of us hear enough about it already.It seems, or as we have been told, us men in particular have trouble cranking our heads around and looking at whats behind us.Particularily when we are seated in a automobile.It seems that when we sit our hips push up on the rest of our upper body bone structure.This causes our shoulders to rise, making it more difficult to turn our heads to the left or to the right and to see whats behind us.It seems when we turn our heads, our chin comes in contact with our raised shoulders, limiting our ability to look back. This may be do to the extra rib we have or to the way the automobile seat is designed?Just being a little bit over 50, this problem has not affected me to bad yet.But thinking about it, reminded me of a few incidences and stories that I have observed and heard of over the years.


Handled the right way?




I’m sure most of you remember Frank Flynn, our Dunseith Police Magistrate or as I and many others

referred to him as the Dunseith Judge.Frank was a big man and well respected around town.Well, Anyway Frank was getting old and seemed to have developed this problem, that comes with old age of not looking back while backing up.This problem along with the diagonal parking on main, became a problem for him.He became involved in several small fender bender type accidents around town. Usually of the backing up type, variety. Most of the locals knew of Frank’s problem and most of our folks had warned their children to watch out for that 1954 green Chevy, and to stay clear of it.Folks, however, were complaining to the local policeman at the time that he ought to take his drivers license away before something serious happens.While the policeman being a smart fellow and wanting to keep his job, thought about this for awhile and came upon the idea of asking a Highway Potrolman, to ask Frank for his license.Frank after all couldn’t say much or do much to bother a Highway Patrolman.The Highway Patrolman when approached and asked by the policman said he would look into what he could do.


The Highway Patrolman also being a smart fellow knew before he approched the Judge that he better have all his ducks in a row.He called into the State Department of Transportation and asked for the status of Frank’s license.He found that Frank had not renewed his license since the early 50’s and this was the 60’s.The Highway Patrolman finding this out, and that Frank had, had another small fender bender type accident recently, approached Frank and talked to him about the accident and his previous accidents.He told Frank that if he should happen to have another accidentthat he would have to ask him for his drivers license, and that it was probably time to park the car, and not drive anymore.Frank apparently agreed and I don’t think he ever drove the car again.I think it was just his chin or shoulders or both causing the problem.




My Grandfather ( Alex Kraft) not only developed the same problem as mentioned in the above story, but he also developed a lead foot type, problem.My mother who looked after him in his later years said he would back out of the garage and out into the street without ever looking back and by the time he hit Wurglars Gas Station on Main Street, Rugby, with that Buick he was traveling at 60mph.(By the way, do you know how to clear a restaurant of old people? Just, announce that there is a Buick in the parking lot with the lights on.)My mother would get after her dad, by telling him to look back as he was backing up the car, and he would reply that he had checked out the driveway and the street before he had started backing and so he knew what was back there. She would also tell him to slow down, as a kidcould dart out from behind a parked vehicle and he might not be able to stop in time.He would reply that he watchs and that nothing has happened yet.My mother still worried, asked the City C.O.P. if he could take her dads license away.The COP replied that he has no authority to take someones license away.Then, one day my Grandfather was parked in front of the bank on Main Street, Rugby.There was a little ice and snow on the street.He put his car in reverse and wanted to back out onto the street.The rear wheels spun and the car did not move.Being a old retired farmer, grandpa started to rock the car by placing it in reverse and accelerating, and then placing it in drive and accelerating and back and forth.Now I don’t know if Grandpa lost track of what gear he was in or how heavy his foot was upon the accelerator, anyway all of a sudden the car flew up and over the curb and into the big picture window of the bank.Half of the car was sitting in the bank and half was still outside the bank.The people in the bank didn’t know if he was there to make a deposit or a withdrawl.Grandpa,who said afterwards he had closed his eyes when saw he was going into the bank, thought he had died and was in the funeral home, because when he opened his eyes all he could see was curtians. My mother got a call to come up town and get her dad and that everyone was OK and that there was damage to the building and to her dad’s car.Mom got up there and saw her dad and everyone else was alright.She then went over to the Chief of Police and asked him again, if he could do something to stop him from driving.The C.O.P. replied that he could ask her Dad for his license and if he voluntarily gives the license to him, he would then give it to her, and if he would ever ask him for the license back, that he would come to her to get the license, and that he would have to give it back to him as he had no authority to take someones license.Mom agreed with the policemans proposal.The C.O.P. then asked my Grandpa for his license.My Grandpa willingly gave the officer his license without any questions.The officer than gave the license to my mother.My Grandpa never drove again.Sad, But I think it was handled the right way.






I know this is getting long, but there is one more I have tell.

We had this elderly fellow (Marvin Theige) living across the street from us when we lived in Harvey,ND. On garbage day he would take his filled garbage bags and throw them upon the trunk of his car and back out to the street, stop, get out, walk to the back of his car, and take the garbage bags off his trunk lid and placethem along the curb for pick-up by the garbage truck.Marvin did this when he remembered he had placed the filled garbage bags on his trunk.Nine times out of ten he would back out on the street and go driving around town until someone would kid him about the bags sitting on his trunk.Then he would drive back home and place the bags on the curb and drive off.The fact he forgot the bags on his trunk is not the point I’m trying to make.In all fairness to him his driveway was a little longer then the ordinairy driveway, so he did have time to forget.The point I’m trying to make is that he must never have looked back or ever looked into his rear view mirror, while backing out onto the street.It was nice that everyone knew Marvin, and watched out for him and the kids were warned to stay out of his way.I don’t know if anyone ever took away his keys.He was still driving when we moved away from Harvey.




One more, I’m on a roll!

My father-in-law always wanted to catch the little bastard that was sneaking into garage and putting down the overhead door before he could back out of the garage.I don’t know how many times he put the hitch on his car through the bottom panel of the overhead door.Damn Gremlins!



a few bullets





So you see what we all got to look foreward to. But, like they say. Its better then the alternative.





Now, Gary I know you are going say something about me being a little bit over 50 again.All I can say is that it depends on your perspective as to what a little bit is and your diffinition of is.





I remember, My Mother, Milton Burrow, Ronald Reagan, and Kenny Nerpel all remained at the ripe old age of 39?





I was thinking about just having the extra rib removed to make it easier to crank my head around to look back.But Gary, It has taken me a long time to get to this point and with this build-up, I have to say, that unless they change the seats in the cars,that I think you are ahead of the game with that chin shortening surgery?




Remember to laugh as when you laugh the whole world seems a better place.


Larry, this is another great story! My philosophy on getting old is that I will never get there. Those senior to me may be senior citizens, but I never plan on reaching the age of being a Senior citizen and I plan on living past a 100. Yes, I happen to know just how old you are and you are a bit over 50 or should I say 60, but you are not old. Keep the Stories coming. Gary

Memo from Phyllis/Alan Campbell dated June 16, 2009: Minot, ND
My brother Darrel gave me this envelope from the Campbell’s when we were on the Cruise. Gary
Hi Stokes Family,
In going through stuff in Dunseith preparing for our move to the Wellington in Minot, I found this issue of the Courant I had saved for your family. Please pass it on and share it with Gary as we so enjoy his daily “blog” and maybe he will copy this and include it for others to enjoy.
You mom and dad were so good to Alan’s Aunt Anne and Uncle Glen Campbell when they lived in Bottineau and we enjoyed a few of their visits too.
That Dunseith reunion really started the memory wheels rolling and it just keeps going and going. Hope the Bottineau 125th is as successful as ours was.
Best wishes
Phyllis and Alan Campbell
Phyllis & Alan, this means so much to us knowing that you guys thought enough of our dad to save this article all these years. Our folks were very close friends of Ann and Glen Campbell. I don’t remember Glen that well, but I sure remember Ann. Dad kept a pretty close eye on Ann the last several years before she moved to the Good Samaritan home in Bottineau. He felt so good when you guys expressed your appreciation for what he was doing too.
Folks, Our dad, Bob Stokes, was the Bottineau town Santa Clause for many years. It’s a job he truly enjoyed from the bottom of his heart. His highlight, being Santa, each year was visiting the residents at the Good Samaritan home and the long term care at the hospital. He’d talk about those visits all year long until it was time for the next years visits. He visited each and every resident every year. He gave them each a bag of candy too. Our dad was truly a people person with superb people skills. Material things in life were not really that important to him. People are what mattered to him.
Thank you Phyllis for sharing this with us. This brings back some great memories.
Posted by Phyllis/Alan Cambell:
Front page of the Bottineau Courant – December 12, 1977





Orvin Hagen – – Kindred, ND
Folks, I talked to Orvin last night. We had a nice chat. Orvin is the same Orvin, with so many irons in the fire. At 88 years of age, he still has his flower gardens, etc. He has been doing some Yodeling around the community too, a talent that he is well blessed with. He yodeled some for me last night over the phone. I’ll bet Orvin and Cheryl Haagenson would make a great duet. It was Tuesday morning, his time, when I talked to him. He was getting ready to go out and mow his lawn. Gary
Alan Poitra (76): Bloomington, MN
Alan, Thank you so much for the CD, “Cindy and the Turtle Mtn Boys”. My brother Darrel gave it to me when I saw him on the cruise. It’s a beautiful CD. I love it! I am playing it now while I’m putting this message together. Gary
Request from Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s Nephew): St Louis, MO
If you can find an address for those two young men, Ricky Kuhn and Peter Gillis, mentioned in that article my VFW will send them phone cards and care packages.
Mel Kuhn and Verena Gillis, Can you guys provide us with the addresses of Ricky and Peter Gillis Jr.? I am sure that others would like to have their addresses too. You guys can for sure be very proud of Ricky and Peter Jr. for their dedicated service. They are to be commended. Gary
Reply from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND
Welcome back Gary, As I was reading this mornings letter, I noticed your enthusiasm over the magic jack phone.
I had one for about 3 weeks and had to return it as the technical support from magic jack and I worked on it for about 10 hours spread over several days. There is a 30 day money back warranty! The problem I had was that I could not switch from Headset to speaker phone.
When it did work, it worked well. It is very inexpensive, especially if you buy the one of the extended plans.
So, They would not send me a new one without going through the whole process again. I returned mine and was credited back within 10 days to my credit card. I may try it again, maybe not, we have the Fiber Optic Cable coming in this year where I live just outside of Rolette. I expect to be hooked up this year as they have planted the post and box just outside my house and later they expect to trench the cable to my neighbor and myself. I will then have a 6 Mega bite internet connection. My 64 bit 8 Gig Ram dual core HP Notebook already screams across the internet browsing with the New Internet explorer 8. I am anxious to see the upload and download times.
Have a great day.
Reply & Newspaper Article from Verena (Pete) Gillis (65): Dunseith, ND
Just to make mention that our son Peter J. Gillis Jr. has volunteered to
go to Kosovo. We took him to Fargo last Wednesday and he called me from
Indiana last night. He will go to Germany from there then on to Kosovo.
We are so very proud of him.

Also had to include this clipping from this week’s Turtle Mountain Star.
Cheryl and I are very proud of this award.


Verena & Cheryl, My hats are off to both of you. You are both very deserving of this prestigious award. As most of you know, Cheryl was with us on the Cruise. She entertained us and a whole lot of the ships folks with her singing. When I first heard her singing I was beside myself with how well she could sing. She for sure drew the attention of all those in attendance. She won a singing contest on the ship too.
Verena, You have spear headed so many deserving fund raising events in just the 3 years that I have known you. You for sure did a fabulous job facilitating our class of 65 reunion at the Garden Gate golf club. You facilitated and followed through right down to the finest details everything that had to be done.
This award has for sure gone to two very deserving folks.
Our little 4 year old Granddaughter, Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards), sure took a liking to Cheryl when we were in Seattle. Nevaeh is a little girl of many words.
Pictures from Mark Schimetz (70): Rolette, ND
Frank And Erma Lived off Old Hwy 5 a few miles east of Dunseith. Colette Pigeon, (Schimetz) Jeanie Erich (Rolland) Penny Lake Cutch Nerpel, Harvey Nerpel and others all attended this Very Special Ladies 90th Birthday Party at the Rugby Memorial Hall. The horses are on the front pasture just outside my home at Rural Rolette. There is one Tired Stallion on the Ground with his fans eagerly awaiting.













Folks, When we were back in the states I purchased a Magic Jack (Telephone module) at radio shack that attaches to any USB connection on my computer. It has a regular phone connection on the back side. Last night I took this thing out of the package and connected it to my computer. I was prompted for info needed to activate and acquire a phone number. That whole process took about 2 minutes. When I was finished I plugged a phone into the Jack on the back side and this thing actually worked with a good clear connection. The whole process seemed too easy to be true. It only cost 39.99 which included the first years service. Each year here after will only cost $19.99. With this phone I’ve got unlimited toll free calling to all 50 states and Canada. There were no Washington state numbers available, but there were a few ND towns and cities listed. Kindred, ND was one of them, so I chose to have a local Kindred number. That is where Orvin Hagen Lives. The number is (701) 428-8186. Now I’ve got two VOIP phones. I may get rid of the first one in time. Gary



From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.


Hi Gary,

I arrived in Dunseith yesterday for a week visit; was disappointed to learn that the Historical Society festivity at St. John happened the day before. Perhaps Dick might know if there are any post cards around of “old” St John. Mildred Gottbreht was married to H. Solomon who managed the Red and White Grocery circa 1935. He also operated a Tavern and variety store. Is the museum open daily?

Loved the short time together with everyone at Best Western. How come Gary Metcalfe looks so young? Thought he was a few years older than myself! Evie and I lodged just around the corner and visited with Francie Gottbreht Dutra into the “wee” hours. Thanks Bill and Gary.

Wish I were having coffee with Art and Eva Seim this week. Mom often brought a few of us along with her for visits – amazing kitchen is what Ernie recalls; all the glorious woodwork. During off days during grade school in Dunseith, Eva would sometimes pick me up and off to Russel we’d go. I think I was related to everyone at Russel. Sharron



Reply from Bob Hosmer (56): Lynnwood, WA


Hi Gary and all,


Regarding Dicks inquiry about Imogene Westerman, Katrine and I took her as a foster daughter in 1964 during my last year at seminary at the Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls, Mn. The arrangement did not work out well–trying to be a full time student and Katrine working as well as our parenting our own first child. In the end, the fostering was taken over by Carl and Myrtle Jacobson who also worked at the Indian Mission north of Dunseith and were parents to Vernes Jacobson Johnson who died January 1, 2007 and was a graduate of Dunseith High School in 1961. Any rate, Imogene was with the Jacobson’s who were living in Pelican Rapids, MN at the time. Where she went after she reached her majority age. I have no idea. Someone else may have that knowledge.


Glad that the cruise went so well, Katrine and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening together at the Best Western Executive Inn with so many from our home town.


Bob Hosmer
Reply from Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): Windsor, CO
Regarding the whereabouts of Imogene Westerman, I don’t know, however I am going to write to Phylomena to get Berthas address as well. So I will share them when I have them. I heard that Bertha was blind, but not sure if that’s true. They were awesome girls so I am anxious to hear more about them, and what ever happened to the mission. Sharon Zorn Gerdes
Message/Article from Mel Kuhn (70): St. John, ND.
Howdy Gary,
Glad you’re back at it, I was lost in the mornig without my Gary fix. I’m attaching a newspaper clipping from this weeks Turtle Mt. Star. It is my youngest son in the article. We’re just now getting ready to go to Bismarck to see him off. Maybe you’ll find the article interesting.





Reunion at the Best Western


Back: Larry St. Claire, Lee Stickland & K. Flynn Richard


Front: Marie Ivorson Staub & Edna (Susie) Knox Millang






On the Cruise Ship (Norwegian Star)


Gary and Darrel (Bud) Stokes





On the Cruise Ship (Norwegian Star)


Geri (Mecalfe) & Chuck Munro







Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND.




Reply from Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA
HI GARY., Thanks for adding me to you list. I graduated from Notre Dame in 1954.After leaving the litte countryschool in the hills I went to Dunseith until High School. Eager to hear from friends in Dunseith. Thanks Margaret
Folks, I had a nice chat with Margaret today. She has been reading the past messages that I have posted on the Dunseith Alumni WEB site. She told me she has been reading each and every message very thoroughly. She is still reading those that I posted for 2008. So far I’ve only gotten through January with the postings of 2008. When I get time I will post the remaining messages for 2008. I do have all of the 2009 messages posted though. Margaret told me you guys have brought back so many good memories with all the stuff you have provided. She said she literally had tears of joy when reading some of the postings. Margaret is now retired from teaching. She lives near Sacramento, CA. She asked me to sign her up for any future cruises that we may have. Margaret’s mother was a Berube, so she is related to a lot of you folks. She told me she was a very close friend of Mildred Crum Rude. She said Millie visited her after she was diagnosed with cancer. Clark Crum, Mildred’s brother, was in her class.
Bill & Gwen Grimme, Margaret told me your brother Conley had gotten touch with her shortly before his passing and had made plans to visit her. Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Thanks to Sharon Zorn Gerdes for sharing Plylomena Westerman Black’s
letter and some local history of the mission. I was wondering if Sharon
would know the whereabouts of Phlyomena’s younger sister, Imogene, who
was in our grade? When they left, we never heard of them again. It would
be interesting to know where she went and what she did in life. Thanks
to Sharon, Plylomena, and of course, Gary!


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

I just got home from the museum steak fry fund raiser. The weather
cleared off late in the day and we had a good number of attendees and
some great steaks. The weather in the morning was bad and I think some
may have changed their plans because of it. We had about the same number
as last year but were prepared for more. Thanks to all those who came
and helped support the museum.

In looking at Bev Morinville Azure’s picture of Jess and Don Hosmer’s
wedding, I could see the Commercial Hotel in the background but
something was different than I remember. I flipped the picture and low
and behold, it looks right. It would have been taken in front of the
Dunseith Lutheran Church and looking northeast. Thanks Bev for sending
your pictures! Again, I’ll bet they were made from your dad’s slides and
got reversed in the process—easy fix. I am attaching the ‘flipped’
picture and I bet you can see the difference and recognize the Hotel in
the background. Thanks Gary and Bev!

Follow up reply from Dick:

This wouldn’t necessarily have to be Jess and Don’s wedding. It could
easily have been someone else’s that Jess was an attendant for.The
newest car in the picture is the ’58 Chevy across the street. The two
tone car behind Jess is a ’57 Olds Super 88. It most likely was in
’59-’60, my guess. Thanks.


Jess Hosmer

Beverly Azure’s Obituary posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.


I asked Dick Johnson who this Beverly Azure was.


Here’s his reply: This isn’t the Bev Morinville Azure you know. This lady was riding with her niece on a horse cart when the horses ran away and flipped the cart. She had a broken neck. It happened about three miles east of my farm. Sad deal.


DUNSEITH Beverly Azure, 49, St. John, died Monday, Aug. 10, 2009, on arrival at a Belcourt hospital of injuries suffered in a horse and buggy accident near St. John.

She was born June 13, 1960, to Wilmar and Norma Azure in Belcourt. She married Damian Azure Sept. 9 1994, in St. John.

Beverly Azure

June 13, 1960-Aug. 10, 2009

Survivors: husband; sons, Joseph Sangrait, St. John, Tyler Sangrait of Colorado; daughters, Amber Sangrait, Colorado, Dinah Gaspard, St. John; stepson, Damian Azure, Devils Lake; stepdaughter, Melanie Azure, Devils Lake; eight grandchildren; father, Fargo; brothers, Carlyle and Michael, both Dunseith, Dennis, Colorado; sisters, Jenny Amyotte and Christine Azure, both Dunseith.

Funeral: Saturday, 10 a.m., St. Benedict’s Church, rural Dunseith.

Burial: Church cemetery.

Wake and prayer service: Wake today, 5 p.m., prayer service today, 8 p.m., both in the church. (Nero Funeral Home, Bottineau)


Reunion & Cruise Folks, Please share some of your reunion and cruise pictures. We’ve only got a limited number that we took. Gary



Reunion at the Best Western

L to R: Lee Stickland & Larry St. Claire




Reunion at the Best Western


Bill Grimme & Gary Metcalfe







Reunion at the Best Western


L to R: Connie Fauske Monte, Sandra Zeiler Vandal & Katrina (Bob) Hosmer





On the Cruise Ship (Norwegian Star)


L to R: Lorette Berube Leonard & Bernadette Stokes




On the Cruise Ship (Norwegian Star)


L to R: Terry Espe, LeaRae Parrill Espe & Bill Leonard




From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary,
Did Margaret (Seim) Lawston connect with you? She’s Art and Eva’s
daughter. Margaret graduated from Notre Dame in Willow City. But
has many connections with Dunseith. On Margaret’s maternal side are
the Berube’s. Paternally, the Seim family resided in Holmes
Township. Arthur and Eva Seim as well as John and Ingrid Seim, lived
on the adjacent farm were my parents #1 mentors.

I have always considered, Grandma Seim as my adopted grandma. And
enjoying lutefisk and rulepolse as well as lefse ……me thinks, I
must be of Norweigian descent too, considering all that wonderful
stuff she and John Seim instilled in mentoring and influencing my
dad. I never knew Mr. Seim as he passed while dad was in the navy.
All I ever called Ingrid Seim was Grandma as she requested. I loved
her and I loved Art and Eva. Our farms share a strong fence line.
Dear Hearts and gentle people……

I was fortunate to share Grandma with Conrid Metcalfe, Margaret,
Marion and Edwin Seim. Conrid was my cousin through the Metcalfe
blood line. But, Art and Eva’s family were major part of our family
as well. I consider Margaret as my………. Seim Cousin.

The Seims were active in the Dunseith Community. Ingrid ie. Grandma
Seim was one of the original International Peace Garden Music Camp
cooks. John and Ingrid Seim both immigrants of Norway were faithful
and active in the support of Little Prairie Church. I was told by my
friends ie. Carroll C. and Art S. at different times, in the early
1900’s, in the community, John Seim, Lude Peterson, and Peter
Carlson were called THE BIG THREE.

Eva Berube Seim originally from Thorne, was a long time teacher.
She first taught at rural country schools then at Dunseith Public.
The young Eva, of Thorne and of French descent,while teaching at
rural Schools met Arthur Seim of Norweigan descent. Art converted
to the Catholic faith and they married.
Eva entered into the Dunseith rural community of the hills….which
was predominately Scandinavian in the 1920’s. Eva continued to be
strong in her Catholic faith. From her we garnered strong unwavering
faith, pea soup and Boston Raisin Round bread. She brought her own
attributes and talent into the community.

Their son, Edwin also graduated from Dunseith High. Marion holds
special memories for me as well.. At Art’s funeral I discussed with
Marion, something I’d ever shared with anyone else…… the only
doll.. I named myself…I named using Marion’s name as a
“Sister_____-_______ “. No one knew where I got such a name from…
I was a foxy thinking 4 year old and by naming that doll, claimed my
first independent thought from my older sibling…..I
interchanged/flipped the two names. I recall my sister older sister
Nancy was quite chagrined at the time because I did not allow her to
name this particular doll as she had all my others. She couldn’t
figure out that name and was quite perturbed. I would not be
budged. And never told any one the origin until that November day
while saying goodbye to Art, with Marion,Margaret and Edwin.

Anyway, Gary my hope is that Margaret will enjoy your blog as much
as I and all the others who continue to gather and commune on
remembering Dunseith. As ever, Vickie.

Margaret Seim Lawston’s message (7/27/09):
Hi Gary, I had a most welcome phone call from Vickie
Metcalfe today. She was telling me about a blog you sent to people
with a Dunseith history and other connections. My parents were Arthur
and Eva Seim. I grew up in the Turtle Mts. I would be very happy if
you would add me to your list . Thanks, Margaret
Vickie & Margaret, I am so sorry I missed your message Margaret in my in box. It was there, I just missed it.
Margaret, Many of our readers will remember you well. It is with great pleasure that I add you to our distribution list. Gary
Art Seim


Reply from Kathy Fassett Klemmer (71): Plantation, FL.


Hi Gary! Thanks to my dad, I guess I’ll get on the mailing list! You are so wonderful to do what you do for the folks in/around Dunseith.


I was born in Bottineau, but only went to the first grade in Dunseith before dad/family moved to El Paso, Texas, so even tho I didn’t go to school more than that 1st year – I’ve had a deep connection with Dunseith. I graduated from Burke Central High School in 1971 (Lignite, ND). Up until a few years ago when my grandma (Kate Fassett) and my mom’s oldest sister – Cynthia Johnson – Irene and Bill Fassett passed, I would go up to Dunseith every summer to visit them. It’s not the same now that they are gone. Loved listening to their stories of life growing up and raising family in Dunseith. I sure miss them all!


I get up there whenever I can. There are no better people in the WORLD than the folks from ND. We spent every summer in Dunseith when dad was in the border patrol (living in California) – best memories. Was there in October, but only for a short trip.


Sorry we couldn’t make it on the cruise. Many family health concerns at the time, but all is well now! Thanks for letting me keep in touch with friends and family. Kim (sister) and dad Darrel have been keeping me up to date on everything going on.


Thanks again for adding me to the list – I look forward to reading more about everyone up there. Hi Crystal and Dad and all those who keep me informed on the ND life!


Cheers, Kathy (Fassett) Klemmer
Oldest & Youngest on the Alaska cruise that attended school in Dunseith
Posted by Keith PLadson (66): Stafford, VA

I hope you get this. We took this the last day of the cruise as we were docked in Seattle.


Keith, I see this picture was taken in the Market Cafe up on the 12th deck. Many folks from our group ate breakfast up there. They served some of the best French Toast that I have ever eaten. Their Bacon was really good too. The ship served premium food in all of their restaurants. The Market Cafe seemed to be a good place to meet and socialize in the morning hours and for lunch too. We normally had our evening dinner in one of the finer more formal restaurants. The price was right, nothing. It was all included in the price of cruise. Gary
Oldest & youngest on the cruise that attended school in Dunseith
Becky Sime Coles (83) & Minnie Knox Flynn (47)
Alaska Cruise “Dunseith school kids” photo:
Bill Grimme has provide us with a numbered key below for the picture I posted several days ago of those of us that were on the cruise that attended school in Dunseith. I will be posting the key for the total group picture in several days after I get conformation from those that went on the cruise that I have labeled it correctly. Gary

Those that attended Dunseith schools
that went on the Alaska Cruise.
The numbered key and picture are pasted below
Number Sort Name Sort
1 Millang, Edna (Susie) Knox)   7 Abrahamsom, Doyl
2 Sjol, Diane (Larson)   4 Baldwin, Nancy (Hosmer)
3 Stokes, Darrel (Bud)   25 Coles, Becky (Sime)
4 Baldwin, Nancy (Hosmer)   20 Espe, LeaRae (Parrill)
5 Vandal, Sandra (Zeiler)   17 Espe, Terry
6 Richard, K. (Flynn)   26 Flynn, Minnie (Knox)
7 Abrahamsom, Doyl   14 Flynn, Randy
8 Grimme, Bill   12 Gottbreht, Patty (Boguslawski)
9 Haagenson, Cheryl   8 Grimme, Bill
10 Stokes, Gary   9 Haagenson, Cheryl
11 Munro, Geri (Metcalfe)   21 Hamnes, Beverly (Handland)
12 Gottbreht, Patty (Boguslawski)   15 Leonard, Bill
13 Longie, Bill (Willie)   13 Longie, Bill (Willie)
14 Flynn, Randy   18 McKay, Phyllis
15 Leonard, Bill   16 Metcalfe, Gary
16 Metcalfe, Gary   1 Millang, Edna (Susie) Knox)
17 Espe, Terry   11 Munro, Geri (Metcalfe)
18 McKay, Phyllis   24 Pladson, Keith
19 Shelver, Dave   6 Richard, K. (Flynn)
20 Espe, LeaRae (Parrill)   19 Shelver, Dave
21 Hamnes, Beverly (Handland)   23 Sime, Florence (Pladson)
22 Stickland, Lee (Leland)   2 Sjol, Diane (Larson)
23 Sime, Florence (Pladson)   22 Stickland, Lee (Leland)
24 Pladson, Keith   3 Stokes, Darrel (Bud)
25 Coles, Becky (Sime)   10 Stokes, Gary
26 Flynn, Minnie (Knox)   5
Vandal, Sandra (Zeiler)





Thurman Parrill’s Obituary provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe:

Folks, Thurman and Marie Parrill are my god Parents.
To the Parrill family: We extend our condolence to you with the passing of Thurman. He lived a great life pretty much to the end. I was told he was still a very sharp card player even with his dementia. He will be missed. I understand you guys had a family wedding in Spokane, WA too that most of you were attending when Thurman passed on. I know LeaRae (Parrill) and Terry Espe planned on attending the wedding following the cruise. Gary

Thurman Parrill

Dec. 13, 1917-Aug. 4, 2009

Thurman Parrill, age 91, of Bottineau, died Tuesday, August 4, 2009, at a Bottineau hospital.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, August 12, at 2 p.m. at the Peace Lutheran Church in Dunseith. Visitation will be Tuesday, August 11, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Burial will be at the Rendahl Cemetery near Dunseith.

Thurman Merton Parrill was born December 13, 1917, to Cecil Day and Laura Melhus Parrill near Thorne, N.D. His father passed away in the 1918 flu epidemic when Thurman was one year old. He grew up in the Bottineau area and attended area schools. The family later moved to Mountain, N.D., and he worked on the family farm until he joined the U.S. Navy on May 23, 1944. He served in the Pacific Theater on the SS Mormachawk and SS Orvetta during World War II. He was honorably discharged from the Navy on Feb. 15, 1946. After the war, he came to the Dunseith area and began farming in Rolette County.

On November 24, 1947, he married Marie J. Nelson at the Lutheran church in Dunseith. They moved to a farm in Bottineau County, where they raised their five children. In 1995, they sold the farm and moved to Bottineau, where they had since resided.

Thurman was a past member of Rendahl Lutheran Church and a current member of Peace Lutheran Church of Dunseith. He served as a Township Supervisor of Homan Township for many years. Thurman enjoyed playing cards and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He is survived by: his wife of more than 61 years, Marie, of Bottineau; and his children, Janet (George) LeNoue of Lexington, Ky., Lynda (Curtis) Jordan of Yerrington, Nev., and Clayton (Linda), Rodney (Ann), and Myron (Kathy) Parrill, all of Bottineau. He has nine grandchildren: Christy LeNoue, Michelle (Carter) Newton, Troy (Meagan) Jordan, Stephanie Swartz, Katie (Tyrell) Lauckner, David, Brooke, Krystle and Shelby Parrill; and four great-grandchildren: Levi, Braxton and Declan Lauckner and Jordan Swartz. Also surviving are his half sister, Shirley (Oliver) Johnson of Grand Forks; half brothers, Don (Roberta) Cox of Cavalier, Joe (Gladys) Cox of Seattle, Wash., Ben Cox, Cavalier, and Paul Cox, Grand Forks; stepsister, Hazel Cox of Davenport, Iowa; brother-in-law, John N. Nelson, Minot; and sisters-in-law, Mildred Parrill and Eugenie Walker of Bottineau, Judy Cox, Cavalier, and Fern Cox, Union Mills, Ind.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Dean Parrill, Darrell Cox, Mytroen Cox and Howard Cox; sisters, Avis Vivatson, Deedee Anderson, Fern Grimm, Edith Baratach, Esther Leonard and infant sister Helen Cox; stepfather, J.R. Cox; and nephew, Clark Parrill.

Memory of Mr. Jerstad from Kay Hosmer (77): Crown Point, Ind.
Memory of Mr. Jerstad from Kay Hosmer (77): Mr. Jerstad taught me how to ride a bike. His daughter Lori was my best friend. He was a wonderful father & friend.
Reply from Verena (Pete 65) Gillis: Dunseith, ND
I just want to say thank you for all your kind words. I am so thankful
that she is now at peace, now I just have to get over this somehow, very

Now we are getting ready for a wedding, got family home from Alaska,
sister-in-law Phyllis Gillis Schock and her daughter Lucy & family; John
and Karen Gillis will be home on Friday from Lawrence, KS along with Dean
Gillis and his 3 children. So that will keep us pretty busy. Been doing
some fishing by Devils Lake, catching some pretty nice walleye so planning
on a big fish fry with the family.

To everyone going on the cruise, happy sailing and have a good time. Will
talk to you all real soon.

Verena Gillis

Request from Darrel Fassett (47): Boynton Beach, FL
Our daughter Kathy who lives in Plantation, FL would like to be on your mailing list. Her address is kathyjohn@bellsouth.net. Thanx. Darrel Fassett.
Kathy, It is my pleasure to add you to our distribution list. Please let us know the class year you were with in Dunseith so I can add you to that class list? You sister Pam was with our class of 65. Gary
From Bobby Slyter (70): Wichita, Kansas
Reply from Don Aird (Carroll Carlson’s nephew): St Louis, MO
My cousin Maurice Aird and his family live in St John – wish I was there.
Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.

Great newsletter today; I thought we’d be receiving one soon. :)


I love the pictures; I recognize some of the people–you, Bernadette, Debbie, Bud, Mr./Mrs. Reing, Minnie Flynn, Florence Sime, ? McKay, Bill Grimme, and, I think, a Morinville–maybe a few I’ve forgotten to mention. When we receive the “key” to the people, it will be fun to put faces to names/vice versa.




Previous reply from Neola


Hi Gary,
I laughed out loud when I read that Lillie thought you boys should be checked for worms. I could just picture her standing there telling your dad to have his boys checked for worms. I love when comments like that are added, as it brings back wonderful memories of those who are “gone”.
Also, Ken Striker sent the same email to me that he sent to you. I replied to his email and also asked if he would like to be put in contact with Eileen (I might have asked her if it was OK before I made this offer–or not! I know Eileen loves to help wherever she is able to.). To make a long story short, they connected, and she has sent a great Striker file. I’ll forward our email exchanges to you. Eileen never fails to amaze me with what she can compile in very little time.

Lee Stickland’s (64) message to Gina our travel agent: Dickinson, ND.
I want to thank YOU so much for the wonderful cruise that YOU and Gary put together for the Dunseith Alumni.
The time together was rich as we all renewed old familiarities.
Gloria and I found the cruise to be a great experience.
Gina, thanks again.
Gina’s reply:
God bless you and thank you for being such a highlight of your group!
Gary was an exceptional group leader and is obviously a wonderful human being.
It was my sincere pleasure to help Gary with your Dunseith group cruise vacation.
Best regards and my thanks to you,
Gina S. Ford
Cruise At Will, Inc.
Cruise and Travel Planners
1-866-870-6986 (toll free)
703-580-1190 (local)


Email change for Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND.

Hi Gary,
Just to let you know, I’ve changed my e-mail address to
Email change for Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX

For some of you this is the second message about changing my email address, but for the rest of you, I am putting Princessredfern in mothballs. The old girl is retiring. I am tired of explaining her. So…..my new address is Still a little long, but at least you’ll know it’s me.





P S.. If you do send to princessredfern, I will still check it for a good long while.





From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Dunseith, ND


This message was sent to you by vickie,metcalfe@sendit.nodak.edu, as a service of The Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com.

Comments from sender: Scanning the Seattle Times I came across this article on Agent Orange.

Picture from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND.
Gary, I know I am sending you A lot of pictures you can show these when you have the room ok. This is Jess Hosmer. I would like to know who the little girl in the background is?
Bev, This is a great picture of Jess. Please keep the pictures coming. We love pictures. Gary
Jess Hosmer
Picture from Glen Williams (52): Missoula, MT
Gary Morgan, Glen Williams and Dick Morgan , 1987….at lake Mirond Canada…Note who has the fish….
Picture from Ronnie Cavaliere BRISTOL, RI.
Folks, Ronnie and Cora are dear friends of ours that joined us on the cruise. Cora is from here in Cebu. We truly enjoyed their company on this cruise. In a few years, after Cora receives her US citizenship, they plan on moving to the PI right here in Cebu. They are great folks. Gary
Cora & Ronnie Cavaliere and Gary & Bernadette Stokes in Juneau, AK
From Sharon Zorn Gerdes (62): SGERDES@aol.com Windsor, CO
Hi Gary,
Hope your cruise was wonderful. I am enclosing Ruths obituary. At her funeral in Bottineau, the following
letter was read by the pastor. My mom sent it to me, and I was so excited to get it. Bertha and Phylomena
Westerman were classmates and friends of mine, and I had no idea whatever became of them. I thought she wrote this so well. Don’t know how many recall the mission up north of Dunseith, but I stayed with them sometimes and loved it up there. More good memories of Dunseith. Thanks. Sharon Zorn Gerdes

Memorial written by Phylomena Westerman Phylomena



Bill Berube has cancer (69): LARAMIE, WY

Posted by Crystal Fassett Andersen (70): Walhalla, ND.


Gary, I am not sure if anyone has shared this, but Bill and Sheri are needing everyone’s prayers, so could you Post this for anyone who wishes to send Bill a note. I know he would love to know so many people are praying for him.

A new Journal entry for William’s CaringBridge website was posted at 8:44:00 AM on Jul 27, 2009.

Read the latest update: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/williamberube

Bill, Being away from home the past 3 weeks, I am a little late getting this posted. This message about blew me away. With the possitive attitude that you have, you can lick this. Hang in there. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. Gary


We got home this morning from our wonderful trip. It was a 24 hour trip from Seattle. The longest leg was the 10 1/2 hour flight from Seattle to Japan.
The Seattle reunion and the Alaska cruise came off nearly flawless in my opinion. What great events. Starting with the Seattle reunion on July 24th with 59 folks in attendance many of us saw folks we had not seen in years and in some cases nearly 44 years. I believe it was Evie Gottbreht and Francie Gottbreht that had not seen each other in nearly 44 years. They are cousins too. I had not seen Francie in 45 years myself. That whole evening was so much fun talking and visiting with so many folks from the past. I think we have some pictures on our camera that Bernadette took during the course of the evening that I will post at a later date. I know many of you guys have some good pictures too that we’d love to see. Please share.
The Cruise was awesome. It was so wonderful seeing so many of our group each and everyday of the cruise. The food and the ships hospitality were wonderful. It made for a great atmosphere for us to just enjoy. We had a wonderful cocktail party the first night, compliments of the ship. It was at this party that we discovered we had great singing talent among us. Cheryl Haagenson sang several beautiful songs. Later on in the cruise she won a singing contest too. What beautiful talent. I understand Gary Metcalfe sang a beautiful solo one evening too, without music. I missed that one. The mornings were great for a lot of us folks too, up in the Market Cafe on the 12th deck, table hoping shooting the breeze as folks from our group filtered through for breakfast at different times. I think several days, several folks never left the Market Cafe from Breakfast until lunch at noon. There were lots of stories and memories told. What fun. On the 5th night the ship arranged for all of us to dine together for the evening dinner meal. Following the meal we had two beautiful professional pictures taken of our group that I have pasted below. I will post the identities of those in these pictures in a few days. Bill Grimme has provided a great key with numbers for each of these pictures that I will be sending out in a couple of days. For now I am just posting the photos. I plan on sending the total group picture to all three of the local Bottineau/Rolla/Belcourt papers too. I’d love some help with a newspaper article too. I am not the worlds greatest writer and they print everything pretty much as written that is sent to them. There are 26 of us in the photo of those of us that attended Dunseith that were on the cruise.
I have not posted everything that I have in my in box that I have recieved from you folks with this message. I should have my in box pretty well cleaned out and caught up in the next day or two.

From Diane Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND.


Hi Gary and everyone on the blog…
First of all, I want to say that the cruise was an experience of a
lifetime. We were treated first class all the way. The ship and
everyone on it made the cruise an event to remember. Our weather was
perfect; the rooms fantastic and roomy; the food excellent; the
entertainment and company second to none…I could go on and on. I
think I took over 600 pictures..thank goodness for digital cameras. I
want to say that Gary, you did an amazing job of pulling this
together…words can’t say enough about the good you do in this
world….bringing us together in friendship….Bernadette, I was so
happy to meet you…you are beautiful and kind….The dinner before
the cruise was great and it was so wonderful to see so many people we
haven’t seen in awhile…and meet some I have never met before. I
think I am still on Alaska time….we flew in tonite from Seattle and
got into Minot at about 1130 pm and here it is 2:50 in the morning and
I am still up….

Well, it is back to reality….and a diet….I think I must have
gained a few pounds eating all that delicious food!!!

From Bill (Willie) (60) & Al-lyn Longie: Vancouver, WA



I don’t know if you are still vacationing or have returned home and are or aren’t checking emails but I wanted to tell you again how much Bill and I appreciate all the work you did to provide an unforgettable experience for us. We would have loved to have spent more time visiting but aside from that the cruise was flawless. I had never imagined we would be seeing all we did and felt we were allowed extra privilege with the weather we got to enjoy.


Each person we met was a delight and every excursion memorable.



While most of you are still unwinding from this past trip I am already gearing up for the next. Please stay in touch and keep us posted on any future trip or plans to get together.



It was wonderful to have the opportunity to meet you in person.




From Randy Hiatt: NORTH BEND, WA.
Gary and family I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciated you
taking the time to meet with my wife Lori and me. I greatly appreciate
the packet of letters from Bing Evans. I hope your trip up to Alaska
went well. The weather should have been good as we set a record in
Seattle of 103 degrees the week you guys were in Alaska. Any more
letters or pictures of my biological father Bing would be appreciated.

Gary Stokes I am glad I had a chance to meet you in person and see the
man who has put so many memories together for folks like me. I am
looking forward to reading the blog and see how things went up in

Once again thanks, Randy Hiatt

Randy, Thank you. You guys are great folks as well. You come from good stock. You are such warm loving friendly folks. I was a bit surprised when you introduced your self to me in the Denny’s restaurant in SeaTac. It was such a pleasant surprise. Gary Metcalfe and his family were with you too. Gary
From Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL.
Some Pictures from the Cruise
From Blanch Wicks Schley (42): Grandforks, ND.
I will miss reading your daily message and look forward to your return. Happy Birthday, Happy Trip and Happy Reunion with your service buddies. You are such a good organizer so I am sure that everything will be most enjoyable.
I have been wondering how the school system in Dunseith meeting in the original building accommodated grade school and high school. Can you enlighten me on this? When was the first graduating class at Dunseith High School?
Best wishes for a very pleasant vacation!
Blanche Schley
Blanche, Thank you very much for the kind birthday wishes. You are so thoughtful. I think I will let Dick Johnson or some of the others in the know answer your question about school. Gary
From Brenda Hoffman (68): Greenville, SC
Happy Birthday Gary! You share a birthday with Toni Morinville Gredesky. Enjoy your vacation. It couldn’t happen at a better time for me – we are taking a month long road trip to MN, ND and the state of Washington – August 1 to August 31. Will only have two weeks of Dunseith blog catch-up when I return home.


Happy Birthday!


Thank you Brenda. Gary

From Paulette LaCroix Chisholm (68): Newark, Delaware
A little birdie told me to wish Gary Stokes, Toni Morinville Gredesky and Dick Johnson a very “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” On July 21st! Health, happiness and longevity are wished for all!
Paulette, Thank you too. Gary
Dick Johnson’s (68) reply: Dunseith, ND.

I was born on July 20, 1950 and Toni was born the next day–July 21. Our
moms were room mates at the Bottineau hospital.


From Bobby Slyter (70): Wichita, Kansas
Thank you Bobby for the kind words. Pictures can be deceiving. With a little closer look, I’m getting a little rough around the edges. Gary
From Marlene Richard Parslow (65): mmparslow@msn.com River Falls, WI. & Sunlakes, AZ.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY GARY!!! You look a lot younger than me!! How did that happen?? Have a great vacation. You deserve some rest and relaxation. You have been a life line to many of us!

Marlene(Richard) Parslow
Marlene, Now your are making me feel really good. I think the looks thing can be disputed though. I have attached a beautiful picture that speaks for it self. We 65 folks have hit that 62 year mark too. Gary
July 12, 2007
Marlene Richard Parslow
From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Gary, have an enjoyable vacation with Bernadette. See you when you get back. I also enjoy your blogs everyday and look forward to the next one. I have learned a few things about my family the JOHNSONS. Sybil Johnson
Dunseith Alaskan Cruise
Total group with a few folks missing. We had 64 folks in our group of which there are not 64 in this picture. We are missing several who at the moment I don’t know who they are. I’ll figure it out though when I put the key together. Gary
Those that attended Dunseith schools that were on the cruise.
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