Karen Larson – Spectrum:

Folks, Karen Larson is the owner of the Spectrum Store, not Mary.

Karen, I apologize for this error. I knew better when I said that, but I had Mary on my mind with those pictures.



Andrew Bergan Family:

Reply from Barbara Trent (Bergan) Riehm:San Diego, CA.


Gary I am enjoying all this information. I would like to clear up a few things. My Grandfather (Mother’s father) was Andrew Bergan, Louis Bergan was her Older(and I believe the oldest of the children) brother and Clayton her Nephew. Bertha Bergan was my Mother’s only sister. She married Eric Bjornseth. Oscar Bergan was the youngest in the family of 6 boys and 2 girls. I think that my Sister (Colleen Trent Baier) I am now the only living “Grandchildren” of Andrew and Christina Bergan, however I may be wrong.
Sorry I haven’t been in touch with you and all your “followers” I’ll try do better. Right now I am in the Rocky Mountains of Montana at my son’s beautiful 2nd home on Salmon Lake. Lots of snow and cold. but coming from California a few days of this is OK. I go back to San Diego on the 5th of January.

Happy New Year
Barbara Trent Riehm

Folks, Barbara’s mother was Julia Bergan Trent. She lived in Bottineau.
Barbara, Thank you so much for this reply. Enjoy the Rocky Mountains. I’ll continue to include you with messages that contain Bergan family postings. Is Helmer Bergan, picture below, your mothers brother? Where does you sister Colleen live? Gary




Reply from Roger and Connie Zorn Landsverk: Dunseith, ND












Folks, Mona & Larry Marchus, from Bottineau, purchased our home farm, the Stokes place, in 1996. When Dad turned 80, he said he was done mowing grass and sold the farm. Larry and Mona keep the place looking immaculate. They moved a huge double wide mobile home onto the place and live there in the summer. The Stokes place has a fantastic view to the east all the way to the Peace Garden. I think Dad counted 90 plus trees in that yard that he had to mow around. That included the barnyard too. Larry Marchus worked at the State Bank in Bottineau and Mona is a past mayor of Bottineau. I think Larry and Mona owned a furniture store in Bottineau at one time too. They are a great couple and always welcome us to our old place to look around and revisit. Gary



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


When I read there were pictures in your newsletter, I stopped reading this email and checked out the pictures. I LOVE these old pictures–even if I don’t know who they are. Being I knew the first picture was of your mom, I recognized her. I don’t think I would have known her if you hadn’t identified her.


It’s Karen Larson who owns the Spectrum. She’s a really neat person; I enjoy her. As I’ve mentioned before, Karen’s sister, Ruth, is married to Ronald Gust, Wally’s godson.



Neola, I had never seen Mom with her hair combed quite like it is in that picture. To be honest, I probably would not have recognized her either. After knowing it’s her, I can for sure recognize her arms and her body as being her. Gary

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.
I wonder if Eva is the wife of David Eurich Sr. David Jr. married Winifred Pritchard.
Eileen, With this coming from Mary Eurich, this was a very good asumption. With your reply, I assumed this was probably Eva Eurich too until I got some other messages with positive identification. Gary



Eva Crawford Hiatt Identified:

From Evon Lagerquist (78) & Leola Hiatt Lagerquist:Dunseith, ND.


I know the Eva in the picture as my Grandma, Eva Hiatt. The owner of the Spectrum is Karen Larson……,not Mary.

Thanks, Gary!


Evon, Many of our readers knew your grandma Eva’s brother, Johnny Crawford and also their sister, Alma Crawford. Johnny was a next door neighbor to Leonard Lund in my day. They lived on the west side of Long Lake.



Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO


Hello Everyone,


The Dunseith area history in the Prairie Past and Mountain Memories that the locals put together has 500 pages of history that would be lost without their great effort. When I read about Dave and Eva Eurick of the many places they lived, I was surprised to see they lived on the old Max Theel place 1 or 2 miles NW of the Day School. I wonder if Linda or Marie remember living there? That is the place I bought from John Bedard and sold to Gagnon’s.

Almost everyone I know agrees on education being all important. There were lots of rural kids on both sides of me that never went to high school. That brings me to Louis Bergan. I didn’t know much of Louis’s life in Bottineau County. It looks like he moved from Ackworth area along with one of Anton Olson’s daughters, Clara who was his wife. So Louis had a school named after him. I really don’t know what happened with Clara early on, but her sister Annie married Jim Anthony.

If I had to rent a room in town and work to get an education, then what about our parents back before the 30’s.
How did that generation compete with about a 5th or 6th grade education? In my Dad’s case it was Louis Bergan that set the standard, he would line up the wood stumps in his shop for the boys to set on and have meetings, how to treat a teacher and whatever. Louis was with us on a trip back from Seattle in the 40’s. I also remember visiting Louis when shanty town was a real suburb of Dunseith. Louis added about 20 feet on the front of our barn when he added on a hay mow. His brother Oscar was also a great carpenter around Metigoshe.


From Henry Dietrich my dad learned how to measure hay in a stack, lumber also. They probably didn’t always have a pencil so it was all done in their head.


So in 1939 when we moved to Seattle, Dad could sing, dance, scrap figure in his head and compete. What you know is important but who you know maybe more. Dad talked about several of the men he worked with around Seattle so much so that I felt like I knew them. For instance, Bob Buchanan, B.A. for hod carriers in Seattle. He knew the first name of every man in the local at first meeting.


Back in N.D. he continued his education and I thnk enjoyed it with the same agenda, he had people in Boissevain, Canada. He always said they know more about our politics than we do. George Albert was at the top of his list in the Dunseith area.


Sue and I got some education Christmas Eve in an all black Baptist Church in Vicksburg, Mississippi on our way back from New Orleans. A very humbling experience, we were the only white ones there and they were so welcoming to us. Wonderful music, kids sharing, teens and adults giving testimonies of thankfulness…very good memory of Christmas Eve 2009. Happy New Year to all…hope you have sweet memories to be made in 2010! Gary Metcalfe




Reply to pictures posted yesterday:

From Mary Eurich Knutson’s (62): Dunseith, ND.


Hi Gary & All

Marlys Hiatt had commented on the Thompson place and Norman having pastured that land. It didn’t seem quite like I remembered and I’ve done some digging. Bear in mind I could be wrong on some of this. There should be somebody out there who would know if this is right or not. There were four Thompson’s who homesteaded in Rolette County in Willow Lake township, all siblings. There was Olaf, Ida, Charles and Ulysses. They were all in that general area. Charles by Lagerquist Lake, I think that was Eva Hiatt’s place by 43: Ida by the Canadian Border; Ulysses must have been the place Marlys was referring to and I’m not sure where Olaf’s place would have been. When you hear family members talking it was always concerning things they had done at Boundary Lake, Rab Lake, Peterson Lake and occassionally Lagerquist Lake.

The one picture I sent with the row boat identifies the people in the boat as Helmer Bergan, Ida Pritchard and Baby (Robert) in Boundary Lake. (Now who’s Helmer Bergan)? The lady with the big coat is Eva Hiatt. The boys standing together together are: Tallest one, Corbin Pritchard, Alvin Berg, Clifford Bjjornseth and Roy Lindberg. I don’t know which is which and I don’t know the teacher’s name. The two kids on skis ? are Amanda Berg and Maurice Johnson. Taken on the lake south of Ole Olson school. Was Ole Olson Johnny Olsons dad? The two ladies sitting are Alida Johnson and Julia Bergan. I think you had mentioned Julia as Clayton’s aunt in a previous blog but who would Alida Johnson be? If you don’t know it might be a question for Ralph Bjornseth. The old car is just a picture. The people in it are Ma’s cousins but I just wondered what kind of a car it is. Model/year etc. I thought you’d enjoy the picture of your Mom. There are more pictures coming. This really get time consuming but it’s fun. Some of the pictures are really scorched. Been through a close call at some point.

It’s Karen Larson that sends pictures for me Not Mary. Take care. Mary K.

Mary, your description of things is exactly the way I remember from discussions I heard in my growing up days. What you have said about Ulysses Thompson, I think is absolutely correct. He was married to my Grandfather, Frank Stokes’ sister, Alice. Ulysses & Alice were the parents of Ella (Mrs. Eldon) Pladson, Esther (Mrs. Edmar) Tangen and Lillian. Lillian Thompson Bergstrom lives in Superior, Wisconsin. Mary, Ida was your Grandmother, married to William Pritchard.
Mary, I have reposted these pictures labeling those you have identified. I know we have readers out there that can answer some of your questions above.
I truly enjoyed seeing that picture of my mother. That must have been one that your mother had. Gary



Pictures posted by Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.



Elaine Stokes








Helmar Bergan, Ida Thompson Pritchard & Baby Robert Pritchard







Eve Crawford Hiatt






From the Bottineau Centennial book: Amanda Berg, Daughter of Albert & Clara Johnson Berg was born 2/17/22. She is married to Clarence Schultz and lives near Donnybrook.



Is Amanda still living today? I know Maurice Johnson is deceased.



Dick Johnson, you are related to the Berg’s. I’ll bet you can fill us in on Amanda.



Amanda Berg and Maurice Johnson





This would be Julia Bergan Trent, Barbara’s mother. I’m not sure who Alida Johnson is? I’m wondering if she is possibly related to Ralph Bjornseth’s mother, Cora Johnson Bjornseth? I’m hoping Barbara or Ralph can help us out here with who she is? Gary




Alida Johnson and Julia Bergan






Boys with their Teacher. Corbin Pritchard is the first boy and I’m pretty sure Clifford Bjornseth is the 3rd boy. We need some help identifying whose who with Alvin and Roy and also the teacher. Gary



Corbin Pritchard, Alvin Berg, Clifford Bjornseth & Roy Lindberg




Cousins of Winifred Pritchard Eurich




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





Folks, I remember Duane Sorbin in this article.I think he is still living on the same place. Duane also has an H-International tractor propped up on a tall revolving poll too, that can easily be seen from Highway 5 just west of Bottineau.



Do any of you remember Ann Louise Willie, former Miss Indian America, mentioned in this article? Gary





Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND
Lars and Ruby ( Mom’s sister) Sivertson live in Bottineau now. Lars still helps on the farm.
Yes, I recall where Oscar and Sylvia live(d). Not sure if there is anyone on that place at this time.
I was at the home of Oscar and Sylbia once that I know of. It was so nice in their home. I vividly remember Oscar’s affirmative gesture of “Uha, Uha, Uha”.
I get up early as my neighbor has a loud alarm clock that fires off at 5:14 am, which is just OK.
8 degrees here this am, 26 degrees is “advertised”; a heat wave. Lee
Lee, You are so right with your remembrance of Oscar Bergan. Oscar was a very intelligent man of which I think generated those gestures. He and Sylvia were wonderful folks. They are the only folks that I know of that had a hand washing facility in their out door toilet with a pitcher of water, wash basin and a towel. There was never any dirt in their premises. Everything was always tidy and clean. Gary
Email address change:
Tom Hagen (51): Mesa, AZ & Williston, ND
Hi everyone : Our kids got us a new Dell laptop for Christmas so now
we can enjoy all those things with attachments you have been sending us
and we could not open, also we will not fill up the message center as
has happened so often. But we need your help as we need all your great
names in our address book in the new computer. So please send us a
message or forward so we can add you to our list. Our new e-mail
address is:
so let us hear from you
soon!!!!!! We will still have this address too for awhile until we get
used to the laptop. Thanks!!!!

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

Tom, I have all these daily messages and a whole lot of other mail saved in my gmail account and I’ve only used a fraction of the available storage. The good part is that it’s free too. Gary
Pritchard/Bergan/Stokes Pictures:
Provided by Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.
These are wonderful pictures. The first one of my mother, Elaine Stokes, I have never seen before. I’m assuming that is your Grandmother, Ida, and Robert Pritchard in the boat picture? Who is Eva?
With these pictures being taken in the hills, I’m guessing those not identified are some of your mother’s, Winifred Pritchard Eurich’s, family members? Hopefully some of our readers can identify these folks. Maybe Dorothy or Doris Pritchard can help us out with the identities of some of these folks? They both get copies of these daily messages. The Hospital prints these out everyday for Dorothy and Bill prints them out for his mother Doris. That’s dedication.
Thank you so much for sharing these pictures Mary.
PS – Folks, These pictures were sent by Mary Larson, owner of the Spectrum store in Bottineau. Wesley Schneider is Mary’s step dad. For a small fee, Mary will scan and send any pictures that you’d like to share. Mary is on our distribution and she has my email address.




















Correction from Del Enno (78): Fargo, ND.


Hi Gary, Just letting you know that the picture you have posted of Pam is not her. Pam and I have been friends since grade school and we still keep in touch, and that is not her. I have no idea who that is. I am thinking it is a relative of theirs.



Correction from Pam Wenstad Lane (78):Dunseith, ND.


Hey Gary,


Merry Late Christmas and Happy New Year! The picture you posted is of Diana Wenstad. She is the daughter of Lawerance and Liela Wenstad, my first cousin. She has been married and lives in Canada. I believe she is Connie’s age, about 59 yrs.old ? Terrible I don’t know my own sisters age.
She is sighed up for the reunion in May. I live in the hills with Debbie. Back to my roots, (although I would perfer town living right now!!! ha ha) Not used to being straided in the hills after a snow storm anymore.ha,ha. Pam Wenstad Lane-78

Pam and Del, I really screwed up with several of yesterday’s postings. I the back of my mind I was thinking that was Diane, but I had that Picture labeled with your name Pam. It’s corrected now. Yes, Diane and both of you guys are signed up for the reunion on May 22. Connie and Diane both graduated from DHS in 1969.

Diane, I am so sorry for this error. This is a beautiful picture of you. Gary.
Diane Wenstad Wiebe (69)


Correction from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND.



I hate to disagree but Lorna (Adams) is the daughter of Rehnold Adams, Mom’s BROTHER. Lorna’s Mom, Bertha, was a Brandt. Mother’s Mom was a Brandt, also. Kinda mixed up in those days, I guess ? Lee
Lee, another careless error on my part. I knew your mother was an Adam’s, so Lorna Adams Kofoid’s dad had to be a brother to your mother.
Speaking of your relatives, is Lars Sivertson still living on their farm located east of Lake Metigoshe? John & Pat Frykman live about 1/2 mile east of them. Oscar and Sylvia Lockhart Bergan used to live in that Neighborhood too. Lars was on my dad’s cream route for years. They always invited him in for a cup of coffee. Gary
The following pictures are from the Achieves:
Marlin was married to Doris Peterson from the DHS class of 53. Doris does not have email but her phone number is (701) 228-3395
Marlin Williams DHS class of 55
Born July 10, 1935 – Died April 6, 2003



Carrole Fauske Rude (66) with I think, Melissa & Brant.


LaVerne Rude on Bottom.






Hubert Allery DHS class of 52






Reply from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND


Gary and Bernadette,
Gary, a few days ago YOU mentioned that YOU were +/- 200 miles from the volcano. That is good.
When Mt St Helens erupted in the ’80s, I and a dentist from Dickinson were standing out by the then Holiday Inn in Bismarck. We could see the dust in the air and bit of accumulation on the vehicles. Nature is good, fierce, and alarming…I am sure there is much more but I am not a man “of letters”.
Gary, I expect that YOUR air supply is kept clean by the nearness to water?
A blizzard just went thru here the last few days and is headed east where it is much worse. When I was out for my walk this evening at -14 wind chill, I wore a sweater with nylon lining, a real leather coat, a double-layered beany, leather gloves with that good knitted liner and two (2) scarves; one for the neck and one for the face.
Gary YOU would recall those nice gloves.
I am certain many of YOUR fans of YOUR blogs do, too. Esp. up in the hills.
I will be in San Diego at Eric’s from Jan 11-14 2010. Probably 60’s there?
Lee, Like I mentioned to you in a personal reply, I remember the 1980 Mt. St. Helens eruption well, in Washington state. We lived about 150 miles north, in Bremerton. The easterly winds carried the ash from that eruption all the way to ND. We had some ash in Bremerton, but the bulk went east. Eastern Washington had quite an ash film.
Enjoy your time in San Diego. Gary
Reply to Dick Johnson (68):
From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
Yeah, Dad only had one Chevy car. It came to a sad end. Quite traumatizing to a two year old kid — ME! Dad sold it to Floyd in ’48–’49. One day Floyd went to town with it and when he returned he parked it in front of the house — which really DID have tarpaper “brick” siding. Moments after he parked it caught fire and burned to a crisp. Luckily Dad was nearby on the Farmhand loader. He ran the front of the loader into the car and shoved it back maybe 50 feet. Needless to say none of us were Chevy fans after that! Dad got a Plymouth. Later he had three Buicks and two Oldsmobiles.
Dad did have a Chevy grain truck later, but I was old enough to use profanities and obscenities then —- so I won’t discuss it here —–
Minot pictures and Dunseith News:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Folks, These snow pictures of Neola’s were sent to her by Wally, her husband. Their Condo, in Minot, is the first one on the right with the peak of snow almost to the roof line. Neola spends a lot of time in Bottineau in an apartment that she rents. She was in Bottineau when the storm hit. I’ll bet she plans on staying in Bottineau for a day or two now. Gary






Pam Wenstad Lane (78):


Folks, I noticed this picture of Pam in my Dunseith pictures that has never been posted. I’m not sure where I got this picture from. It may have been from Facebook? This is a nice picture of Pam. Other than for Pam’s email address, I have no other contact info for her. Pam’s parents were Oscar and Alberta Wenstad.


Pam, I’m sure you told me where you are living, but I neglected to record it probably thinking I’d remember. Gary


Pam Wenstad Lane (78)



Bernadette Stokes’ siblings – Christmas 2008



Back: Bernadette, Berlinda (lives next door)


Front: Jose (Deceased) & Alot (Lives in Japan)




Family reunion in Bottineau – 2007



Folks, With Lee Strickland’s posting today, I thought I’d repost this picture. Alney Kofoid is married to Lorna Adam’s, Lee Strickland’s first cousin. Lorna’s mother and Irene, Mrs. Bob Stickland were sisters. Alney and Lorna live in Wyoming. Mrs. Lars Sivertson, who lives east of Lake Metigoshe, is also a sister to Irene and Lorna’s mother.



Jim Kofoid is Neola’s brother. He lives in Bottineau.



Nathan Stokes is my brother Darrel and Debby Stokes’ boy. He lives in Mineapolis.






From Cheryl Larson Dakin (71): BEDFORD, TX
A belated Merry Christmas to all and a very Happy Birthday to you Diane (Larson Sjol). I loved seeing the pictures, Gary. We had our first white Christmas in 150 years here in North Texas. It started blowing and snowing early on Christmas Eve and when we left for church I almost felt like I was home in North Dakota. Almost, but not quite. It was still 32 degrees here and I know it’s a far cry from the freezing temps all of you there are having. All the kids and grandchildren were here and we had such a wonderful day. I want to also send my heartfelt wishes to everyone to have a very Happy New Year.
Cheryl Larson Dakin ‘
Happy Birthday Daine Larson Sjol (70): Minot, ND.
Diane, I’ll bet you are glad all this snow came with the holiday break from the College (Forestry)? The commute to Bottineau would be kind of tough today.
Back in our day, one could start school when they were five, provided their birthday was before January 1st. Your birthday is right at the end of that window. Did you start school when your were five or did your parents opt to wait until you were six? Today that rule has been tightened up some. I think a child has to be six when they start first grade?? It’s obvious school came easy for you, so starting at age 5 probably would have been the logical choice for you.
I want to also wish you a happy birthday. Enjoy the snow. When the storm calms, the roads will be cleared enabling you guys to get out and enjoy the winter sports with all the new snow. When I was a kid we used to love to ski with a rope attached behind the tractor. I’ll bet the snowmobilers will have a ball with all this new snow. Gary
Snow Storm:
From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND
Hi Everyone,


This email came from my husband (12:09 P.M. today–I’m reading my emails now.). I’m in Bottineau; we didn’t get nearly as much snow as Minot did. I didn’t go “out and about” yesterday because I’d need to shovel a short path between my steps/van, and I didn’t feel like doing it. That’s the same for today. My landlord hasn’t been here to clean the steps/driveway. I’m very content to stay inside my apartment, so I’m not concerned about the snow. When I look out the door, you can see dead grass “sticking up” out of the snow on the southwest corner of the lot. The wind most likely blew the snow away. I don’t know if the roads in Bottineau were completely blocked; I heard they were getting “heavy” about six o’clock last night.


From Wally

My deck has snow at least 6 feet high and rising.My biggest concern is that there is snow on top of my gas meter.If that cannot “breathe” it will shut down.To shovel this out will be a monster job.Last year I had a friend of Neola’s who came over and shoveled it out twice, but if he will do it this year or not is the question.Than I had to hire a bobcat to come in and move the snow away after it was shoveled out.I will have to do that again this time.Because of the lay of the land it is hard for the bobcat to get into back of the yard.Last year a guy had a bobcat with tracks on and he was able to get here for a 100 bucks.Oh well will have to see what happens.Some young fellows just found out that their Chevey 4×4 will not go thru everything.They did a lot of shoveling and finally got it into a driveway just west of me.It looks like the street has at least 2 + foot of snow all the way up the street.It will take some good equipment to get it open.Listening to the noon news, it is the same way all over Minot.

I have not heard just how much snow we have had, but it has to be a large amount and the wind is still blowing.Nothing in Minot is moving or the surrounding area.All roads are closed.







Stokes Farm Yard:






Second anniversary:
Folks, Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the this daily blog. I have 717 published messages in the Dunseith Alumni folder. We didn’t start the numbering at first. With vacations etc, I missed a few days publishing too. You folks have done a marvelous job keeping this going. Now we will start year three with today’s blog. It’s amazing how well connected we have become. We currently have in excess of 600 on our daily distribution all around the globe. I know there are many forwards from those this is sent to everyday too. Pretty amazing for a small ND town. Gary
Holiday greetings:
From Esther Murray Fleming (65):Flint, MI

Just thought I would take a minute to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. Not too much time to say anything now, as I have to get busy and get my dinner started. So, have a safe and a really great new year.


Love you all





Art & Laura Fassett Halvorson’s marriage date:

From Floyd Dion (45): Dunseith, ND.


Hi Gary

Sharron Gottbreht Shen said she had the marriage date of Art Halvorson and Laura Fassett, but could not find it, so I will save here the trouble looking for it it was January 8, 1935. It is in the family bible that we have.





Reply from Jan Bergan Evans (66): MONTICELLO, MN


Gary what a bunch of beautiful children. And it appears they must think you and Bernadette are Mr and Mrs Clause! It sure looks like you all have been busy. I’m sure you have a wonderful Christmas. It is around 30 degrees here and getting more snow. So we will have a very white Christmas

Jan, Reading the weather reports, they are advising no travel for the majority of the State of ND. It looks like you guys didn’t get hit quite as hard with the midstate storms. That may have changed by now though? Gary




Hill Side School:
Message/Picture form Larry Liere (55): Devils Lake, ND.
Hi Gary
Merry Christmas to everyone! Since I found this blog from my 2nd. grade picture being forwarded to me I am sending another picture to see if anyone knows who these girls are. I am guessing the picture of Hill Side School was taken about 1943 so the girls would be in their mid 70’s by now. I remember going with my mother to this school during the summer but I do not remember if it was only run during the summer because of bad winters or if this was just a summer make up session. I remember being at this school during a very bad storm the killed cows and I think one or two people. The burn marks on the Ellsworth School picture are from me putting the picture in to a lamp socket that was plugged in, until the picture would start to smoke. My Mom said I did this to 8 pictures with out getting a shock or starting a bad fire. I sometimes wonder how I ever lived to be 72 years old. We leave for Mesa, AZ next week so warm it up down there.
Larry Liere







Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.


Gary, How close are you and Bernadette to that volcano? I’m curious. I just saw some pictures of it erupting and the dangers. Hope you aren’t close to it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. Sybil Johnson

Sybil, I forgot to answer your question yesterday. Fortunately we are not affected by the Volcano. This volcano is about 200 miles north of us. With the latest news, it’s on the brink of eruption. Gary
Merry Christmas from Jean Nicholas Miller (66): GLENDALE, AZ
I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Here is sunny Arizona our weather will be sunny and temps in the high 50’s. Alot better than ND temps. We are looking forward to Christmas with our children and our first grandchild Joey who is 10 1/2 months. Happy Holidays.
Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard:
Reply from Dick Johnson (67): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

To Allen Richard—Your folks were a very nice looking couple! It
would appear those Frenchmen really liked their ’41 Chevys, three in the
same picture! Maybe, with the heavy French accent, it was easier to say
‘Chevrolet’. Just kidding! As I was growing up (still in the process), I
remember your Dad always driving a Buick. He probably had other makes
too, but it seems to me he liked Buicks. Thanks for the pictures and
story. Merry Christmas to all. Thanks Gary!



From Diane Fugere (75): Minot, ND.


This video is a wonderful tribute to all soldiers and should be viewed by as many people as possible.




Diane Fugere


Diane, This is a wonderful Tribute to our soldiers this Christmas day. Thank you for sharing. Gary


Message/Pictures from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
I hope this comes through okay. I know for those still living in ND this may not seem so bad, but for us, this was quite a storm. Only one other time in the 39 years we’ve lived here, have we gotten more snow in one storm. The attached photo was taken from inside our breakfast nook and looks out over the back yard, the dock and the creek. You can see the railing for our deck on the left and it has several inches piled up on it. I took this and other photos while it was still snowing on Saturday. We got at least four more inches after I took the photos.
Again, I hope this comes through okay. This was taken at the same time the other photo was taken, and it shows the front of our house. I had shoveled some of the drive and while I was shoveling, it kept on snowing so you can see how much additional piled up while I was shoveling. Note the build up on the vehicles too. The weather has been in the high 30’s and low 40’s all this week so plowing has went well and the overall depth has melted down some. But, we will clearly have a “white” Christmas this year. Looks like parts of ND is in for it tonight, so they too may enjoy a white Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all!

Message/Pictures from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
Yes Bill, the Fassetts and the Boucher and the Gottbrehts have been friends and neighbors for as long as there has been a Rolette County. I have two pictures scanned that I promised to Susan Fassett so I shall post them this morning. I also have a graduation picture of Laura Fassett as well, taken about 1937. Somewhere I have the exact marriage date of Art Halvorson and Laura Fassett with their witnesses, Frank Higgins Jr and Arla Gottbreht circa 1940. My hunt through old notes failed; there must be some readers that have the facts. I know that my mother and Arla Gottbreht sent Christmas best wishes to these two close friends forever. I am sure Hanna Higgins Loeb will confirm the identity of her half brother Frank Higgins. Cleora Fassett, a close friend of Alma Boucher was the same age and Russell Twp neighbor Dale Gottbreht; his sister Arla was the same age as Kathleen Fassett Grimme! Sure glad you made this association for me Bill.

You might also enjoy pictures of Alice Fassett who married Albert Boucher. I long to have a picture of John Gottbreht’s first wife, Helen Fassett, also of Thorne. Do you know Bruce Fassett of California who maintains a Fassett History web page? I think Gary will paste that address for any interested.

Blessings on you and yours, Sharron

Follow up message from Sharon:
I hope you declared a holiday for yourself! Thanks always for all you do.

Corrections: I should never rely on my poor memory!

1. John Gottbreht was married to Myrtle E Fassett, daughter of Elihu Smith and his first wife; I think her last name was LEE.

2. Pearl Fassett was daughter of Ales and Anna Hughes

3. Alice Fassett was daughter of Ales Chester and Lenora Mason [Ales C was son of Wesley]

I tried to contact Bruce Fassett but mail returned.

Merry Christmas, Sharron

Art Halvorson, Laura Fassett, Hector Boucher
Back: Frank Higgins Jr and Arla Gottbreht circa
Front: Art & Laura Fassett Halvorson


Christmas at the Stokes house in the Philippines:


These are Bernadette’s Great Nieces, Nephews and our helpers 3 kids waiting to get


their Christmas packages.The packages these kids get from us are the only packages


they get at Christmas. They were all waiting outside when we got up on the 24th.


These kids all live in our compound.




Bernadette’s 3 year old Great Niece, Elizabeth, with her packages. She’s the little


computer girl that I mentioned several days ago.


Her Grandpa was Bernadette’s Brother that recently passed away.




Elizabeth’s little 6 year old brother, Joshua.





Joshua wearing his new clothes that he received in the packages above.


Princes, our little dog loves kids.





Elizabeth and Joshua’s mother, Maritez. She is married to Bernadette’s nephew, Joseph.





Bernadette’s Neice, Novie, with her little boy and husband Louie. Novie’s mother,


Berlinda, is Bernadette’s sister who lives next door.




Grace with her packages. Grace’s father is a brother to Bernadette’s sister’s husband.


They live next door. Grace is 7 years old. Grace’s father earns about $140/month with a


job he has had for years. Her brother also earns about $140/month with a job he recently


made permanent status with. They are a family of 7 with Grace being the youngest.


They manage to live on these two salaries. There are times that the going gets very tight,


but they make it.





These are our Helpers, Tata & Aldren (Husband & Wife). Tata’s sister, Gaga, also


works for us. Aldren is a brother to Bernadette’s sister’s husband who lives next door.


Aldren and Tata take good care of us 24/7. They have been with us since the year


before we moved here 7 years ago.




Folks, It is currently noon on Christmas eve in the PI. The partying has begun. When we got up this morning folks were waiting for their packages. They were all so very happy with the things they got. The kids were happy with their toys and clothes and the adults likewise with their gifts. Bernadette’s brother-in-law who lives next door has the music playing and those that can afford, have purchased San Miguel beer that they are sharing with the others. The partying will continue until midnight when all the fireworks that everyone has purchased are shot off everywhere. Bernadette is preparing a big meal that she will be serving to those in our area following the fireworks. Tomorrow they will have the task of cleaning up all the debris from the fireworks. Because of the burn marks and debris generated from shooting off these fireworks, we do not allow them in our premises. Fireworks are very inexpensive here in the PI. Gary
Question from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Gary, How close are you and Bernadette to that volcano? I’m curious. I just saw some pictures of it erupting and the dangers. Hope you aren’t close to it. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE. Sybil Johnson
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

It’s rather interesting to hear about how my little BB gun story
brought Bill Grimme to dig out his old gun and spend time remembering.
To me, doing things like that can open a chapter of ‘deja vu’ sometimes.
I’m not alone with that I’m sure. Several years ago I was selling some
‘trade’ guns at a gun show in Minot, when a guy about my age walked up
to my table and asked what the price was on a little old Stevens boy’s
rifle. I quoted him a price and he picked it up and said he would take
it. I asked him if he had a son at home who he was buying it for? He
said he wanted one when he was a kid and never got one so now he was
buying it for himself so he could relive some of his childhood that he
missed out on. With that explanation, I offered it to him for less than
the marked price although he hadn’t tried to negotiate with me. Almost
everyone will try to deal a little so I had room for that, but he just
laid down the cash and said, “No, I have plenty of money now, we just
didn’t when I was a kid.” He walked away with a little bit more of his
life fulfilled I suppose. This is what Bill’s reply brought to
mind—–do it for old time’s sake! Thanks Gary!

Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard:
Pictures from Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI


These are two pix I have of Mom and Dad. One is at their wedding as they were leaving on their honeymoon June 17, 1946 — the Chevy next to them was a 1941–it upchucked before they got to wherever they were going, so they made it as far as Bemidji.


The other one of Mom (Jean Emeline Pigeon) was earlier, some time between 1941 and 1945. She is sitting in a chair she gave her dad after he had a toe amputated in ’41. He died in ’43. I have the chair in my basement.


I’ll see what other ones I can scan. Sadly we have no outdoor pix of the original house I lived in for my first 14 years. Mom destroyed all the pix of the “tarpaper shack” that had no electricity until ’52, one bedroom until ’55 no plumbing until ’57 —- and never had a phone —we got that 9 family party line in ’62 after we moved into the existing house. Carmen Richard or Ydola Pigeon could have some of it, but I haven’t asked yet.


Merry Christmas to everyone!



Art & Emeline Pigeon Richard



Emeline Pigeon Richard





Folk, Several of you have mentioned pictures that you are going to send me for posting. Please send me any pictures that you’d like posted. I have an FPO address, listed below, that you can send mail to using regular US postage. I will scan, post and return original pictures for any that are sent to me.
With today being our bowling day and with some folks that just arrived to put some window grills in, I am making this a bit shorter today. Gary
Gary Stokes
PSC 517 Box RS/CC
FPO AP 96517-1000
Replies from Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL.



Couple of thoughts to share.




My mother was born in Thorne! I guess your mother and my mother were neighbors, for sure. They would have been close to the same age, also.




After reading your story about the Daisy Red Ryder bb gun, I went down to the basement to get mine (Daisy Red Ryder with the wooden stock, just like you described), loaded it up with about 200 or 300 bb’s and plinked away on Sunday afternoon, thinking about all my old range riding buddies who carried those things back in Dunseith over 50 years ago. I am very familiar with the “lever pinch” and I decided not to relive that! Nice way to reminisce!


Hartley & Boundary Lakes:
Folks, When I checked the Homen township map in the 1984 Bottineau Centennial book on page 188, I noticed that they have what I think is Boundary Lake labeled Hartley. I believe Harley is the lake to the east of Boundary? Checking the Willow Lake township map in the 1982 Dunseith centennial book on page 228, they have the tip of the lake in the NW corner of the map labeled Hartley. I believe that is correct. I remember the north end of Hartley Lake going slightly into Canada. As I remember the firebreak road went around the north end of Hartley Lake into Canada. Rab Lake is not as far east as I thought either. It’s only about 1/4 mile or so east of where the Willow lake road would end, through several fields, on the Canadian line.
Brenda Hoffman’s (68) Website: http://www.lifetapestrycreations.com/index.htm
Folks, Brenda and I have exchanged a number of personal messages the past several weeks or so. Several days ago she told me about her Website and sent me the link. I was impressed with her sight and what she has. Brenda is a beautiful writer and has written some very interesting BLOG’s. She has also published several books. Brenda must think, write and type with the speed of lightening. Everything she has in her Website, including the books, has been produced in the past 10 months or so. Please check out Brenda’s site, with her beautiful picture, by clicking on the Website above. Gary


Thank You:
From Toni Morinville Gredesky (68): Farimount, ND


I just wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who attended the prayer service and funeral for my sister, Bev. It was truly wonderful to see so many family and friends and hear the incredible stories about Bev. She was a loving, generous person who opened her home to all. You could do no better than to have Bev as your sister and friend.

My parents died long before my daughters could get to know them. Megan was with me, and she was so moved to have so many people speak to her about Bev and my parents.

Thanks again to everyone.

Toni Morinville Gredesky
Reply to yesterday’s message:
From Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA

Gary – Isn’t it kinda scary? These kids can access information and can find stuff that we never in our wildest dreams even thought about. When we were “kids”, we played ball, chased each other around, ran the neighborhood, rode our bikes, spent time with friends, annoyed our parents and our friends parents (and were disciplined by them in many cases), and were just kids being kids. The internet is a wonderful thing, but I don’t think it’s best for the children. Kids need to be kids (or maybe that’s just an “old fashioned” way of thought). Since I have no children, maybe I’m just being too paranoid. But I wonder about “the way of the world”, so to speak. Thanks for all you do on this blog. We all appreciate you.

Reply from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary / Dale
Yes, Dale, I was disappointed that I missed you. Your mom said you walked in about a half hour after I walked out.
Question – If Andrew Bergan was Clayton’s grandfather what was his dad’s name? I had always thought Oscar and Clayton were cousins. Also regarding the cabin on the picture- I thought it could have been a root cellar. That is a garden hoe in Bergan’s hands and it must have been his building as he wouldn’t take the hoe to visit a neighbor.
zI pulled the Bottineau County Atlas to see if I could find anything of interest cause I knew there was a Bergan Lake somewhere out there. I’m sure those Lakes derive their names from the first homesteaders. I found it right north of Peterson Lake. I wonder if that Peterson Lake is where Sam Peterson’s place was only the spelling differs from the name Gary mentioned (Pederson). This is also the case with the Bergan vs Bergen lake. Brian and Carrie Johnson live a little to the NE of Peterson Lake on the north side of the road and it looks like Bergan Lake would be right behind their house. Paulette Efimenko lives right on the west side of Bergan lake. I’ll send more pictures as I run across them. Mary K
Mary, Clayton Bergan’s dad was Louis. Louis, Oscar, Bertha (Erick) Bjornseth & Julia Trent were siblings. In my day, Erick and Bertha lived west and a little north of where you live, several miles east of Salem church. Julia Trent lived in Bottineau. Julia was very well known in the Bottineau community. Julia’s daughter, Barbara Trent Riehm, lives in San Diego, CA. I have included a picture that Barbara sent to me of her with her husband Charles who has now passed on. I am including Barbara with today’s message as well. She may be able to shed some light on some on these things we are talking about. I will also forward her that message with those pictures you sent a while back too.
From your description, the Bergan lake would be the lake that is located just south of the former James Johnson buildings. Melvin Pederson told me the Bergan’s lived on the west end of that lake. My guess would be that is where the lake got it’s name. I have seen Bergan spelled Bergen too. I’m sure it’s all the same family.
I always thought the Pederson family name was spelled Peterson too, until I was putting together the Ackworth Cemetery list. Olaf Pederson (1861-1938), Sam’ dad is buried in Ackworth. I’m assuming he was the original Pioneer of that family. Melvin Pederson told me their family originally lived on the south side the Pederson/Peterson lake. Most maps list that lake with the spelling “Peterson”.
I’m thinking that is probably a spelling error that has been copied over and over.
I just looked at the original homestead listing of Willow lake Township and it lists Olaf Person as the owner of the 1/4 section adjacent to Pederson/Peterson lake. I know that Person is a misspelling. It should be Olaf Pederson. It also lists Louis Bergan as the owner of 1/4 section one mile north of the Ackworth cemetery, now owned by the Fauske’s. Gary
Charles and Barbara Trent Riehm
The following pictures/messages were previously posted with message 207 on August 30, 2008
Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA
Picture was sent to me today from my cousin’s wife Tangee Brunsell of Bottineau, guess there are free Wondrasek photos at the museum in Bottineau. Rachel Berube’s wedding 1965

Evie Pilkington





Picture/Message from Evie Gottbreht Pilkington (65): Irvine, CA

Hi Gary,

I wanted to share this picture of my Mom and Dad, thought my old friends would enjoy it. This was taken, summer of 1938, in Thorne, ND – my Mom was raised in Thorne. This was the summer before they married. I especially miss them the month of August. Dad died suddenly Aug 29, 1961, 45 years old and Mom died Aug 15, 2005, 88 years old. They produced 8 children, 35 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren and counting……


Thanks Gary


Alma and Dale Gottbreht 1938



Reply from Sandra Zeiler Vandal (62): Elk River, MN


Hi Gary,
I’m up at Nancy Hosmer’s place. She showed me the picture
taken so long ago. The kids names’ are from left to right are
Dawn,Teri, Kelly and Todd. Order of birth, Todd, Dawn, Teri and
Kelly. When Kelly was five, we had Heather. Who knew way back
when we would have twenty grandchildren and one great
grandchild. Mike remembers your Dad having to pull him out of
the ditch, once. I think he had to pull Dad out, too. Folks are
coming to Mn. with us for a few weeks. We will enjoy catching up
on the e-mails. Thanks a lot, Sandra


Pictrue L to R:

Back: Sandra & Mike

Front: Todd, Dawn, Teri & Kelly



Folks, When Bernadette’s brother passed away, his son, who was living with them on Mindanao, brought his family here. He has a daughter 3 years old and two boys ages 5 & 6. These kids are super bright. They have had limited access to using computers pretty much only being able to watch and observe others while they are on computers. We have two used Acer laptops that we purchased when were back in the states that we have set up for the local kids to use. When we turned these three kids loose on these laptops, they had them fired up and into the internet in a heartbeat including the little 3 year old girl. With her two brothers on the Laptops, Bernadette let her use her computer. She didn’t need any instructions to get into and navigate the internet. She was into her favorite kid site in no time. These 3 kids are teaching their first, second and third degree cousins, who have not shown quite as much interest up until now, in computers. These 3 kids are waiting for me to get up each morning so they can get in the office and on the computers. When they get too noisy, I transfer them, with the computers, to the porch outside. The 6 year old will be in first grade next year. All three of these kids have learned English pretty well and are pretty proficient in reading and writing all of which they have learned from the computers and watching TV. Gary
Pederson Correction:
From Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND
Gary, Lowell Pederson is the brother of Melvin’s that lives in Spokane, and Arizona in the winter……..
Evon, Checking my notes from when I talked to Melvin Pederson, your are absolutely correct. I’ll bet your mother, Leola Hiatt Lagerquist, remembers the Pederson family pretty well. When I talked to Bev Handeland Hamnes, cousin to the Pederson siblings, she said Charles’ nick name was Sonny.
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
Three comments:

First, we didn’t get the high number of 26″, but we did get about 18″ at our house. It ranged between 14 and 20 for the DC area. And yes, it is wet, heavy snow. We have a wide driveway and I did finish shoveling it out. But, now I ache all over even in places I’d forgotten I had. Biggest problem is that even when we get out of our development, we can’t get anywhere because they have yet to plow most side streets, etc. Is the weather in the PI very humid? I personally don’t care for that 40 below stuff anymore, but I also am not crazy for the summer weather we get our here where we get so many hot, humid, sticky days and where if we are lucky it might get down into the low seventies at night. (Many nights it stays in the low eighties – yuk!)

Secondly, we used to go swimming in Peterson Lake every summer when we lived on my Aunt Ester’s place (Note my spelling.). That lake was right on the county line and one mile west of our place. Is that lake named after the family you have been discussing? I always thought if was Peterson, but perhaps I was/am wrong and it’s Pederson Lake. If so, how did that naming come about? For that matter, how about Hartley Lake and Sand Lake? Were they named after early settlers in their respective areas? As an aside, Peterson/Pederson Lake is also the lake where my brother, Clarence, drowned in 1972.

Third, maybe you shouldn’t post the SSNs for people who are deceased. I know they are gone, but with all the problems with identity theft now, why give anyone a leg up? And as far as your readers are concerned, I really don’t think if makes a difference to us if that data block is missing. Just an observation for what it’s worth.

Keith, We have high humidity but not sultering. Our relative humidity is normally about 75%. The evenings are always very nice and comfortable. It gets dark between 5 & 6 o’clock year around. I like never ever having to put on a coat or wearing long sleeves to keep warm.
The good old Pederson Lake. I sure did my share of swimming in that lake too. Yes, that lake was named after the Sam Pederson family we have been discussing the past several days. Melvin Pederson told me they used to live on the south side of the lake, I think probably where we used to go swimming. I remember well when your brother Clarence drowned in Pederson lake. That was such a tragedy. If I remember correctly they found his body near the NW side of the lake? Our swimming beach was on the south side. The lake is pretty small, so he may have swam over to that area.
I am not sure how Boundary, Hartley, Rab & Sand lakes got their names. Boundary and Hartley both run into Canada. Rab I think runs almost to the line. Gary


Christmas Greetings:

Form the Almo Pladson (68) family: Ontario, CA


We’ve been hard at work perfecting our dance moves. Just click on the links below and turn up the volume!

Note: When the site comes up wait a few seconds for the video to start playing do not click on the down load.


Merry Christmas!

Almo, Christie, Wyatt and Hunter



Hip Hop Pladson elves:



Country Pladson elves:

Disco Pladson elves:
Almo, It’s been nearly 45 years since I have seen you, but after seeing you in these Video’s, I sure recognize you as belonging to the Pladson family. These are great video’s. You are all such great Dancers too! Gary
Request posted on the Dunseith Alumni WEB site: http://garystokes.net/default.aspx
From: Tracy Zeiler Fennern
Please add me to your email list. Thanks. Tracy
Tracy, I have added you to our distribution starting with today’s message. I believe your parents are Lyle (61) and Sharon Pearson (62) Zeiler. I’m assuming your were with the class of 82, give or take a year? I think in those years the kids from your area were going to Bottineau? I found an address for you living in Elizabeth, CO. Would that be a good address for you? Thank you so much for this request. Gary
Gottbreht Christmas memories:
From Sharren Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
The treasured memories of Christmas past make wonderful reading; thank you Erling for your major contributions and thank you Dick Johnson for the mention of community Christmas concerts that I too recall. The snap of snow and cold would just add to the fun and warmth of family exchange be it gifts of good eats or an item dearly wished for. Grandma Evelyn Gottbreht made the season exceptional for her son Dale and daughter Arla every year. Preparations would start months before with a carefully tended flock of geese. Aunt Arla Gottbreht related this story to me.

Dale was about 14 years old and he and the hired hand were left in charge of the home place [Ernie Gottbreht ranch today]. Chester Sager worked for George Sr in 1930; he was age 17, about the right age for gaining wisdom from experience. Evelyn had Elderberry wine newly bottled and set aside in her earthen cellar for the coming season of colds and flu. The wine was still somewhat green but would be excellent by Christmas. Dale suggested to Chester that they might past the afternoon with a sampling of his mom’s wine. After several nips, the boys became both soft and bold. Dale had a 4×10 shotgun and bragged that he could shoot the head off a goose. Grandmas geese had run of the yard and Dale proceeded to behead the entire flock of 10/12 geese. Grandma was beside herself and I am sure the influence of alcohol was weighed and condemned. The pluck and draw event must have stretched far into the night.

A Mrs. Altman had given Mary Louise Tennancour LaFrance, Evelyn’s mother, a Blue Ribbon Cook Book in 1912, according to the inscription on the back cover. Evelyn loved this book and her comments are written on many pages; she has written “Very good” beside the Roast Goose entry. The 1952/55 picture of Evelyn and goose was taken at Arla’s apartment in Grand Forks, ND.

Peace and happy children and grand children around your table! Thanks Gary, Sharron

Dale Gottbreht’s Mother:
Evelyn Gottbreht
All rights reserved


Albert & Eller families:
Reply from Ivy Eller Rober’t (74): Everett, WA.
My Mom and Dad were Herman & Emma Eller. Dad was married to Laura Azure Eller first, she died after giving birth to a son named Thomas. He was pre-mature, 3 months early. He died when he was a week old. Laura had gotten a sever infection, complications from the birth. She died 3 weeks after Thomas did. They are buried at St. Anthony’s Church Cemetery, approximately 5 miles east of Dunseith, along with Rose, who died when she was nine. Laura & Dad had 9 children together, Gladys, Leonard, Herman Jr., Elizabeth, Leo, Margaret, Richard, Rose & Thomas. A couple of years after Laura’s death, Dad married my mother Emma Albert (Father: George Albert, Mother: Agnes Warren Albert). She was the only child. Mom & Dad had four girls, Julie Eller Dahl, Carol Eller Djarlais, Bonnie, & me (Ivy). Mom died in 1976 and a couple of years later, Dad married Georgaleen (I don’ recall her last name). Dad died in 1984 and “Georgie” died a few years later. They are buried in the ST. John Cemetery. Of the 13 children Dad had, there are only 7 of us still living. I am the youngest of the bunch. It’s funny, when most of then were alive, we haven’t ever been all in the same place at the same time.
Smiea is my Mom’s step-sister. Grandpa had went back to Syria to find a new wife a couple of years after Grandma had died in a car accident on the San Hill. It was actually right at the entrance where the gulf course is now. Grandpa’s ‘new wife’ was Fatima. Smiea is her daughter. Grandpa died in 1979. Him, Grandma, & Mom are all buried together at Riverside Cemetery. Fatima died about 3 years ago, according to Smiea and is buried some where in Canada near where she lives. I lost touch with Smiea & Grandma (Fatima) after Grandpa had died. To tell the truth, I had spoke to her almost a year ago for a few minutes, then again, less than a week ago. I haven’t really gotten caught up with her on her life yet. I plan on going to visit her next summer. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. (I think) I do have her number & will call for directions.
I hope this answers some of the question about my family…….


I want to wish everyone a very MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR……….be safe everyone!




Alumni Reunion in May:
Reply/Requests from Cheryl Haagenson (71): Dunseith, ND.
First of all “Merry Christmas”I hope everyone has a safe and blessed Holiday. Let’s start looking for photos so that we can bring a boat load of them to the “Get together” in May.
Add Janet Haagenson Sedlacek and Bernd Sedlacek. Thanks Gary
Cheryl Haagenson
Cheryl, I have added Janet and Bernd to the master reunion list. I have posted the latest updated copy of those planning to attend the reunion at the bottom of this message. Gary

Beverly Lynn Azure
(February 23, 1956 – December 6, 2009)

Sign Guest Book|




Mass Of The Christian Burial was held for Beverly Azure, age 56 of Dunseith, on Saturday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith. Burial was in the St. Louis Cemetery also in Dunseith. The Celebrant for the Mass was the Reverend Father Jeff Eppler S.O.L.T. Special music was provided by Monica Nadeau. Honorary bearers were Floyd Dion, Arnold Morgan, Craig Richards, Duane Morinville, Ken Marmon and Jerry Gredesky. Casket Bearers were Darren Opstedal, Bill Krause, Dale Juntunen, Kent Cote, Lyle Olson and Paul Messner.

Beverly Azure, a daughter of Joe and Frances (Hanson) Morinville, was born in Bottineau on February 23, 1953. She was reared in Dunseith and graduated from Dunseith High School in 1972. On August 16, 1980 she was married to Clarence Azure at Dunseith. Following their marriage, they lived in various places such as, Manheim, Germany, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Fort Knox, Kentucky. She was a homemaker until 1992 when they moved back to Dunseith. Bev worked at the TMC for several years. She most recently worked at the Log House in Dunseith.

Bev enjoyed beading, painting, and spending time with her family. She also enjoyed going to concerts and gardening. She taught Sunday school for several years and was an active member of the St. Michael’s The Archangel Parish in Dunseith.

Beverly passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in a Minot hospital.

She is survived by her husband, Clarence of Dunseith; daughters, Shonda and her husband Matthew Campbell of Minot and Shannon Azure and her special friend Steve Catalano of Grand Forks; sons Cody Azure and his wife Diana, and Jason Azure both of Grand Forks; a grandson, Chris Scott of Minot; sisters, Debbie Marmon of Miles City MT and Toni Gredesky of Fairmount, ND; a brother, Duane Morinville of Dunseith.

Beverly was preceded in death by her grandparents and parents.




Replies from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Gary Stokes

Gary, it is coming back to me now, Sam Pederson was married to Jennie Handland’s sister, who must have died young and left four or five children. The ones I remember were Charles, Lowell and Paul. Charles with the curly hair was Jennie’s favorite.


To Margaret Seim Lawson

Now the story makes more sense. My dad said Eva was working on Edwin’s attitude, so she said “EDWAA, Be a good boy or you won’t be able to go see Uncle Pete.” Another one was that Pete told my dad that he exactly the same name as a very famous baseball player. He said, “My name is Pete Mosho and his name is Joe Dimosho.” For those who don’t understand French very well, the ball player was Joe DiMaggio!!

Thanks everyone. Sue and I will be gone for the next week or so. Hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and wonderful family memories of Christmas 2009. Gary Metcalfe




Story from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND


Gary and Friends,

There is a cute movie that usually plays every Christmas Day. It’s
called ‘A Christmas Story’ and is about a kid named Ralphie who wants a
BB gun for Christmas. My BB gun story is not as good when it gets to the
ending. George and Lela Cota were working at the Peace Garden in the mid
50s and one time when we were visiting them at the caretaker’s
residence, George brought out an old BB gun that had been his son,
Gary’s, and gave it to me. I was about 6 at the time. He told Mom that
it wouldn’t shoot BBs any more but still made the noise. It was a Daisy
with a wooden stock and I was really proud of it. My grandparents lived
upstairs in our house in Dunseith and sometimes Grandma would keep an
eye on my cousins and me. One day this was the case and my cousin Doug
Warcup and I were out in the yard playing with my prize BB gun when he
asked if he could shoot it? He cocked it and aimed it and just before he
pulled the trigger, I noticed he had the lever down. This is a NO-NO
with those old guns. I said, “NO”—Bang! The lever slammed shut on his
fingers when the gun fired and put a small cut on his finger. He did
what any 5 year old would do, ran to Grandma screaming about his finger.
She did what any grandma would do, asking what happened? He said , “The
BB gun did it”. She did what most grandmas would do and assumed he had
been shot. I tried to explain but she called my grandpa up at the Garden
Tap (he was the owner) and told him I shot Doug with that damn gun. I
remember Grandpa came walking briskly down the alley and as I was trying
to explain what happened, he grabbed my BB gun and whacked it on the
ground a couple times until it flew in two pieces and then threw it in
the garbage barrel and headed back to work. That was the worst feeling I
had ever had up until that time. Everything went from bad to worse and
none of the people involved did anything they shouldn’t have done, given
the circumstances. Obviously it is burned into my memory because of the
way it all went wrong for me that day. I lost my prize possession over a
mistake. Ralphie gets his gun—I lose mine. His story is better! Thanks





Correction to yesterday’s message from Lee Stickland (64): Dickinson, ND


I do stand corrected. The lady on the far right of the picture re:Oscar and Sylvia is indeed Ellie Striker. Yes, the third from the right is my Grand mother. Sorry.
I have many memories of Lee and of Erman Striker, whom are barely visible on this picture. They must not have had the digital camera with this day. Lee

Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943
L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland,
Cora Lockhart & Ellen





Thank you From the Azure Family:
The Azure family would like to thank all of Bev’s friends and family for
being so supportive in our time of need. And also to those who sent kind
words, cards, and prayers not only while mom was in the hospital but also
at her wake and funeral. Also a special thank you to those who followed
Bev’s last wishes and to those who have brought figts and helped at the
luncheon and dinner. We are very thankful and appreciative for all your
kindness and friendship.

Sincerely with great thanks-
The Azure Family

From Dianne Rober’t Johnson (76): Rolla, ND.
Thank you for doing all the postings in E-mail, it’s nice to read about the old days & any current news. I for one, really enjoy your daily postings.
Wishing you (& to everyone) a “Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year”.
Dianne Johnson
Reply to LeaRae Parrill & Ivy Eller:
From Ele Dietrich Slyter (69): Dunseith, ND.
Wasn’t George Albert’s daughter, Emma, married to Herman Eller? And if I am not mistaken, Herman may have had another wife before Emma. I think, and Bonnie correct me if I am wrong, that Leonard Eller, who lives near Rolla, is Herman’s son.

Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.
Thank you very much for the compliment, Gary!! :-) It’s nice to know some of you feel I’m so great!! :-)
Eileen, You are so welcome. Gary
Reply from Roger & Connie Zorn Landsverk: Bottineau, ND


Hi Gary,

How are things @ the Stokes’ .I was reading the Dunseith news & By reading it I gathered you guys had alot of fun in high school.We had alot of fun during our high school days. My sister Linda, myself & one of my friends like to date some of the Forestry guys. We partied alot. We drank alot of wine. It’s a miracle none of us got picked-up for DUI’S. We were good girls during the week but sometimes naughty on the week-ends.

I talked to Evon Lagerquist last-evening & she explained to where the Stokes lived in the hills on the Ackworth road. Please excuse my spelling. I’ve been up in that country in the summer time & it’s very pretty.

take care


Folks, Connie’s dad was Leo Zorn. She is a cousin the Sharon, Myron and Marlys.
Willow Lake Road.
Folks, I am posting this picture for reference to several email messages that are posted with today’s message.
This picture, of the willow lake road, was taken on top of the Ackworth Cemetery Hill looking south. The Cemetery is to right and our former yard, the Bob Stokes farm, is to the left from where this picture was taken. Bottineau County is one mile to the west (right) on the road at the bottom of the hill. Highway 43 is one mile south from the intersection. The trees that can be seen farthest south in this picture are adjacent to Highway 43. The original site of the Ackworth School was a half mile east (left) from the intersection. In 1981 the school was moved and is now located 1/8 east from the intersection behind the trees on the left. Gary
Note: Clarence Hagen owned 3 quarters of the section of land to the south and west of the interestion. The other quarter was the Pederson place. Elmer Lindberg’s farm and property, in Bottineau county, was adjacent to the west of this section. Elmer’s sister was Alice McKay.
Sam Pederson family reply:
From Luella (Boardman 49) & Ralph Bjornseth: Bottineau, ND.
Hi Gary!
You asked about Paul Pederson. He was married to Marlene Rude (Kenneth Rude’s Sister). They are divorced and Ralph thinks he is either in South Dakota or Montana. Sam Pederson’s children were Oscar (deceased), Eileen (don’t know if she is still living), Melvin, Paul and probably 2 other boys. Ralph hears from Melvin every year at Christmas time. He lives in Spokane. Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland so any of the Handland girls could tell you the history of that family. Ralph remembers Sam as being a very big man. They evidently moved around a lot and had moved out to Washington. He came back here at one time and worked for Carris Vandel. Ralph thinks he was working for Carris when he died. I hope this answers a few of the questions.
Follow up reply from Luella:
We talked to Glen Rude this noon and he said Paul died about 10 years ago. He doesn’t remember where he was living at the time or where he is burried. Another boy in that family was Lowell and Ralph thinks he is still living. That is all for now.
Folks, The Sam Pederson Farm was located 3/4 mile west (right) and on the south side of the road from the interesection at the bottom of the hill in the picture above. The Jacob Bjornseth farm now owned by Ralph & Luella is located 1 3/4 miles west on the north side of the road from the interesection in the picture. That is where Ralph was born and raised.
Luella, This answers a whole bunch of question for me and I know others too. I had no idea that Mrs. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland’s. I have her daughters Beverly, Muriel & Lorraine in my records, but they do not have email addresses. I found Melvin Pederson’s phone number in Spokane. I will call him in the morning, my time, before sending this message out. Thank you so much Luella and Ralph for this info. We’d love to hear more from the rest of you that knew the Pederson family too. This is one bit of history that will be captured and recorded that could have been lost. Thank you Gary Metcalfe for bringing this family to light. Gary
Pritchard Picture & the Thompson Place:
Repy from Marlys Hiatt (71): Dunseith, ND.
Hi Gary,

I really enjoyed the information on the blog today. I do have a couple of
questions and a little more information. Is the little boy in the picture
with the cabin identified as Robert Pritchard the same Robert Pritchard
that lived down the road from your family and across the lake from my
family? Dorthy Pritchard’s husband? If it is then it is pretty amazing to
me to see the person I thought of as an older man when he was just a
toddler. I guess we all start out that way.

Also about the Thompson place. Was that the land straight north of where
we grew up. If I am remembering right it was the land where my father,
Norman Hiatt, would put his stock cows for summer pasture. Every so often
we would all go up to take a head count to make sure all the cattle were
okay. There were times we had to walk through the pasture to find them
all. I remember being quit young and walking with grandma Margie when we
came upon some old buildings that had not been lived in for quite a while.
Grandma Margie told me that was the house where Ella (Thompson) Pladson
had lived when she was a little girl. Grandma then went on to tell me
about what hard working and good little girls Ella and her sister were.
If I remember the story right Ella’s mother was handicap and unable to
make bread so she would tell the little girls how to do it and they had to
stand on chairs in order to make the bread because they were so little.
My memory is a long way from being reliable so if I Have this wrong please
let me and all the other readers know. In my minds eye I can still see
how the buildings looked and remember how special my grandma thought those
little Thompson girls were. Would this then be where boundary lake is
located? I remember hearing my father talk about boundary lake but I do
recall knowing exactly where it was.

There is a story that occurred which I know to be true. It happened in
the spring and we were on that family outing to check the cattle in the
North pasture or as it was sometimes referred to as the Thompson place.
As Vickie and I were walking through the woods I got tired and sat down
for awhile and got more that a little rest. As some of you might have
already guessed – wood ticks.

Some questions came up about Paul Pederson. I believe this is the same
man that worked for my dad, Norman Hiatt. This was before I can remember
but I heard many stories about him all of which were good. I believe my
parents thought a lot of him. The last time I remember seeing him was at
my cousins wedding in Montana. I do remember going to see his baby girl
that was named Marla but I do not remember his wife’s name or the name of
his in-law’s. I do think they were from the Metigoshe area and I believe
that Marla still lives in Bottineau but I do not know her last name. I
don’t think that marriage lasted very long.

As Dick always says – any additions or corrections to this information is
always welcome. As I think about this I am aware of how foggy some of my
memories are.

Folks, Norman & Irene Hiatt, Marlys’ folks, lived 7/8 of a mile east (left) from the intersection in the picture above. The Thompson place that Marlys talks about in her message was located a mile or so north of their place. The Robert Pritchard farm was located 3/4 of a mile to the south of the intersection in the picture above. Evon Lagerquist is currently living on that place.
Marlys, you are absolutely right, that was the Thompson place located a mile or so north of your place. There are no roads other than for field roads to that area. Because there were no roads I was never back in that area. I left ND before the snowmobile days too or I would have probably explored that area in the winter on snowmobiles. Folks will have to correct me if I’m wrong, but I think, as you mentioned, that is where Ella Thompson Pladson and Esther Thompson Tangen were born and raised? Their mother was a sister to my grandfather Frank Stokes. Rab Lake is the lake in that area. Boundary lake is located a little farther west in Bottineau County. The willow lake road, going thru some fields, ends on the Canadian line. From that point, on the line, Rab lake is about one mile east, Hartley lake is located about 1 mile west and boundary lake about 2 miles west. Folks please correct me if I’m wrong.
That is the Robert Pritchard that you knew in those pictures that Mary Eurich Knutson posted yesterday.
Pritchard/Pladson relationship:
Reply from Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA
This is in response to Dale Pritchard’s and Mary Knutson’s recent comments and a comment from from Dale several months ago.

Dale, several months ago you mentioned to Gary Stokes, that you weren’t clear on the connections between my family (and Gary’s) and yours. I think Mary has helped to clear that up. If I remember correctly, Ida Thompson was my Mom’s Aunt on her Dad’s side. So that makes my Mom, Ella, a first cousin to your Dad, Robert (and of course Mary’s Mom, Winifred). The biggest difference was age. Since my Mom was born in March of 1923, she was 12 years younger than your Dad. I believe your Dad and my Mom’s oldest sister, Ester, were the same age. I’m not sure what the age difference was between Mary’s Mom and my Mom, but I think it was somewhat less. Interestingly, my Mom was quite close to your older sister Shirley. My siblings and I saw Shirley and her family several times while we were growing up. And Shirley continued to visit Mom often in Bottineau after my Dad, Eldon, died. That, of course, was all through my Grandfather’s family the Thompsons.

Gary Stokes’ connection to my family was through my Grandmother’s (Mom’s Mother’s) side — the Stokes’. My Mom’s Uncle, Frank Stokes, adopted Gary’s Dad, Robert.

Thank you Mary for bringing this up. Very interesting stuff.

Finally, a question to my classmate, Janet Bergan Evans. Does this mean that your ancestors lived in or near the Ackworth community?

Thanks Mary for bringing this up — very interesting.
Folks, The Eldon Pladson family, Keith’s family, moved to Keith’s mother’s sister place in about 1962, located several hundred feet to the right half way up the hill from the intersection in the above picture. Esther Tangen, sister to Keith’s mother Ella, owned that property. That property was formerly owned by Keith and my Great Grandfather, William Stokes.

Keith, you explained the relationships well. I will take a stab at answering what I know about the Bergan family. Do you remember Oscar Bergan. He and Sylvia lived several miles north and west of your place when your family lived on the Zieman place west of Salem church. Oscar was an uncle to Janet Bergan’s dad. Mrs. Erick Bjornseth, Bertha, was also a sister to Oscar and Janet’s grandfather. Erick and Bertha Bjornseth lived about 1/2 mile north of #43, 2 miles or so from the Rolette/Bottineau county line. They lived west of Sander Johnson’s. That’s all I know about the Bergan family. Janet or some of the others can maybe fill us in with the history of where the Bergan’s were raised. It must have been in that general area. Gary

Reply form Lee Stickland (65): Dickinson, ND
I see my grandmother, Mae Striker Stickland to the extreme right on this picture of Sylvia and Oscar. I recall being at Oscar and Sylvia about 50 years ago, when I was 13. So 50 minus 13 would make me 37 now ? Or have I lost my touch with numbers ?
Thanks so much for YOUR informational blog which I read in its entirety each day. Lee
Lee I have reposted that message. This is perfect timing with the Bergan family being mentioned in today’s blog. Gary

Previously posted:

Subject: (471) Dunseith Alumni..
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2009, 12:24 AM


Striker/Bergan pictures & Striker History provided by Ken Striker: Dayton OH


Wm. Striker & his children on his 81st Birthday, 1943

L to R: Georgia, Gladys Brill, Della Lockhart, Lee, Vernie, Erman, Mae Stickland,

Cora Lockhart & Ellen


Gary’s comments


I think this picture was taken of Oscar & Sylvia on their golden anniversary in 1979? I’m kind of thinking they had their celebration at the Christian Center at Lake Metigoshe. This is exactly the way I remember them. They were a great couple. They had no children. Oscar was a brother to Clayton Bergan’s father. Sylvia Lockhart Bergan’s mother was a Striker. Oscar & Sylvia lived a few miles east of Lake Metigoshe and several miles north of #43. They lived close to Bernard Kavlie and Lars Sivertson. John & Pat Frykman are currently living in that area too. Gary


Oscar & Sylvia Bergan




Adrian Mongeon:
Reply from Margaret Seim Lawston (54): Citrus Heights, CA
Hi Folks, I get up each morning looking forward to reading the blog. In answer to Gary Metcalfe, Adrian Mongeon’s Dad, Pete Mongeon was my Mom’s Uncle and I remember him well .He was a nice Great Uncle, but it was his wife Anna who I knew better. She and my Grandma Ingrid Seim loved to get together and talk and argue local Democratic politics. At time things got pretty heated. One with a Norwegian accent and one with a French accent.
Andrew Bergan Picture:
Reply from Jan Bergan Evans (66): MONTICELLO, MN
Gary who sent the pictures of Andrew Bergan? This would have been my dad Claytons grandfather Wonderful
Jan, Mary Eurich Knutson (62) provided those pictures.
Pritchard/Bergan Pictures:
Reply from Dale Pritchard (63): Leesville, LA
Good Morning Mary (and Gary),

I have the picture of them outside the log building but can’t find it
right now. Those were the good old days? I don’t think so! I think
the picture was probably taken in 1912, buy more likely 1913 because my
dad was born April 22, 1911. I have heard two versions about the
building, one was a cabin (whose?) and one was a smoke house. Take your
pick. I had never seen the “Rough Riders” picture. Interesting. Sorry
I missed you when I was home last month. It was going to be then or not
at all.


Dale, It is very early morning here for me too in the PI, 12:15 AM, as I received your message that just came across my screen. The difference is that it’s Wednesday morning for you folks and Thursday morning for me. It’s about time for me to call it a day. Gary
Bill Fassett CD:
Message from Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD
Paula made me a cd of Dad singing and playing his guitar. She could probably get copies to anyone that would like one, Dad sang a lot of what he called plumb pitiful songs, because someone was always dying in them. He also knew a lot of railroad songs, as he worked on the railroad in Montana before the war. I have a lot of history if anyone is interested. Dad wrote all his memories along with the history and pictures. I wish I had payed more attention when I was younger.

I remember Minda Haagenson, Dick Rybacek, and there are so many other colorful characters from the Turtle Mt area. Love to hear the memories. Merry Christmas to all and may God bless you in the new year.

Hugs, Susan

Dick Johnson’s (68) reply to Colette Hosmer (64): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

In reply to Colette Hosmer’s question. Your Dad’s Jeep could very
well be a ’54. They didn’t change the looks much from ’47-’60. I
remember him driving his Jeep and also Lucien Bedard driving a brown one
that was nearly identical except for the color. They both hunted ducks
up by our farm and were frequently seen going or coming in the Jeeps. I
think your dad had a big black lab that retrieved ducks for him, if I
remember right. They and the Lamoureux brothers and Dale Gottbreht had a
favorite spot between Horseshoe Lake and Sucker Lake on a little hill
where the bluebills would fly over. There is still shotgun shell brass
on the ground there. The shells were paper with a brass base so the
paper is long gone, but I constantly find brass whenever I walk in that
area. There was a common courtesy of stopping in at the farm to tell
Grandpa that they would like to hunt ducks. Many times they would come
back with a couple cleaned ducks or some other small token of gratitude
for letting them hunt on the land. I remember them giving Grandpa some
Prince Albert tobacco once and he was very grateful for their gesture.
He never expected anything in return, but this really showed their
honest gratitude.

I do remember the old sleeping bags. I still have one that is goose
down and is stamped U.S. on the front. Mom ordered it from the ‘Sioux
Falls Army- Navy Store’ and I first used it in 1960 to go to camp in
Minnesota. I have used it many times and once slept in it in Wyoming up
on Black Mountain around 9000 ft. I wore all my clothes but was actually
not cold, although we were told later that the temperature was way below
zero that night. We were hunting elk in the Bighorn Mountains in
November.We hung a tarp over a pole between two trees and made a
makeshift tent, but no heat. It gets cold up that high on a clear night.
That old sleeping bag did its job! Thanks, Colette, for the interesting
insight on your camping adventures! Good memory! Thanks Gary!


SmieaHaimour-Himour (67):

Reply from Claudette McLeod (80): Dunseith, ND.
Thanks, Eileen and Dick for the info, I was young but for some reason or another, I always remembered her. Thanks to you as well Gary for all you do. I would also like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year..
Claudette McLeod
Claudette, you are so welcome. Smiea was very sincere when she said she remembers you and would love to hear from you. She would love to hear from any of the Dunseith Alumni. Her phone number is (403) 556-1799. Smiea seems to be a very sharp gal and with her act well together too. Gary
George Albert & Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from Ely Eller Robert (74): Everett, WA.

Hi Gary……


George Albert is my grandfather, Samia is my step-aunt. Two years after my real grand mother Agnes was killed in a car accident in Oct of 1960, Grandpa went back to the old country, as he called, Syria and found a new wife. Her name was Fatima. Samia is her daughter from a prior marriage. When Grandpa brought Fatima, or “Sittie” as we called her, that was Grandma in Syrian, she brought Samia over here with her. Samia was only in her teens hen she came here to the United States. She enrolled in Dunseith Hight School & Graduated, but I’m not sure what year. She went to college, I think, for a short time, then got married to a guy from Calgary, Albert. She moved there with him and had 4 children.

It is so weird, she just happened to call me this morning. By the way, Thanks Gary, she told me she had got my phone number from you. I hadn’t hear from her since Grandpa died in 1979, so I guess that would be 30 years ago. She lives in Grand Forks, British Columbia. She said she just retired from nursing and that she has 6 wonderful grand children.

Since my Mother was an only child, Samia is the only Aunt I knew, on my Mother’s side. And her Mother was the only Grand Mother that I ever knew as well!


Thanks Again….

Ivy Eller Robert (74)

Ivy, We can thank Eileen Brudwick for finding your connection to the George Albert Family and bringing it to my attention. I had not yet received LeaRae Parrill Espe’s message posted below, when I called Samiea. I had no idea of your relationship. I was surprised when I read what Eileen send me with the next posting below. This is how I knew your relationship with Samiea when I called her. Samiea was very surprised that I knew you when I mentioned your name. She did not waist any time calling you that is for sure. LeaRae mentions, in her letter posted below, Smiea being a little older when she graduated with their class of 67. From what Smiea told me that is absolutely correct. Smiea said she was placed in a grade level based on the English skills she had coming to this country in I think 1961. Smiea told me she is currently 65 years old. I think most of the class of 67 folks are currently about 60 years old.
Folks, We are so fortunate to have Eileen Brudwick, Mike’s wife, on our distribution list. Mike and Neola are first cousins. Eileen has a big percentage of the Rolette & Bottineau county folks, with all their relationships, in her genealogy data base. What she doesn’t have she finds. She’s got search engines that can find a whole lot of info for whatever it is she is searching for. If Eileen can not find something, it probably can not be found. Thank you Eileen for all that you have provided and do for us. We truly do appreciate you. Gary
Eileen Brudwick’s reply: Fargo, ND.
I guess I have an incorrect spelling for Smiea’s maiden name. I haven’t been able to locate anything further about her, and to be honest, I didn’t document my information about the Albert family, so have no idea where I located the information about Fatima & her daughter, Smiea.
George & Agnes (Warren) Albert’s daughter, Emma Albert married, Herman Eller, and they have a daughter, Ivy (Eller) Rober’t. She married Russell Rober’t.
Smiea Haimour-Himour (67):
Reply from LeaRae Parrill Espe (67): Bottineau, ND.
Dear Gary,

Dick is correct about Smiea- she is the step daughter of George Albert. She
came with her mother from Lebanon and was 18 when she joined our class in
8th grade. She wanted to get an American education and four years later she
graduated with us at age 22 or 23. She was married right out of high
school! Her husband was also named Haimour, but as she explained to me in
2007 one of the families took a different spelling. When I spoke with her
by telephone she seemed quite happy to hear from me and said that a new
grandchild was expected so she couldn’t consider coming to the reunion.

George Albert’s first wife was killed in a car accident, I believe on the
hill coming from San Haven to town. I believe Charlene came upon that
accident. (Maybe I have that wrong??) Anyway George’s daughter Emma was
married to Mr. Eller, can’t remember his first name. My mother remembers
Emma Albert attending Dunseith HS when she did, but she was not in her grade
and I believe mom said she didn’t graduate from there. I believe the Ellers
had four daughters Carol, Bonnie, Julie and Ivy. Bonnie died of colon
cancer less than a month before my brother Clark in 2006. Julie Dahl lives
near Bottineau and was a cook’s helper at Bottineau HS, not sure if she is
still working this year. One of Julie’s nieces named Jody Eller stayed with
her and went to HS in Bottineau. Julie was not in touch with Smiea. I’m not
sure where Carol and Ivy live, but they may be on your email distribution
list. I believe all those girls are younger than I am.

At that time before the reunion, I thought maybe I could get a lead on
Smiea’s whereabouts from Ronnie Hassen who owned the Golden Rule in Rolla.
I can’t remember just how I got her number, but I had to call a few times
before I caught her at home. I talked to her son on one call. If she has
email I would like to have it.

Whenever I talk about growing up in Dunseith, I mentioned that we had such a
melting pot compared to say Bottineau. With the Cubans at San Haven,
several store keepers from the Muslim countries of Syria and Lebanon (Sy
Kadrie, Emil Hassen, and KC Sine) plus the Hassen Murrey and George Albert
families, plus Native Americans, all blending in with the Norwegians, French
and a few Germans and British Isle people we truly had diversity.

I remember we would ask Smiea about her religion and she brought her Koran
and told us a few things.

Later, LeaRae PS Please add Terry and I to the reunion list. Also
our belated sympathy to Bernadette on the death of her brother. It sounds
like there are great and deep rooted traditions in the Philippines.
Hopefully, it is a way to bring the families close. Take care.

LeaRae, Thank you so much for your sympathy of Jose’s passing. I have added you and Terry to the master reunion list.
No one can deny the diversity we had at Dunseith High School. You have summed it up so well and Vickie Metcalfe too, in prior messages.


Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): Portage, WI
Hi Gary and All the Great Dunseith Alumni folks
I heard Bonnie Awalt Houle Christmas message this morning and I simply had to thank her for her eloquent way of describing everyone’s attachment to the members of the Alumni, and to all the wonderful people within the area as well. Thank you Bonnie. If I may, I would like to add a Merry Christmas greeting of my own. I feel very fortunate to have lived with and known so many great people such as the Awalt family. Naturally Gary, you and your wife Bernadette are also included in this wish even though you don’t have to shovel snow this Christmas. Have a super New year everyone Erling Landsverk

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): Santa Fe, NM

Thanks, Dick, for the information about the green and red boat trailer. We spent many summer vacations at North Thomas while using that trailer as a table/buffet. Mom served “thousands” of fried perch from it. She also converted wooden orange and apple crates from the store to use as camp cupboards. All five of us used to sleep in a heavy canvas tent — Mom and Dad on one side of the pole and we three girls on the other — in big cotton & canvas sleeping bags … remember those? Another wooden orange crate used to separate us and also held a coleman lantern. We bought big blocks of lake ice kept in sawdust from a Ukranian man on the way to the lake for our cooler — 25 cents.


The days of camping pre- Gortex. I think the red Jeep was a ’54 — am I right, Dick?

I read this blog in China — I fly home tomorrow after six weeks here.

Colette, It’s great hearing from you. Having not heard from you in a while, I kind of figured you were out of country. I’m assuming you have another art project that you are working with over in China? Gary
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO

Reply to Mongeon Family

I certainly wanted to recognize Adrian Mongeon before his passing. I knew that he was a real war hero, but like most of that generation, they did not want to talk about it anyway. His dad, Pete, was a pretty amazing guy. I think Margaret Seim could vouch for that.


To Gary Stokes

What ever happened to Paul Peterson from your neck of the woods? He used to herd cattle for Johnny Myer.


I think the Fassett girls are still sitting on some good family history. Just once I saw how your dad could enjoy a good party. It was a wedding. With that deep voice and those plumb pitiful songs. By the way, “All Around The Water Tank” is one of my favorites. How about a copy of one of his tapes?


Thanks for keeping the BLOG going everybody. Gary Metcalfe

Gary M, First off I second your comment thanking everyone for keeping this Blog going. It’s everyone’s input that has kept this going nearly two years now. There has been a lot of Dunseith history reveled in the past two years and we’ve got it all saved.
You asked me about Paul Pederson. I’m assuming Paul is Sam’s son. The Pederson’s lived 3/4 mile west of us. They moved from there when I was 4 or 5 years old. I do not remember any of the Pederson family. I heard lots of talk of them though. Dad farmed their land for several years and then Norman Hiatt purchased the land. I’m not sure if Jim, Marlys, Vickie & Lorie still have that quarter or not. Sam and his father are both buried in Ackworth. There is no history of the Pederson family that I can find anywhere. I’m hoping some of our Ackworth readers, a little senior to me, can fill us in on what they remember of the Sam Pederson family. How many children were in that family? I never heard much mentioned about Sam’s wife. I’m wondering if she pasted on early in life? She is not buried in Ackworth. Gary



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


Hi Gary,


I’ve been waiting for someone to send a video like Pete and Verena’s. I really enjoy watching them. Last year/year before, I received several of them, including one from Eileen.


I was surprised to learn when I clicked on the arrow, the video actually played–I was hoping it would, but wouldn’t have bet money on it. 😉






Smiea Haimour (67)
Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.
Reply from Erling Landsverk (44): joannanderling@charter.net Portage, WI
Hi Gary and All the Great Dunseith Alumni folks
I heard Bonnie Awalt Houle Christmas message this morning and I simply had to thank her for her eloquent way of describing everyone’s attachment to the members of the Alumni, and to all the wonderful people within the area as well. Thank you Bonnie. If I may, I would like to add a Merry Christmas greeting of my own. I feel very fortunate to have lived with and known so many great people such as the Awalt family. Naturally Gary, you and your wife Bernadette are also included in this wish even though you don’t have to shovel snow this Christmas. Have a super New year everyone Erling Landsverk

Reply from Colette Hosmer (64): colettehosmer@gmail.com Santa Fe, NM

Thanks, Dick, for the information about the green and red boat trailer. We spent many summer vacations at North Thomas while using that trailer as a table/buffet. Mom served “thousands” of fried perch from it. She also converted wooden orange and apple crates from the store to use as camp cupboards. All five of us used to sleep in a heavy canvas tent — Mom and Dad on one side of the pole and we three girls on the other — in big cotton & canvas sleeping bags … remember those? Another wooden orange crate used to separate us and also held a coleman lantern. We bought big blocks of lake ice kept in sawdust from a Ukranian man on the way to the lake for our cooler — 25 cents.


The days of camping pre- Gortex. I think the red Jeep was a ’54 — am I right, Dick?

I read this blog in China — I fly home tomorrow after six weeks here.

Colette, It’s great hearing from you. Having not heard from you in a while, I kind of figured you were out of country. I’m assuming you have another art project that you are working with over in China? Gary
Reply from Gary Metcalfe (57): moniesue@yahoo.com Forsyth, MO

Reply to Mongeon Family

I certainly wanted to recognize Adrian Mongeon before his passing. I knew that he was a real war hero, but like most of that generation, they did not want to talk about it anyway. His dad, Pete, was a pretty amazing guy. I think Margaret Seim could vouch for that.


To Gary Stokes

What ever happened to Paul Peterson from your neck of the woods? He used to herd cattle for Johnny Myer.


I think the Fassett girls are still sitting on some good family history. Just once I saw how your dad could enjoy a good party. It was a wedding. With that deep voice and those plumb pitiful songs. By the way, “All Around The Water Tank” is one of my favorites. How about a copy of one of his tapes?


Thanks for keeping the BLOG going everybody. Gary Metcalfe

Gary M, First off I second your comment thanking everyone for keeping this Blog going. It’s everyone’s input that has kept this going nearly two years now. There has been a lot of Dunseith history reveled in the past two years and we’ve got it all saved.
You asked me about Paul Pederson. I’m assuming Paul is Sam’s son. The Pederson’s lived 3/4 mile west of us. They moved from there when I was 4 or 5 years old. I do not remember any of the Pederson family. I heard lots of talk of them though. Dad farmed their land for several years and then Norman Hiatt purchased the land. I’m not sure if Jim, Marlys, Vickie & Lorie still have that quarter or not. Sam and his father are both buried in Ackworth. There is no history of the Pederson family that I can find anywhere. I’m hoping some of our Ackworth readers, a little senior to me, can fill us in on what they remember of the Sam Pederson family. How many children were in that family? I never heard much mentioned about Sam’s wife. I’m wondering if she pasted on early in life? She is not buried in Ackworth. Gary



Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: neolag@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND.


Hi Gary,


I’ve been waiting for someone to send a video like Pete and Verena’s. I really enjoy watching them. Last year/year before, I received several of them, including one from Eileen.


I was surprised to learn when I clicked on the arrow, the video actually played–I was hoping it would, but wouldn’t have bet money on it. 😉






Smiea Haimour (67)
Reply from Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND.

Hi Gary,


I have the answer for Claudette regarding George Albert’s wife. Apparently they married. Her name was Fatima (Heymour) Albert. George died 23 August 1978 in British Columbia, Canada, and is buried at the Riverside Cemetary, Dunseith, Rolette County, North Dakota where his 1st wife, Agnes (Warren) Albert is buried. Agnes died, 9 October 1960. I found Fatima’s Social Security information.

Social Security Death Index

Name: Fatima Albert SSN: 502-86-0514 Last Residence: 953 (U.S. Consulate) Born: 20 Jan 1911 Died: 11 Jan 2007 State (Year) SSN issued: North Dakota (1974)


Apparently Fatima had a daughter, Smiea Heymour with her 1st husband, who I do not know his name. Fatima & Smiea Heymour were both born in Syria. This is all I know about them.






Smiea Haimour (67)

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



I think Claudette is asking about Smiea Haimour (67). The last I
heard she was married and living in Alberta, Canada. Don’t know anything
about her life after high school. She was George Albert’s stepdaughter,
daughter of his second wife. I think she came from Lebanon or Syria and
went to school with us for a couple years. She once told us she was 22
years old when we were about 16. George Albert’s first wife died in a
car wreck. She was related to Ellers. I thinks she was Ivy Eller’s
grandmother, if I remember correctly. Don’t quote me on this one though,
I might be all wrong.


Dick and Eileen, Thank you both for the information you provided about Smiea. LeaRae Parrill actually located Smiea when we were putting the class of 67 together. She provided her contact info to me at that time. I just called Smiea. She does not have email yet. She has her computer still in the box. She said she is going to unpack her computer and get on line. She still has the 67 class list that I sent her via snail mail. She remembers everyone well. Claudette, she remembers you very well and was asking for your phone number of which I don’t have. She then asked for your email address. She said she was going to send a message to you via her daughter. I have pasted her address and phone number below. She’d love to hear from any of you. Gary.






440846th Ave

Olds, AB, CanadaT48H1A2


(403) 556-1799


No email




Pictures from Mary Eurich Knutson (62): Dunseith, ND.


Hi Gary


Here’s some pictures I thought some of your viewers might find interesting. Willliam Pritchard’s homestead was on the west side of Boundary Lake. I think Bernard and Betty Kavli wound up with that place and now I think Lars Sivertson or his son owns it. Notice the sod roof on the building. If the picture doesn’t copy real good and anybody wants one – let me know I’ll mail one out to anybody.


Ida Thompson (to become William Pritchard’s wife) home-

steaded on the east side of Boundary by the Canadian Border and after they married they apparently chose to keep her homestead as their home place.


Oh, and add Karen Larson to your Blog list. She sent these pictures for me. One of these days I’ll send a few pictures to see if anybody can identify the people for me. Thanks.



Mary K

Mary, Karen Larson, Wesley Schneider’s Step daughter, does wonderful work and provides a great services to the Bottineau community with her store. She is the owner of the Spectrum Store located on main street. She has scanned stuff for me several times with my visits back to the area. It’s always a pleasure visiting her and her friendly staff.
Karen, It is a pleasure adding you to our daily distribution. Vickie Metcalfe keeps us posted with Wesley and your mother. Gary









From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.




If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a

thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier

that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but

it will go to a member of the armed services.


How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

It is FREE and it only takes a second.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?

Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to

know we are behind them.


This takes just 10 seconds and it’s a wonderful way to say thank you.


Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others

to do. We can never say enough thank you’s.





Question from Claudette McLeod (80): Dunseith, ND



Will you ask the a question for me? I would like to know what ever happened to a lady I think her name was Samia??? Don’t know the correct spelling…. but she used to live with George Albert who lived north of Dunseith.

Claudette McLeod

Turtle Mountain Outreach


Office (701)244-0199

Condolences from Joan Richard: Dunseith, ND.
I would like to send my condolences to Dick and Brenda Johnson in the loss
of their aunt. My prayers are with you and your families.

I would also like to send my condolences to the
Roland and Armand Mongeon families in the loss of their brother Adrian
Mongeon. My prayers to all of you. Joan Richard




Merry Christmas to the Dunseith folks:

From Bonnie Awalt Houle (56): Becker, MN


Dear Gary and All Your Readers,
The last few years I have begun my day with a cup of tea and “Dunseith Memories” via Gary Stokes’ Blog. I have realized that it took not just our parents to raise us but it took a whole community. Every story depicts an example of neighbor helping neighbor, Parent correcting child whether the child was their child or not, always another set of eyes looking out to see that the children were safe. What an amazing community we were raised in………The accomplishments that each of us speak of were aided by a little town in North Dakota filled with LOVE that spread out to each and everyone. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE THAT WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO BE TOUCHED BY THIS COMMUNITY.
Bonnie Awalt Houle 1956




Reply from Tom Hagen (51): Messa, AZ & Williston, ND.


Gary, No, Owen Haakenson is from Heimdal , Maddock area and no relation
to the Bottineau people.

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

Donald Egbert (65) – 7/12/07
Reply to Dick Johnson (68):
From Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND
In answer to your questions about Don Egbert’s vehicles.
While visiting with Henry last evening I was telling him about the message you sent about the cars, Donald Egbert once owned. He did drive some nice looking automobiles. The big reason he had some nice cars was that his dad did not want him driving around in just any old clunker. That was mostly before he found out that Don was into the alcohol. Damn alcohol!
Adrian loved that kid and would have and did give him almost anything he wanted. I remember the first time I saw Adrian. I was in the second grade. This huge man with a huge voice was raising hell with the third grade teacher for giving his son a low mark on something. I remember I was all eyes and couldn’t believe that this huge man was chewing out this woman teacher. I remember asking someone who this guy was? After finding out, I made a mental note not to cross paths with this guy. Later on in life, when I was much older, I found out that he was actually a nice guy and we did have some good conversations. He was really concerned about his son, Donald.
I remember my brothers and I were skiing across the creek in Evan’s pasture. We had a couple pairs of old skis, a 4 ft. pair and a 6 ft. pair, that had leather straps that you stuck your toe through. Don came along and saw these and tryed them out. The next day he showed up with a bran new pair of skis. When he wanted a bicycle, his dad went and got him the best one he could find. Remember the one that Don rode with the twin saddle bag baskets on the back wheel. It was a nice ride for Dunseith. I have a feeling that if Don could have kept it together, his dad would have given him the world.
Don was a excellent football and basketball player. He started playing with the varsity teams when he was in the seventh grade.
This might of led to his downfall. He started running with the older crowd and picked up some of their bad habits early or at least it enabled him to develope some bad habits early. Yes, Dick I agree with you and feel sorry for the man. I have heard that he has taken the cure several times and he has been unable to change.
Henry recalled that Don’s first car was a 1950 gray Ford. He said Don, him, and Julian Kalk used it one summer to cruise back and forth to Westhope to haul hay bales for a farmer. He remembers that Don lost his keys for it one day and they tried to hot wire the car, and burned the points. The farmer who was set up to tow a swather over to a farm he had east of Bottineau. He threw a chain around the bumper of Don’s car and tied it on to the back of the swather and towed the swather and the car with them in it to his farm. He then gave them a ride to Lamourix’s Garage in Dunseith where they purchased points and and a ignition system. They repaired the car and got it running in less the a 1/2 hour. In them days the auto companys idea was to make it easy to repair an automobile. Don always did have bad luck with his cars. Henry don’t recall what happened to the Ford. Henry thought the next car Don drove was his dad’s 1952 brown and white chevy. I remember Adrian driving that car, but, don’t remember Donald driving it.
You are right! The next car Donald had, was a honey of a car. It was a 1956, peachs (orange)and cream, two tone colored Mercury. It was sweet! I would love to have a car like that even now.
It was 1961 Halloween night. Don was driving his Mercury with three other people in the car with him including Henry. They had pulled some shenanigans some where South of town. They thought they were being followed. Don shut off his lights. They were cruising down this section line road in the dark. Someone shouted theres a car on the road. Don switched on his head lights, and bang. Two nice cars were damaged that night. Who would of thought that some fellow would be parked in the middle of the road, with his girl friend, and with the lights off. I imagine they were a little surprised too.
The next car Don had was a beautiful 1957 Chevy. It was baby blue and white in color. Another real sweet ride! He wrecked it, by hitting the ditch on the road to the cemetary.
His next car was after he quit high school and went to work on the missile bases. He came back to town with a 1963 white Chevrolet. Another real nice ride. I remember coming to work one morning at Robert’s Service and their it was setting with one back wheel wore down to the diameter of the brake drum. Apparently he had a flat and didn’t stop to change wheels. Someone said he drove it from Bottineau with the flat.
The next and the last car that I and Henry remember Don driveing was a 1960 Mercury, It was baby blue and white in color. It was a huge car. In fact I bought it from Don and later sold it to one of the Pigeon brothers.
By this time Don had lost his license so many times, he was never getting it back. Not in this life-time anyway.
Reply from Bill Grimme (65): Birmingham, AL
Here is the story of the plane crash that Spencer Teal died in.
Bill, you are one fast guy. You had this back to me in less than five minutes after I sent out yesterdays blog. You must have your computer set on super high speed for finding this stuff. This stuff whipped across the Pacific ocean with lightening speed yesterday. This is a great follow up to Spencer Teal’s obituary posted by Dick Johnson yesterday. Thanks, Gary

Japan – The Mount Fuji Disaster, by James Wilson (1966)

It was a Saturday in March 1966; a perfect late winter day in Tokyo; clear blue skies, bright sunshine, with a magnificent view of Mount Fuji from the city. The BOAC city office did not usually open on a Saturday, but as Manager Japan I had gone in that morning to write a letter of condolence to my counterpart at Canadian Pacific Airlines after one of their DC-8s had crashed the previous day on the seawall at Tokyo’s Haneda airport. By the afternoon, I was doing some carpentry on the patio of our house in Azabu; my wife Diana had gone to the hairdresser – it was a very ordinary Saturday afternoon.

Then, with a phone call from the BOAC operations office at Haneda, my world fell apart. A BOAC Boeing 707 which was late, for reasons which were going to be very significant, had failed to report after its initial departure message and now there were reports of an aircraft falling from the sky in the Mount Fuji area. At first it was believed that aircraft involved was a Japanese self-defence force fighter, then it seemed possible that it was our 707. That was the news on the radio at the hairdresser. I was already on my way to Haneda, not to be home for a week.

The 707 had arrived late after diverting to Fukuoka on the flight up from Hong Kong. Since it had only a few passengers booked from Tokyo, we had agreed to delay further the departure to Hong Kong so as to take a group of 75 American Thermo-King dealers who were on an incentive tour of the Orient. There were 124 people on the flight including the crew. The American group had made an immediate transfer from a Japanese domestic flight at Haneda.

During the night we began to piece together messages about wreckage on the mountainside in the area of Taboro. It became clear that it was our aircraft and that there were no survivors. Why a large jet airliner should fall out of the sky in apparently perfect weather was a mystery to which we could give no answer.

The whole weight of the overpowering Japanese media fell on us. We had no experience of an accident in Japan. I was to learn a lot, very quickly.

The first lesson was that Japanese newspapers had commandeered all the available helicopters, so that when I came to look for one to go up the mountain on the Sunday there was every problem. Eventually I found one at a heliport in the suburbs and chartered it to come to Haneda to pick me up.

One of our Japanese traffic clerks was detailed to come along as interpreter. Suzuki-san looked terrified. I cannot say I blame him but it was only later that I realised how terrified he was. The weather had changed completely. Sunday was wet and windy with mist swirling around Taboro. As I climbed into the helicopter the crew said in Japanese “where to?” “Taboro” I said. “But where in Taboro?” “Oh! I don’t know, perhaps the post office.” That must be easy to see, I thought. After forty minutes of nothing, the pilot suddenly said, “There is the post office. I cannot land there. I will put you down that schoolyard, and then I must go away to wait at a heliport further up the valley. OK?”

Suzuki-san and I jumped out into the deserted yard with a feeling of absolute abandonment, which was made much worse when we realised that we might be locked into a compound. Eventually, after half an hour of desperate searching through the empty school buildings, we found a fire exit leading to the street.

On later reflection, the whole trip took on a surreal quality. When we found some of the scattered remains it was necessary to keep telling oneself that this really was part of the complete destruction of an aircraft with everyone on board.

Much of the rest of that visit was spent reviewing arrangements at the temporary morgue to which bodies were starting to arrive. Now that a BOAC team had arrived by road from Tokyo, there was no excuse for not returning to face the outside world in Tokyo. I called for the helicopter to fetch us, but Suzuki-san had disappeared, not to return for a couple of days. He really had been badly shaken by the experience. I made the return trip alone.

As with all disasters, the organisation to deal with the consequences takes on a life of its own. Gradually it became apparent that there was a special dimension that follows from the Japanese belief in personal responsibility in such situations. We could not hide behind lawyers and insurance loss adjusters.

A committee was formed to represent the families of the dozen Japanese killed in the accident (including the Japanese stewardess) and I was expected to negotiate personally all claims with this committee. This process was to take more than a year. However, immediately there were extraordinary requirements. Every Japanese was to receive “condolence money”, about £400 for each victim, for which there was no precedent in our system. At first there were objections from head office that this could acknowledge responsibility yet to be established. I rather think that events overtook any objection. Payments were made within hours.

I also attended Shinto ceremonies all over the city. The Japanese press had surrounded our downtown offices, making entry and exit very difficult. A co-ordination centre took over our reservations area in the basement of the Sanshin Building.

As one might expect, there were bizarre overtones. One group on board had been the “Blue Boys” a transvestite cabaret act moving from Japan to Hong Kong as part of a world tour. The group presented particular problems in identification to the rescue teams. But nothing was to surpass the effrontery of the agent in Japan who called demanding a refund of the fares which he claimed to have paid for their journey to Hong Kong. In telling him to wait I think I may have been rather rude.

Later, from a rural corner of France came a communication from the aged mother of one of the “boys”. It was clear that she had lost contact with her son many years before, but we met her request to be taken up the mountain to see his grave. It seemed a particularly worthwhile task.

The presence of a large American group on the aircraft was a particular worry to our USA organization. With the complete mystery as to what had caused the accident – it was well before the days of terrorist attacks like the Lockerbie disaster – the scene could have been set for American lawyers to have a field day. We had people from the BOAC USA offices working in our Tokyo accident centre in an effort to meet the US requirements including briefing the US media. I received excellent advice from a US born Japanese lawyer working in Tokyo who understood some of the cultural differences in the approach to such matters.

An explosive decomposition at altitude makes for extreme difficulty in positive identification of the human remains scattered over a considerable area. After some days, the experts had accounted for every passenger and crew member so that the wishes of relatives could be met, with the exception of one English stewardess. We seemed to be close to declaring that no trace could be found of this young woman. However, there were some remains which had not been linked positively with any other and following what could perhaps be called a process of elimination it was possible for the experts to say that no one would have to be for ever in the missing category. The stewardess had only one relative, her aged mother, and I thought how terrible it would have been if that old lady alone were deprived of what comfort there might be in a funeral, a grave, those certainties that conclude a life.

The investigators ultimately concluded that the accident was caused by clear air turbulence associated with the wind shear that can occur over a high mountain when the jet stream is as strong as that reported on that day of clear blue skies. The strong metal fuselage had been torn apart after being subject to stresses that could not, at that time, ever have been envisaged. All the stories about the 707 flying into Mount Fuji were set on one side.

However, it is not surprising that I carry with me an intense dislike of all those images of the sacred mountain so popular in Japanese culture. Years before I had climbed to the top and believed in that guarantee of one’s return to Japan; now I saw it in an altogether different light


Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

Gary and Friends,

In Paula’s picture of the fishing camp with Bob Hosmer’s Jeep, there
is a boat trailer to the right of the picture that has some local
history. I’m not sure if these trailers were built by one of the
Lamoureux brothers or by John Bedard’s (65) grandfather, also John
Bedard or maybe both or neither. Anyway, there were many of them built
and nearly everyone who had a boat, had one of these locally built
trailers. Dad bought one and we used it for quite a few years until I
hauled an old 1930 Dodge car and bent the axle. They were made from old
Model T frames and other car parts and had a full wood deck with washing
machine rollers up the center for the boat to roll on and off. As far as
I know they were ALL painted red and green. I think one of the reasons
Dad bought one was that once when we attempted to haul his boat in the
back of the old IH pickup, Dad slammed on the brakes to avoid a careless
driver and the boat slid forward through the back window and the bow hit
me in the back of the head. With the glass flying and the racket, the
folks thought I was really hurt, but there was no collateral damage.
Remember, it just hit me in the head! I was about 10 and was sitting in
the center. Now you know why I’m like THIS! Thanks Gary!



Happy Holidays!

From Pete (65) & Verena Gilles: Dunseith, ND

This is neat. Pete and Verena are on the right in this video. Gary



Condolences to Dick Johnson & reply to Gary Metcalfe:
From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Dick, I’m so sorry to hear about your aunt. I just got my pc up and running. Gary, I dont know Cliff, sorry to say. If he is like “Pa”, then he will be one hell of a guy. Sybil
Bev Morinville Azure’s funeral:
From Les & Myra Henning (72) Halvorson: Bottineau, ND.
Hello Gary,

We said goodbye to Bev Azure today. Our sincere condolences to her family.
I took this picture of Toni and Duane in the fellowship hall after the
funeral. Debbie was not able to attend. It was good to see the many
Dunseith and former Dunseith folks in attendance and thank you to the
ladies of the church for the delicious food. Thanks Gary and Happy
Holidays to all! Les and Myra (Henning) Halvorson

Toni Morinville Gredesky (68) & Duane Morinville
Spencer Teal (46) & LaRose Ketterling (46)
Message/newspaper article/Picture from Dick Johnson (66): Dunseith, ND
Gary and Friends,

One guy from the class of ’46 at DHS was Spencer Teal. He was the son
of Bill and Irene Teal. Bill was the depot agent at Dunseith for many
years. Spencer was traveling with a dance troupe from Paris, France and
was enroute to Japan when the passenger jet he was on crashed on Mt.
Fuji in Japan in 1966. There were no survivors. A young woman from
Leeds, ND was also on that plane. I think she was traveling as part of a
beauty pageant or similar function. I still have the Life Magazine that
tells the entire story of the crash. Spencer was in the same graduating
class as my folks and was a friend of theirs. The picture attached is of
Spencer and classmate, LaRose Ketterling, goofing around at the school.
Thanks Gary!



Spencer Teal (46) &

LaRose Ketterling (46)



Elaine Haakenson:

From Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND


This came from Tom Hagen earlier tonight.

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:35 PM
Subject: Elaine Haakenson


Yes, that is Elaine Haakenson, wife of Owen Haakenson who with Clay
Kittelson ran the Texaco station across from Dales. She now lives in
AZ and her husband is Dot’s cousin by marriage. They are friends and
he and I work together as volunteers at the Lutheran Thrift Store. When
I was teaching in Heimdal her sister Carol was a student of mine!!!!

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

I did not realize there was another Elaine Haakenson. The Elaine Haakenson I/we know is the daughter of Arnie and Mabel Kofoid Haakenson. Is Owen related to the Bottineau Haakenson’s?


Lutheran Ladies Circle at Jeanette Moe’s house:

Back: Elaine Haakenson, Luella Dion, Clarice Aus (her husband was a teacher??), Murl Hill

Front: Bernice Johnson, Arla Hiatt, Burnell Moren (wife of the pastor?), Jeanette Moe, Irene Fassett.





Gary Cota (56) & Marlin Cote:
Question/info from Neola Kofoid Garbe: neolag@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND
I think you’ve said Gary Cota doesn’t have email. What class did he graduate with? I have “courthouse” pictures to send to him; I thought I’d include a note about the May 22 get-together in Dunseith–also include a list of people who plan to attend.
Also, I don’t know if anyone would be interested in knowing Marlin Cote is now living at the home. Apparently, Good Sam has a few rooms for those who don’t need much care; he’s in one of those rooms.
Neola, I have pasted Gary’s contact info below and an updated reunion list. Gary

Cota Gary 774 9TH ST E DICKINSON, ND 58601 701- 290-2550



Reply form Bob Lykins (DHS 60’s teacher): Hutto, TX
Sorry to hear about your run in with the mighty arm of the law. Guess the guys needed a little extra money to put down on the rooster fights. Thanks for running the photo of the Class of 65’s 8th grade graduation. It is interesting to note how much more mature the students all look when dressed in more formal attire. Seeing such photos brings back many fond memories.
I am off for Germany next week to spend the holidays with my son and his mother. For those who may be interested in geography and have some knowledge of Germany, I shall be in the Bayischerwald (Bavarian Forest) village of Wegscheid. Looking at a map the village is located in the hills where the Czech, German, and Austrian borders come together. It is, as one might expect, a very beautiful area located off the beaten tourist path but very close to some of the best cross country skiing in the world.
May everyone who reads this message have a glorius and safe Christmas and New Years. God bless you all and a special blessing for you, Gary, for all that you do to foster a truely global togetherness for the people from Dunseith.
Bob Lykins
Reply from Pam Fassett Faust (65): Lilburn, GA
Gary – That gal on the right end of the first row couldn’t be me. We moved to El Paso before graduation so I could not be in this picture. Thanks for all you do with this blog – it has reconnected a lot of people.
Pam Fassett-Faust
Pam, I kind of thought you had left Dunseith before 8th grade graduation, but I couldn’t think of who else it could be. I was looking at our current list of those of us living when I was labeling that photo. I forget to check the deceased. See Dick Johnson’s reply below. I think he’s right. Gary
Reply from Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

I think it’s Barbara Kalk instead of Lorraine and last one in the
front row might be Shirley Boguslawski instead of Pam Fassett. Fassetts
had moved to California before this picture was taken, I believe. I
could be wrong here, but thought I should bring it to your attention
just in case. Thanks.


DHS class of 65 eigth grade graduation:
Comment on the Picture: I remember back in those days we kids all had suits. We never went to church without wearing a suit. My brothers and I had some pretty snazzy suits that came from the Dunseith sisters. Folks used to dress up more in formal attire back in those days. The class of 65 is looking pretty sharp. What a mature bunch of folks we were, in our eyes of coarse. Gary
3rd Row: Phyllis McKay, Margaret Metcalfe, Esther Murray, Kenny Nerpel, Allen Richard, Gladys Roussin, Tim Strong, Roberta Wilke, Myron Zorn.
2nd Row: Donold Egbert, Susan Fassett, Evi Gottbreht, Bill Grimme, Henry Hackman, Earl Hiatt, Carol Jasper, Barbara Kalk, Ginger LaRocque, Art Rude, Ron Longie
Front Row: Jean Abrahamson, Carol Allard, Larry Allard, Warren Anderson, Sheally Baker, John Bedard, Alan Boguslawski, Patty Boguslawski, Angela Berube, Cecile Berube, Shirely Boguslawski
Reply from Neola Kofoid Garbe: Bottineau & Minot, ND.
Hi Gary,
Thanks for the interesting account of what is happening at your home at this time.
I don’t think this is “our” Elaine Haakenson; I see no resemblance between this lady/”our” Elaine. I’m guessing you don’t see a resemblance, either. :)
Paula is correct: Clarice Aus’ husband, Perry, was a teacher. The picture of the ladies is very interesting. I have at least two people I’ll be forwarding this picture to.
I arrived at my apartment at six. I finally have everything carried into the downstairs hall; I don’t have everything carried up to my apartment. If I get everything carried to the hall, I can carry it upstairs a little at a time. The 15 almost straight stairs, give my heart/body a good workout!! LOL!!

Lutheran Ladies Circle at Jeanette Moe’s house:

Back: Elaine Haakenson (?? – I remember the name), Luella Dion,

Clarice Aus (her husband was a teacher??), Murl Hill

Front: Bernice Johnson, Arla Hiatt, Burnell Moren (wife of the pastor?), Jeanette Moe, Irene Fassett.


Folks, It’s currently 12:30 AM at our house here in the PI. With tomorrow being Bernadette Brothers funeral at noon, I am getting as much of this news letter put together as I can tonight before going to bed. At the moment things are very active at our house. There are many folks visiting and playing cards at this very moment. Bernadette has been serving goodies all night.
It reminds me of an old fashion Christmas program at the Ackworth school sitting here at my desk seeing 200 paper bags, sitting on the floor, filled with goodies that will be pasted out tomorrow at the grave site. Bernadette has hired 2 large vans and 4 jeepneys to transport family from the church to the Cemetery located about 5 miles from the church. She has also hired a motorcycle escort (police) service that will escort us to the cemetery. They will stop all traffic and hurriedly lead us to the cemetery. We will be taking our car too. Following the burial, The escort service will lead us all back to our house for a dinner that Bernadette is having prepared. We went out and purchased all the ingredients for the dinner this afternoon. She has hired a lady that will be assisted by several others to prepare the meal. They are in the outside kitchen chopping up vegetables and cutting up meat at this very moment.
For these folks the loss of a loved one is not totally realized until they go in the ground. That is the hardest part of all funerals here. Gary

Pictures provided by Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN
Note: Elaine Haakenson is a relative of mine. Her mother and my dad are first cousins. I will include her with today’s message. Neola, Does this look like Elaine to you? Elaine, is this you in this picture. in this picture, Jeanette Hahn Moe sure looks like her sister Arlene Knutson. Their brother Gordon Hahn was married to my first cousin, Alice Petterson. They are both deceased. Gary
Lutheran Ladies Circle at Jeanette Moe’s house:
Back: Elaine Haakenson (?? – I remember the name), Luella Dion,
Clarice Aus (her husband was a teacher??), Murl Hill
Front: Bernice Johnson, Arla Hiatt, Burnell Moren (wife of the pastor?), Jeanette Moe, Irene Fassett.




Card players in Darrel & Dorothy Fassett’s kitchen – Omeemee (probably spelled wrong), ND – 1954





Crystal Fassett (70) reading to Hans Johnson – Christmas 1954


(that’s Paula Fassett’s (71) head down in the lower right)






I’m a Car-Guy-Wannabe, so had to include this because I remember this Jeep and loving it as a little kid – Bob Hosmer’s Jeep – taken in 1955, so what would be the year of the Jeep??? Taken at Thomas Lake, Manitoba. See the whitecaps on the lake – must have been fun camping…..




Folks, I was in a hurry yesterday and got the message number mixed up. It should have been 649, not 349. I am continuing on with 650 today.

Yesterday was not my day for driving. There are few rules of the road that are followed in this country. Everyone is pretty much on their own maneuvering in the traffic of which is heavy most of the time. One has to be aggressive or you won’t get places. All the traffic enforcers are pretty much at intersections directing traffic. Yesterday the traffic enforcers decided they needed a little extra revenue, so they placed a small “no left turn” sign, not easily seen, on a busy intersection where I have frequently been making left turns for several years. After making the turn, there was an army of traffic enforcers flagging me and a whole bunch of others down to give us tickets. It was a $10 ticket that I had to go all the way across town to pay. There wasn’t much I could do but pay the ticket. Gary
Memories of Shirley Olson Warcup (49):
From Janice Leonard Workman (56): Auburn, WA

Shirley was 6 or 7 years older than I, and I remember a day that she talked her sister into taking some of us little kids out to the lake to swim (loosely translataed) and play in the water. She watched us all afternoon. Shirley was always gracious and a real special person. I am sure she will be missed by many people. Dick and Brenda, you have my deepest sympathy. Janice


Condolences to the Azure-Morinvilee Families:

From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.

Gary and Friends,

I would like to send our condolences to the Azure-Morinville families
on the loss of our friend, Bev. We will miss her entries on this site.
She was always cheerful and compassionate to anyone who was hurting for
any reason. She will certainly be missed by all.




Bev morinville’s last posted message on 9/15/09
Reply from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND.

Thank you Verna and Pete.. each message means the world to me….as you all know Verna has done as much volenteering in this area she is truly a angel to all of us. She never asks for a pat on the back she does it cause she can . HATS OFF TO YOU VERNA SOMEDAY YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN WILL BE GREAT…


Shirley Olson Warcup’s last posted message on 11/08/09
Danny Lovass
Reply from Shirley Olson Warcup (49): ronsw28@msn.com Ivans, UT.

Here is a little information on Danny Lovaas: Danny’s younger brother, Paul, and I kept in touch until his death about 6 years ago. We talked on the phone a few times a year and I remember once he mentioned that one of Danny’s daughters had come to Nebraska to see him. I believe he said Danny lived in Louisiana and that he had 3 daughters. I could be wrong about both state and number of children. I don’t think Paul ever named the city in La. I wish now I had written down some of that information. Paul was pretty much confined to his apartment by this time–he used a wheel chair to get around. He apparently had regular communication with this niece and appreciated her visit. A former co-worker of Paul’s called me after his death. He might know something about Danny, but I didn’t write down his name or phone number and can no longer remember either. Both Ron, my husband, and I appreciated Paul’s calls–if I wasn’t home Paul gave Ron a run-down on things and they always had a good visit. I wish I had more information!!

Shirley Olson Warcup




Class of 65 Eighth grade graduation picture:


Folks, I received this picture from Dick Johnson (68), who received it from Paula Fassett (71), who received it from her sister Susan Fassett Martin (65). This is one of the pictures that I lost when my Hard drive was accidentally reformatted a few months back. I am so glad to have it back again.


I was with the class of 65, but did attend Dunseith until High School. I was the last lone graduate to ever graduate from Ackworth. That was in 1961. I went trough the graduation ceremonies with the Dunseith folks though, but I am not in this picture. Not all in this picture were with us in High School, so there are some I don’t recognize. I’ll take a stab at identifying those in this picture. Folks, I know I have some wrong, so please make the corrections. If you see a mistake, please reply. Please don’t wait for the next guy to reply. Gary



3rd Row: Phyllis McKay, Margaret Metcalfe, Esther Murray, Kenny Nerpel, Allen Richard, Gladys Roussin, Tim Strong, Roberta Wilke, Myron Zorn.


2nd Row: Donold Egbert, Susan Fassett, Evi Gottbreht, Bill Grimme, Henry Hackman, Earl Hiatt, Carol Jasper, Lorraine Kalk, Ginger LaRocque, Art Rude, Ron Longie


Front Row: Jean Abrahamson, Carol Allard, Larry Allard, Warren Anderson, Sheally Baker, John Bedard, Alan Boguslawski, Patty Boguslawski, Angela Berube, Cecile Berube, Pam Fassett

All rights reserved


Shirley Olson Warcup’s (49) obituary provided by Eileen Brudwick: Fargo, ND

Shirley Mae Olson Warcup

May 05, 1931 – Dec 06, 2009


Shirley Mae Olson Warcup passed away on Sunday night, December 6, 2009 in St. George, Utah, as a result of complications from recent surgery. Shirley was born to Henry and Myrtle Olson on May 5, 1931 in Dunseith, North Dakota. She attended grade school and high school in Dunseith and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor’s degree in education. Shirley was employed by the Merced High School Union District in California, where she served as a teacher, then a counselor and dean of girls, and finally as vice principal. She finished her 45-year career in education as an instructor at Merced Community College.


After retiring in 2006, Shirley and her husband of 58 years, Ronald Warcup, moved to Ivins, Utah. She loved the beauty of the Ivins area, and she and Ron lunched at Zion National Park every Monday.


Shirley was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was eager to serve wherever needed.

Shirley was preceded in death by her father and mother; her sister, Bernice Johnson; and a granddaughter, Ashley Warcup. She is survived by her husband, sons Douglas and Bradley, daughter Janet, 10 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

A graveside service to honor Shirley will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 10, 2009 at Ivins City Cemetery, 400 N. 200 W., Ivins, Utah. All family and friends are invited to attend



Memories of Shirley Olson Warcup:

From Lois Lilleby Fielding (51) Prescott, AZ


Dick: I was three years behind Shirley Olson Warcup in school, but I always admired her friendliness, zest for life and that wonderful smile! You have wonderful memories, I’m sure. Lois Lilleby Fielding








Condolences from Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC




To Gary & Bernadette,To Bev Morinvilles Azure’s Family, To Dick & Brenda:
This morning as I sit in the quiet early hours,amoung the warmeth of my fireplace,and peaceful beauty of Christmas lights,my heart,thoughts and prayers go out to each and everyone of you,at the loss of someone special to you this Christmas Season.As you sit in your quiet moments,reflecting on the thoughts,and memories,of the one you loved, cherished,and lost,I wish you all a Peace,that passes all understanding,and a renewed Hope for the New Year. God Bless each and everyone of you.
With Sympathy,
Ms. Aggie
Aggie, Thank you so much for these nice comforting words. Gary
Condolences to the Warcup family.
From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA

I did not know Shirley, but just recently (early Nov) I exchanged a few inputs with her here on Gary’s Blog in reference to my Dad and Uncle helping her family out back in the 30’s. I am truly sorry and saddened to hear of her passing. May God be with you and all of your family during this difficult time.
Keith Pladson (66)

Bev Morinville Azure:

Posted by Audrey (Hanson) Aitchison)Bottineau


Bev (Morinville) Azure and I were first cousins.

My Dad (Bert Hanson) and her Mom (Frances Hanson) were brother and sister. It has been a hard time for the family sitting at Trinity Hospital in Minot for 3 weeks with the stress of watching Bev failing and knowing she wouldn’t be with them too long. Her suffering is over now. I send my condolences to the family and may the Lord comfort them in the days ahead. “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3) Keep your faith.


Reply from Heidi Hanson Danielson (69): Bottineau, ND


Hi, Gary!

No, I am not on the daily list. You can add me, please.

Becky’s info:

She is married and lives in Devils Lake.

Becky Elllingson

114 Country Club Road

Devils Lake, ND 58301


I know she was friends with Peggy Wurgler. She would have been with the Class of ’71.



Folks, I recently discovered that Heide was not on our Daily distribution. I have now added her along with her sister Becky. Their mother was a teacher in Dunseith when Heidi was in the lower grades. Heidi is a teacher in the Bottineau schools. Gary



Obiturary provided by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.




July 12, 1919-December 5, 2009



Adrien Simeon Mongeon, 90, Rolette, died on Saturday, December 5, 2009.

Adrien was born on July 12, 1919, on the family farm near Thorne, ND to Pierre and Anna (Grenier) Mongeon. Adrien attended school in Shell Valley and Rolette. He completed his high school education through the GI bill adult education program.

During WWII he served our country in North Africa and Italy from 1942 to 1945, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Following the war he met and married Sylvia LaDouceur on October 25, 1947, in Minneapolis, MN. They farmed north of Rolette for 37 years. He retired from farming in 1984 and moved to Rolette, spending many enjoyable winters in Mesa, AZ with close friends and family.

He was very civic minded, serving on the elevator, REC, and Rolette School boards. He was a church trustee at St. Michael’s in Thorne, was active in the American Legion, and a founding member of the Rolette Country Club. Adrien was instrumental in bringing telephone services to their rural area by obtaining and setting the poles with his neighbors. He greatly enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing cards, reading, and “coaching” the Twins, Vikings, and Phoenix Suns.

Adrien was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Sylvia, in 2006, his parents, Pierre and Anna Mongeon, siblings, Leo Mongeon, Janet Evans, Eugene Mongeon, and Lorraina Trimble.

He is survived by his children and their spouses: Ron (Nancy) Mongeon,Lincoln, NE; Janel (Dennis) McCall, Helena, MT Susan (Dan) Hare,also of Helena and Jim (Beth) Mongeon,Rolette.

Grandchildren: Darin(Paige) Mongeon, Paul (Traci) Mongeon, Greg (Rachel) Mongeon,Steve (Sarah) Mongeon, Zach McCall, Jake (Ashley) McCall, Josh (Tennille) McCall, Zeb McCall, Brian Hare, Jill (Mike) Haubert, Mark Hare, Jessica Mongeon, Rebecca Mongeon, Joe Mongeon.

Great-grandchildren: Sierra and Lane Mongeon, Jarrett and Josie Mongeon, Adrienne and Jayden Mongeon, Kate McCall, and Sienna Haubert.

Siblings and their spouses: Roland (Nora) Mongeon and Armand Mongeon, Dunseith, Alfred (June) Mongeon, Rolette, Sister Stephanie Mongeon, Ogden, UT and Dennis (Carol) Mongeon, Mandan

Many dearly loved nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial: Friday at 10:30 a.m. in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rolette. Fr. Philip Chacko will celebrate the Mass and burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery, Rolette. Military Honors will be accorded by the Dethman-Armstrong American Legion Post #94, Rolette.

Visitation will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Rolette on Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with vigil services at 7:00 p.m. Visitation on Friday will be one hour prior to the funeral Mass.

Serving as Casket Bearers for Adrien will be Joe Mongeon, Steven Mongeon, Greg Mongeon, Brian Hare, Mark Hare, Josh McCall and Zeb McCall.

Honorary Bearers will be Jake McCall, Zake McCall, Darin Mongeon, Paul Mongeon, Jessica Mongeon, Rebecca Mongeon and Jill Haubert.

Reading the Scriptures will be Rebecca Mongeon and Zach McCall and Prayers of Intercession will be read by Darin Mongeon.

Gift Bearers will be Jessica Mongeon, Jill Haubert and Jake McCall.

Music will be provided by Jim Mongeon, violinist, Lisa Denzel, vocalists and Gail Tastad, vocalist and pianist.

Memorials can be sent to: Presentation Medical Center, 213 2nd Ave. NE, P.O. Box 759, Rolla, ND.


Dunseith News:

Posted Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot & Bottineau, ND.





Bev Morinville Azure’s (72) funeral:
Posted by Verena Gillis: Dunseith, ND.
Funeral services for Bev are as follows:
Wake: Friday, Dec. 11th-6:00 pm with a rosary service at 8:00 pm
Funeral: Saturday, Dec. 12th-10:00 am-St. Michael’s Church, Dunseith, ND
Shirley Olson Warcup’s (49) Graveside Services:
From her husband Ron: Ivins, UT

To all

As general info and update for Shirley,

Graveside Services as per her wishes will be on Thursday Dec. 10 at 1;00 pm in the Ivins Cemetery , Ivins, UT

I wish to thank all for their sympathy and concern.






Condolences to the Zorn Family:

From Ginger LaRocque Poitra (65): Belcourt, ND


I was saddened to hear of Myron’ son. I can not imagine what they are
going through. Myron your family will be remembered in my prayer’s, so
you can make it through this terrible loss you are feeling. Please Lord
bless this family and give them the strength to overcome what is ahead.
God bless you and yours.

Ginger (LaRocque) Poitra (65)

Ginger, I’ve noticed that your email box has not been functioning for the last while. It’s great to have you back on line. I know you and Myron were class mates long before I joined the class of 65 in our freshman year. Gary



Condolences to the Morinville/Azure family:

From Gail Halvorson Schuler (72): Bismarck, ND


Azure Family


My deepest sympathy to the family of Bev Mornville Azure. She was my classmate. May the Lord comfort you in your time of loss and sadness.


Gail Halvorson Schuler

Class of 72



Condolences to the Morinville/Azure family:
From Dianne Rober’t Johnson (76): Rolla, ND.


The Armstrong’s & Johnson’s send their condolences to the Azure family. We’ve known Bev since Darla & I were kids. Bev (& Dewy) spent so much time @ our house, Dad called them his kids too! I use to work with Bev @ TMC in Dunseith, and she was one of the people I missed after leaving there.
When the folks owned the Gas Station in town, I remember Duane & Russell were always playing jokes on Bev. One time, they sent her to the Hardware Store to get a left-handed monkey wrench. Then another time, sent her looking for a kinfle-pin. She never caught on to what they were doing. God they’d laugh!! And, she would use the word “ish-ka-bibble” alot!!!
I have lots of good memories of Bev, she was a good person, and I know God has another Angel in Heaven. She is at peace now, and watching over the rest of us, til we are all together again.
Dianne Johnson
Condolence to the Morinville & Azure family:
From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI
To all of you. Bad things happen to good people. You are all in my prayers. Joe and my dad were good friends — and special friends in the Knights of Columbus.
Allen Richard
Bev Morinville Azure’s (72) Obituary:

Beverly Lynn Azure
(February 23, 1956 – December 6, 2009)




Beverly Azure, age 56 of Dunseith, died Sunday in aMinot hospital. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 10:00 A.M. in the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Dunseith. A wake will be held on Friday beginning at 6:00 P.M. with a prayer service at 8:00 P.M. in the church. Burial will be in theSt. LouisCemeteryalso in Dunseith.


Beverly Azure, a daughter of Joe and Frances (Hanson) Morinville, was born in Bottineau on February 23, 1953. On August 16, 1980 she was married to Clarence Azure at Dunseith.


She is survived by her husband, Clarence of Dunseith; daughters, Shonda Azure of Minot and Shannon Azure of Grand Forks; sons Cody Azure and Jason Azure both of Grand Forks; a grandson, Chris Scott of Minot; sisters, Debbie Marmon of Miles City MT and Toni Gredesky of Fairmount, ND; a brother, Duane Morinville of Dunseith





Shirley Olson Warcup (49) memories:


From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND.



Gary and Friends,

Right now we are attempting to grasp the loss of my Aunt Shirley, or
‘Snookie’ as she was known to all of us. She was a remarkable person
with a heart of gold and a no nonsense concept of right and wrong. She
was a hard worker and continued to work well after the age of normal
retirement. I have memories of her from the beginning of my ability to
remember and yet am unable to have a single bad memory. This includes
when we were young (my cousins and I) and she would dole out the
discipline as needed. We knew we had it coming and we got it! Never was
there a time when I thought she was mean or uncaring. It was all part of
my growing up process and now I respect this even more. Although she was
gone from North Dakota since 1959, whenever we talked with her it was
like she never left. She remembered her roots and many of you now know
this because of her entries on this very blog. She was the type of
person many folks can only wish they could be. I really don’t think I
ever believed illness could take her from us. She was determined and
strong willed and could handle nearly anything in put her path . As Ron
said though, her age and the severity of this acute illness was just
more than anyone could overcome. We certainly will miss her. Thanks to
those who have called and written with their condolences. It means a lot
to us. Thanks Gary.



Shirley & Ron Warcup



Reply with memories of Herman Martinson & Pictures:

From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59):


Thank you Gary Metcalfe for the kind words. I cannot begin to express how thankful I am for the contact with idols and friends of my childhood and youth. I actually think that long unused neurons are being awakened some mornings. I carry messages with me all day and in idle moments [read hours] a thought long forgotten springs to mind. Out of nowhere the memory of Mr. Schwab our neighbor across the street sprang to mind this week. He had come striding out his back screen door with a pair of leather gloves and said that we should use them to handle the feisty squirrel we had caught and that he advised release soon; “Wild creatures should live free.” Harriet Schwab was a frail beauty by then, perhaps 1947/48, but often at her window or door way checking on the local noise makers. I read in the early issues Turtle Mt Times of Marchand Lumber of Rolla wanting to open a yard in Dunseith. Such an important service in our growing community. I cannot picture C. Watkins, but WP Schwab I see in color. Edna Leonard put me on the trail of Montague/Monty Schwab his son, back in the 80’s. We had a lengthy conversation, all about family and Dunseith history. Wm Gottbreht Jr was his brother-in-law and Monty connected me with his nieces and nephew of Washington.

Naturally, my mind then flits to the Morgans and I picture Margie and her accomplished sons. Then memory leaps forward and George is on the phone telling me that the irrepressible John Morgan has passed. There is always that shaky moment of loss, but I recall John sitting behind me in one of the basement classrooms. John had waited for a quiet moment during a study period; he sat right behind me. I am absorbed in some reading or math and so startled when Johnnie, in a clear stage whisper says, ” Sherin, Sherin, will you marry me.” Total loss of control in that classroom. About 15 minutes later, when our teacher regained order and the room quiet, but my face still aflame, Johnny repeats the whole scenario. My first proposal and one I still cherish.

I set out this morning to share a great photo of Herman Martinson. Tim’s presence on the blog recently was welcome and he should see his dad in 1987. Being a foodie, Snow White Bakery is way up on my list of Important. Dad’s success with the Dale’s Special and Jumbo happened in no small part because of Herman Martinson and the numerous special order buns he created. For that matter, I have yet to find a slice of plain white bread as delicious as Herman’s Old Home. The picture and many more which I will share, was taken by my husband Victor. Alma’s eight were all home for a reunion at Clear Lake Canada and the culminating event was open house at the Bingo Barn. I did not do well introducing Victor to everyone, but he wandered around and taking pictures that he knew I would treasure. So thanks to Victor, we have this capture of Mr. Herman Martinson.


Herman Martinson – 1987







Sharron, I’m assuming this cute little girl is you?



I think this was maybe taken prior to 1987 though.









Shirley Olson Warcup (49) passed away. Shirley was Dick Johnson Aunt, sister to his mother Bernice.
From Shirley’s husband Ron: Ivans, UT.
To All
Shirley lost her battle with surgery complications Sunday Dec 6 and passed away at 8:15 PM. Funeral Arrangements are pending.
Ron, This is sad sad news. We were so hoping Shirley would snap out of this. Shirley was such a kind and compassionate lady. I exchanged many personal email messages with her, some quite recently too. She contributed frequently to our daily blog. We will truly miss her. It’s so hard to believe she is gone. You and your family have our condolences with her passing. We know you will miss her dearly. She was a wonderful person. Gary
Condolence to the Morinville & Azure family:
From Esther Murray Fleming (65): Flint, MI
To the family of Bev Morinville:
You have my deepest sympathies ad condolences. I knew Joe and Frances when I grew up in Dunseith. May God be with you at a time like this.
Esther Fleming (Murray)

Condolence to the Morinville & Azure family:

From Vickie Hiatt Lafontaine (73): Grafton, ND
My heart is so saddened by your loss. I was honered to be a friend of Bevs. Loss is so hard especially this time of year. One thing that makes me smile is her and my husband can trade stories about me and have a good laugh. Isnt it awsome that we have a savior that promises has everlasting life. Also my thoughts and prayers go out to the Salmonson family he was a good neighber. Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine

Condolence to the Morinville & Azure family:

From Paula Fassett (71): North Branch, MN

To the Azure/Morinville families:



My heart goes out to all of Bev’s family and friends. I remember when Bev’s Mom, Francis, died – it was around Christmas time also. Jean Pladson told me that she (Jean) found much comfort in seeing the casket next to the Christmas tree – it represented to her the birth of the Christ child and reassured her of the promise of eternal life. I have no doubt Bev is in good hand now. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Paula Fassett


Condolence to the Morinville & Azure family:

From Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea

We are very saddened by Bev’s passing but we know that she is no longer suffering and is at peace. May God be the whole Azure family during this difficult time. God Bless you all. Lynn Halvorson Otto family
From Ron Link (58): San Antonio, TX
Gary: Hope you enjoy this light display. Happy Holidays. http://www.flixxy.com/best-christmas-lights-display.htm
Ron, You sent this to me as a personal message, but I think with the music and all it’s very fitting for today’s Blog. Thanks for sharring. Gary
Replies from Gary Metcalfe (57): Forsyth, MO
Reply to Sybil Johnson
You are right Sybil, there will never be another like Axel, but I will let you know there is one pretty close, that is Clifford Johnson, Axel’s nephew. He surely was fond of his Uncle Axel.
To Sharron Shen
Thanks for all the input on your family and I know there are lots more stories yet to come. Your information is well researched and so important to the blog. There is something on here for everybody, that is for sure. The more we talk about Dale the more it comes to me how dull that area would have been without him. He was a motivator. Everyone who worked for him including waitresses and cooks learned how to do it right and in good time. They said about Walter Kronkite that made him a great commentator was that he never lost his zest for the job….that was Dale.
Gary Metcalfe



Bev Morninville Azure passed away:
Posted from Bev’s caringbridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bevazure
It’s with a heavy heart that I inform you all that mom passed away today at 3:00pm from her battle with cancer. She hung in there as long as she could but passed without any pain. Her suffering is now over and in heaven. We would like to thank you all so much for your infinite love a support. Mom was very appreciative for all her friends and family],as so are we.

The Azures

To all of Bev’s family; I am so saddened to hear of her passing. She was a wonderful person, loved and liked by so many. That is quite evident with the thousands of messages posted on her caringbridge site. She was a wonderful caring person. I know you will miss her dearly. My condolence go out to your whole family with her passing. Gary

Harlan Salmonson’s Obituary:
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND

Harlan Salmonson

(May 8, 1934 – December 4, 2009)
Harlan Salmonson, age 75 of Bottineau, died Friday at a Minot hospital. A memorial service will be held on Wednesday at 10:00 A.M. in the Metigoshe Lutheran Church. Friends may sign the register book on Tuesday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm at the Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau. Harlan Salmonson, a son of Clarence and Edna (Christianson) Salmonson, was born on May 8, 1934 on the family farm near Dunseith.

He is survived by 2 daughters, Carolyn and her husband, Brian Johnson of Bottineau and Debra and her husband, Shannon Metcalfe of Dunseith; son, Gregory Salmonson and his wife, Renee of Minot; 8 grandchildren; 1 great-grandchild; one sister, June and her husband, Leonard of Seattle, WA and numerous nieces and nephews.

(Nero Funeral Home – Bottineau


Question from Ardys (Bakken) Horner (Former Teacher): Detroit Lakes, MN
Gary, what did B’s niece say about the “bankrupt” building program in Dubai?
what does she do there, I know they have anormous number of shops. Ardys Horner
Ardys, Edelyn didn’t really have much to say about the situation in Dubai. Edelyn is the daughter of Bernadette’s sister Berlinda, who lives next door to us. Her dads name is Edwin. She is the first born so her name is a combination of her parents names. Many first born children in this country have made up names with combinations of the their parents names. Edelyn has a BA degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM). She went over to Dubai three years ago with a visitors visa and landed a job within 2 days at the Majestic Restaurant. She was working in food services. She met a guy from India who is also working in Dubai that she is engaged to. She did not renew her contract with the Majestic, but has plans of returning in February. Gary
Message & pictures from Tim Martinson (69): Anchorage, AK

Gary, do you have the classes listed seperately, as this would make a nice list for

quick reference and Christmas cards? I sent that picture off to you and sat down

to watch a movies and fell asleep, woke up and six hours later went into turn the

computer off and see that you had responded back to me. The temperature is

around 20 with about eight inches of snow on the ground, just to remind you that

it is white out here and people are downhill and cross country skiing as well as

starting to get ready for dog sled racing. It warmed up a little last week so we had

nice snow for making snow people. Enjoy. Take Care, Tim

Tim, I have a combined class list from the years 1930 thru 1978, attached, sorted by class year.
This attachment has made this message a little larger than I like to send, but I feel it is something that should to be posted for general info.
You are looking great in this picture! Is that your airplane in the background? Gary







Folks, I am a little slow getting this message out today. Bernadette’s sister, Alot, arrived last night from Japan. She and Bernadette had things they had to do this morning, so I just got back from going with them. Bernadette’s niece from Dubai is here too. Three of Bernadette’s cousins (sisters) from a near by town came over last night too. These three sisters decided to spend the night. We have a guest apartment where they could have slept, but they chose to sleep with Bernadette’s sister and her niece in one of the guest bedrooms in our house. This is a smaller bedroom too. Four of them slept on the bed and the 5th one on the hardwood floor. That’s what you call togetherness. That’s the Filipino way. They stick together like sheep. Gary
Harlan Salmonson passed away:
From Meryle Hoopman Vinje (74): Prescott, WI
Hi Gary
As you have all read recently, Harlan Salmonson has been sick, yesterday morning he passed away. With his children and LaDonna beside him.
Meryle Hoopman Vinje
Meryle, We are so sad to hear of Harlan’s passing. I’m assuming LaDonna is your aunt, sister to your dad?
Our condolences go out to Harlan’s family. I did not know Harlan that well, but he was a very close friend of my dads. Dad talked highly of Harlan, LaDonna and their family. When Dad and I were visiting through the hills a few years back we stopped in and visited Harlan. LaDonna was not home. When dad made his rounds around town (Bottineau), he often times passed through ‘First National Bank’ to shoot the breeze with Debbie Metcalfe, Harlan & LaDonna’s daughter. She was one of his favorites. Gary
Email address change for Connie Peterson Lagerquist (74): Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary, Just to let you know that I’ve had to change my e-mail address. Someone has stolen my identity, so Yahoo has closed my account and I haven’t been able to access for over a week. I’ve missed being able to keep up with the news. If you can send to the new address, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks, Gary.


My new address:

Aggie’s reply to a personal message & to Randy Kelly (69):

From Aggie Casavant (69): Fort Mill, SC


GARY…… That’s a good idea, Although I did not graduate in Dunseith my last year, These were definately my ” Homies”, and exchanged pictures with everyone, but a very small few. It would be great to see all of them there. I was happy to see you reconnect with Randy Kelly.
For some reason I would always sit across from Randy in History Class,and my mind would always go into a blurr how he could remember all the dates and events in history. I remember two incidents that happened in class where Randy went crazy laughing,and yes both jokes were on me. I remember one time we were taking a test,and I’m pretty sure it was in Mr. Heppers class. The question on the test was about what the name of this famous person was…I didn’t have a clue who or what this guy did,because I had made up my mind early on that I was going to “down size” my learning only to pay attention in class what was interesting to me at the time. So anyway the answer to the famous person was Lavouris. I don’t even know if that was how you spell it. Anyway Mr. Hepper thought he would be generous that day of the test and give us a hint to the answer,and he said, a mouth wash was named after him. So I just wrote down Listerene…(So sure I was going to get “1” right on the test) when we were going over the test after we turned them in,I couldn’t wait to get to that question so I could “Be Proud and Shout It Loud” well when Mr. Hepper asked who this famous person was,and I hollered out “Listerene” all excited,for sure that I knew the answer, Randy Kelly almost fell out of his desk laughing,he couldn’t get a hold of himself, so I reached across and punched him on the arm as hard as I could. Later when I heard he went into politics, I saw him on the Nat’l News one night at the Capitol in Washington, I had some friends over that night,and I told them,I sat across from this guy in History Class in high school,and went on to tell them the “Listerene” story. I told them that even if we were not affilated with the same political party that I would campaign for him if he ever ran for president,so I could sell my story to the Nat’l Enquirer,that my claimed to fame was I punched “President Kelly” Come on Randy,times running out,you better throw your hat in the ring 2012. I promise I won’t sell my story to the Nat’l Enquirer if I can be your running mate. I promise I won’t “Go Rogue” on you like Joe & Sarah!!! LOL…..REAL LOUD!!! Aggie


Shirley Olson Warcup (49) in intensive care:

From Ron Warcup: Ivans, UT


To All

Shirley had to go into the hospital on the 10th of Nov and susequently ended up having surgery for bowel obstruction. As a result, she contracted some infections that later settled in her lungs. That complication has now resulted into what is called Acute Respiratory Distress Syndome. At her age, this condition is especially critical and her prospects are uncertain. I’ll keep you posted. She has been in ICU for almost 3 weeks and I have been spending a lot of time near her. Thanks for the e-mails -it helps to have something to help fill the time when I’m home.





Reply to Dick Johnson (68):

From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.


Thank you. I look at that of “Pa” and it brings tears to my eyes. He was a good guy. There will never be another like Axel Helmar Johnson. Sybil Johnson (great_grandma2007@live.com)




Reply to Randy Kelly (69):

From Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.


Randy, the last time I saw you, was 25 yrs. ago on June 30th. Nice to see you are still kicking-hahaha! Sybil Johnson

Sybil, now you have us all curious. what is so significant about June 30th, 1984?


Bernadette’s brother Jose:

Folks, Until Bernadette’s brother’s funeral one week from today, things will be pretty active at our house. They started the formal Rosary’s and prayers last night. A lady came in last night at 7:00 PM to do a Rosary. That was followed with a team of 3 lay ministers from the catholic church that went through a series of readings and prayers. In all it lasted nearly two hours. This will be repeated each evening until the funeral. Following this whole process last night, Bernadette served lunch and drinks. Last night she served tuna fish sandwiches and pastries. Following the lunch, tables and chairs were set up for folks to play cards and games. Folks stay until the wee hours of the morning playing cards and games. This is traditional with the morning of deaths in this country. When I went to bed at 12:30 there were still 25 to 30 folks here. It’s nice living in the tropics where all this can be set up outside. Jose’s body has been and will continue to be attended by his family members until he is buried. Two of his daughters in law are currently with him at the moment. His wife and daughter took shifts during the night. The temperature drop several degress below normal last night to about 78F. These folks were chilled. Gary


O.J. Robert Family L to R:

Back: Duane, Russell & Orphela (O.J.)

Front: Carol holding Mike, Dianne, Darla & Dorothy





Jerome LaRocque family picture L to R:
Top row: Curtis, Richard, Ronald, Sylvester, and Brian
Middle Row: Linda, Bernice, Alice (mother), Jeanette, and Joy
Bottom Row: Debbie, Annette, Sherri, and Jackie



Rene & John Bedard (Father & Son)


Roberta Hagen (75) & Kim Hiatt (77)




Randy Kelly (69): Saint Paul, MN
Folks, I just had a nice chat with Randy Kelly. Randy is a past mayor of Saint Paul and he was also part of President George Bush’s staff, so he has been a hard guy to get in touch with. Randy told me he plans on making it back to Dunseith/Bottineau this next summer to celebrate his uncle Elwood Fauske’s 90th birthday. Randy said it was OK to post his email address and add him to our daily distribution. Gary
Cousins Randy Kelly (69) & Donna LaCroix Allard (64)
Latest postings for Bev Morinville Azure from her CaringBridge Web site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bevazure
Thursday, December 3, 2009 4:44 PM, CST
Hello All,

We would like to thank every one for sending letters, cards and of course your support. Mom is still in a sleep like state the Doctors and medical staff here at Trinity have assured us that mom is in a very peaceful state. Her breathing has become more shallow and we can only pray that the Good Lord is ready for Mom. As we all know she is Spiritually ready for him. Thank you all and God Bless

The Azures


Wednesday, December 2, 2009 9:24 PM, CST

To answer any questions about moms state is that she has been given “comfort medications” and they are doing the job very well she remains in a continuous sleep like state. Also her radiation treatments have been stopped. I have added a few photos of mom and family please take a minute to look at them.
And also if you would like to leave your e-mail that would be great. Thank You all so much for your support it is greatly appreciated.

The Azures




Reply from Joan Tremblay Johnson (79): Dunseith, ND.

Thanks for adding us to the reunion list. I’m really looking forward to it! My contact info is :
Joan Johnson
Box 296
Dunseith ND 58329
Roland and Nora Mongeon are my parents. Roland (97) is the oldest of the Pierre and Anna Mongeon family. His siblings are Leo, Janet (Evans), Adrian, Eugene, Armand, Lorraina (Trimble), Germaine(Sister Stephanie), Alfred, and Dennis. Probably too much information but I wanted to give you a little background.
Also, my condolences to you, Bernadette, and her family on the passing of Jose. It must be interesting to live in a country so rich in traditions.
Thanks again for sharing you time and talents with all of us. A lot of work for you but we get to reap the rewards!
Take care, Joan
Joan, Never too much info. I remember our previous correspondence and remember you now that you jarred my memory. Thank you so much for your condolence too. Gary

Axel Johnson:

Reply from Sybil Johnson: Cheyenne, WY.
Bill Hosmer and all,
Thank you so much for the stories about “Pa” Johnson. He was a wonderful person and had such love for all of us. I remember him driving that old black car and how we tried to keep him from driving. His eye sight was getting bad and he drived so radically. Finally, the state took his driver’s license and he had no choice. Remember, how he told Augie that if I didnt drive him and “Ma” home from Minot, he wasnt going to go; because Augie drove to fast. So, I drove them home. Augie did have a tendency to drive to fast and not watch the road, like he should (he still does, I bet). Sybil Johnson

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

Sharron’s memories of Axel Johnson bring to mind another story I was
told by my dad. He said Axel was a master with a double bit ax. Dad said
Axel would sit and sharpen his ax with a carborundum stone until it was
razor sharp. Then he would tell Dad, “OK Donald, let’s go and ‘slash’
down some trees. He meant what he said! Dad said that any poplar tree
that was not wider than the width of the ax head came down with ONE
whack! Many years after Axel and even Dad were gone, I moved an old
wooden granary and under it were several stumps of small poplar trees
about 2-3 inches in diameter that were cut off slick, with ONE whack.
They must have cut the trees to move the granary to that spot. Most
people leave a stump looking like a beaver chewed it off, but not Axel!
As Bill Hosmer said he wasn’t fast, but was steady and never slowed down
or quit for hours on end. Grandpa Hans Johnson had a similar pace. Once
when I was around 11 years old Grandpa took me to a 50 acre field and
got me started harrowing with an old ‘boss’ harrow. He told me to go in
second gear. I said, “Fifty acres in second gear, I”ll be here forever!”
He looked at me sternly and said, “Better forever going than forever
broke down–second gear.” Grandpa always used to say ‘Forth and back
across the field’ while we all said ‘back and forth’. I asked Dad why
Grandpa always said it that way? He asked me, “Now who do you think is
right?” I guess you go forth before you come back. More old lessons!
Thanks Gary, Sharron, and Bill!


Axel Johnson 1965
Dunseith News posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: neola@min.midco.net Minot & Bottineau, ND




Soldier Christmas cards:

From Brenda Hiatt Parker (73): Wilton, ND

Sharon Longie Dana (73): MIssoula MT



Brenda Hiatt Parker(73) sent this to me but I wanted to share and ask you to put it on the blog. What a fabulous way to make a service person smile during this time of year. I have done the Dear Abby thing and sent letters to service people overseas but they don’t allow that anymore so I thought all of the folks connected to the Dunseith blog could send just one card we could make a lot of smiles!!!! I bought a box of cards!! Thanks Brenda!!!

Sharon Longie Dana(73)


When doing your Christmas cards this year, take
one card and send it to
this address. If we pass this on and
everyone sends one card, think of
how many cards these wonderful special people who
have sacrificed so
much would get. When you are making out your
Christmas card list this
year, please include the following:

A Recovering American
c/o Walter Reed Army
Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,




Folks, Thank you so much for the many condolences we have received from you folks. I have placed them all in a separate folder that I will be reviewing with Bernadette when I can tie her down long enough. I will answer them all later. Bernadette does have an email account, but I’m pretty safe in saying she hasn’t opened it for nearly a year. Many of her local friends are into facebook, so she said she is going to get a facebook account. She can sure find things quick enough on the internet though when the interest arises.
Jose’s body is resting in his coffin on our porch. His funeral will be Saturday December 12th. They had a prayer session for him last night and they will have another this evening, but the formal prayer’s will begin Friday with the 9th day being the formal mass of his burial. The formal prayers are conducted by clergy assistants from the Catholic church. They have a regular reading that they go through each night. The whole process takes about an hour. It’s exactly the same each night. When their Dad died there were 50 to 75 folks that attended the evening prayers. Most of the folks that attend the evening prayers are neighbors. The Majority of Bernadette’s relatives live about 10 miles away in another community. Some of them will attend one or so of the nightly prayers but the majority will wait and attend the funeral. They can not afford the Jeepney ride each night.
With all the added activity at our house, I nearly forgot that today is our wedding anniversary. It was 31 years ago today that uncle Nels Petterson, Dad’s brother and his wife Helga walked Bernadette down the isle in “Our Saviors” Lutheran church in Bremerton, WA. Bernadette had no family in the USA, so Nels and Helga were her proxy’s. Bernie, her son, whom I adopted, was 7 years old at the time. Bernie was the Ring Bearer and can you believe lost the rings. They had fallen off the little pillow onto the floor. We found them, but there was a moment of anxiety. Gary
Posted from Bev Morinville Azure’s caringbridge sight:http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/bevazure
From her daugher Shonda Azure Campbell (94): Minot ND.
Sorry for the lack of information but it seems that the server has been on the fritz. My sincere apologies. Mom is currently resting quite well she has been given a medication for anxiety and as a result is sleeping allot. It seems that she is very peaceful. We won’t know what will happen next it is all in the hands of the Lord. But we would like to thank everyone for your great letters and strong support thank you .If you would like to e-mail me I will try and answer your letters the best that I can.

With great love and infinite appreciation, The Azure Family

my e-mail is cody.azure@yahoo.com




Request posted on the Dunseith Alumni Web sitehttp://garystokes.net/default.aspx


From: Traci Zahn
E-mail: tracizahn@live.com
I would like to be added to the email list. My grandmother is Dorothy Pritchard and it is nice to hear news about the area and people I grew up around

Traci, It is my pleasure to add you to our distribution. I believe your mother was Shirely Pritchard, Robert & Dorothy’s oldest child. Your Grandma Dorothy is on our distribution list too. She’ll be having a birthday next month too. She was born in 1913. That’s nearly a century ago. Gary



Dick Johnson (68):

Reply from Larry Hackman (66): Bismarck, ND



That was a great story that Dick wrote up about his grandpa. I think he deserves to be promoted to the class of 66. I’m sure he is honored. What else could he be? Gary an error to the good side is not really an error.


Larry as you well know, I know better. I’m not sure if Dick would agree it was a good promotion though??? Speaking of errors, when I was talking to Bill Grimme the other day, he said he had gotten a message from Johnny Frykman complimenting him on his younger age. I had Bill listed as being with the class of 75 on the reunion list. Gary



Axel Johnson:

Reply from Bill Hosmer (48): Tucson, AZ & Lake Metigoshe, ND


Dick Johnson’s piece about his Grandpa was wonderful. When he mentioned the big rocks that he and Axel moved about with their own strength it reminded me of working with Axel at the gravel pit in Dunseith in 1948 after I graduated from high school. We worked on the trap, which was the entry point for gravel being dozed onto the rock crusher. Sometimes a boulder would find its way onto the grill which separated them from the flow onto the belt leading up to the crusher. It was necessary to lift the boulder out of there, up a six foot slope of gravel and metal intake to the crusher. Sometimes the boulders were so big we had to have the belt stopped and wrap a chain around the boulder to have the bull dozer drag it out. Often, I’d try to budge one unsuccessfully, and Axel would say, “Billie, back off, I’ll get that one.” Then he would get his hands and arms under a monster, work it up the steep slope of the trap and roll it out of the way. We did this for ten hours a day at a buck an hour, with time and a half after a week of 40 hours which happened on Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we made Double time. It was a about 90 bucks a week, and that was fine. Axel showed me alot about staying with it, and encouraging me with great stories about his young years so I wouldn’t get discouraged. I look on that summer with alot of pride and fond memories of a work ethic he demonstrated, which gave me something in life that lasted for years doing other things of challenge. Thanks, Dick and Gary. Bill Hosmer

Bill, seeing your name brings Colette Hosmer to mind. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from her. I’m thinking she may be back over in China with another Art project?? Gary


Reply to Dick Johnson’s messages posted yesterday:

From Sharron Gottbreht Shen: Everett, WA.


Thank you Dick and Gary, I will pass the information on to children of Mildred and Ralph, Fred and Pearl’s descendants. The 41 Dodge sure has a beautiful grill. It seems Dick Larson had personal knowledge of performance. Dick Johnson, I look forward to your contributions. I’m thinking I should seek out a lighted wrench kit for your xmas! There are few of my aquaintance who had the endurance qualities of Axel Johnson. Dad certainly was impressed with Axel who put far more into every task Dale asked or expected. It has been a revelation to hear of his youth and struggles on these pages. Trenching without a backhoe? Unheard of today. Thanks again. Sharron

Gary, I have no sisters or brothers to spare! Although Jose is at peace, I know Bernadette and the family will be remembering and missing many of their departed in the days that come. I sat shiva with a Jewish neighbor a few of her seven nights and I think we all benefit and find comfort from the rituals surrounding our life companions when they pass. Many cares this side of death, that’s certain. Keep well Bernadette and Gary. God bless. Sharron

Thank you Sharron for the comforting words. Gary


Reply from Lorie Hiatt (88): Dunseith, ND

Hi Gary,

The little girl in the picture with dad and I is Vickie’s youngest daughter Cahla. Please add my name to the list I would love to come also please tell Bernadette how sorry I am for her loss you are all in my thoughts & prayers.

good morning to you &

good night from me


Thank you Lorie too, for your comforting words


Ackworth Alumni picnic around 1990:

Back: Norman Hiatt talking to Willis Bowers and Russell Fauske. Gary Stokes with the Red cap

Front: Lori Hiatt and Cahla (Vickie Hiatt’s daughter)






Bernadette’s Brother passed away.
Folks, As I’m putting this message together, Bernadette came in the office and said her Brother, Jose, had just drawn his last breath. Bernadette was there. That was about 15 minutes ago. They have called the funeral home and are getting a doctor. He is now at peace with no more pain. He was ready to go and his family had accepted that. It’s currently 9:50 Wednesday morning. I’m expecting the Funeral home will have his body embalmed, in a casket and back to our place by mid afternoon. His body will remain on our porch for the next 9 or 10 days before the burial. They will have nightly prayers with a mass the last night for the next 9 days. Filipino custom, there will be a family member with his body from now until he is buried. Gary
Correction From Dick Johnson (66):Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

Tonight I spent some time on the web searching for the correct year
and type of car in Sharron’s old steamer picture. Dick and Jerrine
Richard (49) Larson wrote and correctly identified it as a 1941 Dodge,
in fact a model D-19, according to the Dodge folks. I mistakenly
identified it as a 1941 Lincoln. Thanks to the Larsons and Gary!


Hans Johnson Story with picture
From Dick Johnson (66): Dunseith, ND.
Gary and Friends,

With winter fast approaching, I haven’t had much time to reminisce.
Today something made me remember some of the things my Grandpa Hans
Johnson used to do. He was only in school until about the mid grades
(4-5) and then he had to work. Even as a kid, I was amazed at some of
the things he could do with no more of a formal education than that.
They never had electricity until he was over 50 years old, yet people
used to have him repair their electric devices of all kinds. I remember
watching him take someone’s electric iron apart on his kitchen table
once when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. I asked him how he knew how
to fix it? He said, ” If one man was smart enough to make it, the next
man should at least be able to fix it.” As I got older, I also found out
that most things aren’t as complicated as they at first might seem. He
had a simple way of figuring out what should do what, and why. My
Grandma told me that one night her brother Otto and my Grandpa Hans
decided to build a crystal set radio from scrap parts, wire, wood, and
other junk. They had a plan from some magazine like Popular Mechanics.
She said it was in the dead of winter so they thought it might be
something to do one cold night. I only know enough about a crystal set
radio to know it involves wrapping fine copper wire around a tube and
using a battery for power. She went to bed but woke up in the wee hours
of the morning to the sound of music playing in the kitchen—and two
guys grinning from ear to ear!

They lived through some tough times and knew how to repair things
rather than to buy new. Some of the old farm equipment should have been
replaced but he just kept on fixing what broke and continuing to use it
until there just wasn’t anything left, then he got another one! I gave
an old D John Deere tractor of Grandpa’s to my wife’s uncle, as he was
really into restoring them. Years later he retired and had an auction
sale, selling several restored JD tractors and many parts. I asked him
which one was Grandpa’s old D , thinking I might buy it back if he still
had it? He grinned and said that there was hardly a single piece on the
entire tractor that wasn’t worn completely out! I told him that when
Grandpa couldn’t make it work anymore, it was probably shot! I remember
Grandpa taking the tires off his ’34 Chevy truck, when the cords started
to show, and then putting them on the front of the tractor and running
them some more! This may sound a bit miserly but he always had money for
things that were really needed. He was able to slowly buy land and
expand the farm while others couldn’t make it and headed out for other
places. Most of the people that made it through the tough times, at
least in this area, did so by dedication to hard work and by being
careful with what little money they did have. He was definitely one of

The extremely hard labor of those early days also made him a very
physically strong man. He died when I was 15 so I did get to work with
him for several years here on the farm. There were times when Dad and I
couldn’t quite lift or move some real heavy equipment part or hitch for
a piece of equipment and Grandpa would come over and lend a hand. When
he grabbed on, things were going to move! Later, after Grandpa was gone,
my Grandma sold the house and my parents moved a newer house to the same
location. John Boguslawski and I were tearing out the old foundation to
prepare for the new one. The north wall was made of stacked rock, mostly
bigger flat rocks from along the lake shore. We could handle most of the
rocks by hand, as we were pretty big and healthy guys about 19 years
old, but a few were huge. I would guess they weighed 300-400 pounds. We
lifted them out with the old Farmhand loader and chains. I remember John
asking me how the heck they got them in there in the first place? When
Dad came to see how it was going, I asked him. He shook his head and
told us that Grandpa and Axel put them in there by hand! He was a very
kind and gentle big guy. I once asked Dad if he ever saw Grandpa get in
a fight? He said no, but he saw a guy who was going to hit Grandpa once
and it didn’t turn out the way the guy thought. He said they were
traveling on a curvy mud road and met another car right in a mud hole.
Neither car could stop and they both got stuck just about against each
other. Dad said the guys jumped out of the other car and one said,
“Johnson, I’m going to knock you on your ass”, after which he swung at
Grandpa! Dad said Grandpa caught the guys fist like a baseball and then
just said, with his Norskie brogue, “Oh, I don’t tink so.” He just put
the guys hand down and let go of it. Dad said the guy was suddenly as
sober as a judge! I would imagine his life was flashing before his eyes,
as they say! I’ll attach a picture of my grandparents, looking the way I
best remember them. Thanks Gary!





Kenrose Medlang:

Reply from Bonnie Smith Kohler: Mountain Iron, MN.
Thank you to you and Vickie Metcalf for the reminder for Kenrose. I am sure she was thrilled with all the cards she received from well wishers. Wow to be 90 years old hey?
Bonnie, It was our pleasure to be able to do this for Kenrose. She was certainly there for us in our day. It’s our turn to be there for her. Gary
Message/Pictures from Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
When reviewing some older entries of the blog, I noted the aerial photo of the GN Railroad Yard posted by Dick Johnson. I rushed a query to Gary asking if an expanded view of that area might show the Round House. Dad bought that structure in 1952! Total surprise to me. George tells me that Dale harvested a bumper crop of Flax, probably in 1952. Floyd Richard said indeed 20 bushels to the acre was a great crop at that time. I checked some grain history and found that Flax sold for $6.21/b in 1947. Anyhow, the Flax sale bought the Round House. Dale proceeded to have it deconstructed by foreman Paul and his brother, Big Mose Morin. George thought there were at least three Belgards who completed the team. It took over 6 weeks to draw all the nails [six 2×6 drums] and store the huge beams and lengths of lumber. George said that the claw hammer designed for nail removal had a special lever that Mose frequently broke – after several solder repairs, Dad was begging Mose to take it easy. The men made $1.00 an hour! So bad. As an RN, my first job 1961 paid $2.39/hr – some progress.

Please note George Gottbreht’s Smithy; this became Dad’s first gas and motel stop 1951/52. I have a postcard of the original shop sent by Evelyn Gaudette Gottbreht to her aunt Maude Tennancour Paulson, the post date was August 1915. The sign above the door reads General Blacksmithing. Dad’s conversion of the shop to a thriving small business was a start, and his survival of the tipped tractor accident lead to the Flax harvest and eventually to much of the lumber for our new home and the expanded Dale’s finished in 1954/55. Uncle Roland said the traction was bad for the steep hill and Dale raised the drill bar to reduce drag and over it went. Dad was protected by two steel rods and managed to crawl out from under – and Uncle then said “…but we got her finished.” And then he added, “Dale died too young, he was just getting started.”

Gary will attach some remarks by Dick Johnson and I thank them and so many for the feast of new insights found at Gary’s table. Sharron

Railroad Round House
From Dick Johnson (68): Dunseith, ND

The old roundhouse was where the train locomotives were serviced and
then turned around to head back south. It was located south of the
elevators and as Sharron says, her dad bought it in ’52-’53. He tore it
down and used the lumber to build their new house right behind Dale’s. I
helped Rick Gottbreht move the house about a hundred feet west. The
timbers under that house are huge! It was well built to say the least.
It was one of the first ‘flat roof’ designs in the area. The high school
(the ’56 addition) was also flat roof design. Rick made an upstairs and
completely remodeled the inside to a beautiful home. I bet Sharron would
know that the old roundhouse lumber was used to frame their house.
Thanks for including me in this email!





From Phyllis McKay (65): Auburn, WA


FRIENDS: Never ask for food.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Always bring the food.

FRIENDS: Will say ‘hello’.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss.

FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and Dad.

FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry.


FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, playing dominoes or cards and just being together.

FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.

FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that’s what the crowd is doing.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds’ back-ends that left you.

FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Walk right in and say, ‘I’m home!’.


FRIENDS: will visit you in the hospital when you’re sick

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: will cut your grass and clean your house then come spend the night with you in the hospital and cook for you when you come home

FRIENDS: have you on speed dial

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: have your number memorized.


FRIENDS: Are for a while.



FRIENDS: Might ignore this.

NORTH DAKOTA FRIENDS: Will forward this to all their North Dakota Friends and those who once lived in North Dakota.