09/27/2017 (2562)

Rolette County Veterans Wellness Conference
Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND


It sure would be super if that poster could be posted on the blog or your face book, since there were so many of you and our classmates in the Vietnam War.

It would be great if all the veterans would take part in this conference that is for them.

Thanks for all who have participated and will participate now and in the future,  if you went one year, just keep going every year. Your presence is very much appreciated always , thank you all who try to do for and appreciate our veterans.

Ginger Poitra class of ’65
Veterans-1 Veterans-2 Veterans-3

Seattle Trip
Posting from Ginger LaRocque Poitra (’65): Belcourt, ND

Hey Gary!

I went out to see my sister Shirley this summer.  I stayed 31 days, from June 6th thru July 8th. Travel days were June 5th and July 9th. I brought my granddaughter with. We traveled by train.

We left on Anthony and my 52nd anniversary ( would have been)

He was here for our 50th. Anyway the point is,  ironically it was Shirley’s son’s anniversary the day we arrived on the 6th of June, his 15th.

We enjoyed ourselves.  We went sightseeing.  Ocean, Rain Forest,  Sqauqoni Falls, the casino I won a whopping $58.57, that was my actual winnings,  I started with $20.00. Haha

My nephew went crabbing caught his limit which seemed quite a lot, I watched him clean them and cook them outside,  they all enjoyed eating them and I of course have allergies to shell fish so I got to watch them enjoy.

The train ride was terrible on way over to Washington it seemed small,  bumpy and swayed a lot the seats were so uncomfortable very hard to sit, I was awake most the night. Coming back it was a whole lot better.

Next time I will plan better and ride the plane with Lana we would have to meet somewhere. In 1985 I rode train with my dad out there and you couldn’t find a better riding train.

My sister Lana had been there for a week when I arrived. Shirley knew I was coming so my nephew decided to surprise Lana and that was such a surprise we were in the house when Shirley and Lana came in needless to say, IT WAS A SURPRISE!


It was a long time for me to be gone but I am so glad that I was able to spend quality time with my sisters.

Thanks Gary,

Until another time

Ginger Poitra ( class of 1965)


Blog (636) posted on November 28, 2009

Posted on November 28, 2009

Condolensces to the Zorn family:

From Bob Lykins (60’s DHS teacher):Hutto, TX


Please add my name to the list of those sending condolensces to the Myron Zorn family on the death of his son, Ryan. The family can take pride in knowing that Ryan served his nation and all of us with compassion, distinction, and honor.

Bob Lykins

From Mr. Lykins:


Let us know what your FPO address is so we can all send you at least a Christmas Card. I’m sure you had a great Thanksgiving. Telling old “war stories” with friends and colleagues is always a blast. You can never lie because they know better but you always have fun stretching the truth.

Being retired to Austin was a good move as I am enjoying it here. There are so many opportunities for a retired dude. This fall I signed up with the University of Texas Athletic Department to usher at their home football games. It’s been a blast. I wear one of those ugly lime polo shirts that says “EVENT STAFF” on them and direct human traffic. I report 3 hours before the game, work through the game and remain until the last person has left the stadium. It all works out to be about 7 hours and they pay me so that’s OK. I also get to see a good deal of the game and with Texas having such a good team this year the fans are usually pretty upbeat. I’ve had very few problems. I usually work the tunnel area in the North End Zone. If you see on TV a fat guy on the walkway just above the field and near the cannon, it is probably me. (see picture below)

So sad about the massacre in regards to local elections there in the PI. I would be interested to know the real story rather than just what is being printed in the newspapers.

My best to Bernadette and my best wishes to her family regarding her brother. I will add him to my list when praying.

Bob Lykins

Here you are Bob – This is my FPO (APO) address

Gary Stokes

PSC 517 Box RS/CC

FPO AP 96517-1000

Yes, that was quite an ambush of killings between two Muslim groups in southern Mindanao here in the Philippines. A private army of the current governor of that province ambushed a strong contenders party of about 70 folks while they were on their way to formally file his candidacy for the upcoming election this next May. It was planned, because they already had dug a big grave about 40′ long and 20′ deep where they buried several of the vehicles with some of the folks in them. They buried the rest in shallow graves. The sad part is that this current governor is allied with Gloria Arroyo, the current president. He got many critical votes, probably illegal, that helped her win the last election. President Arroyo was reluctant to issue an arrest warrant for this guy. At first she just sent an investigative team to the area. Under tremendous pressure she did order an arrest warrant. This guy surrendered and is in custody. There is fear that true justice will not prevail because of his affiliations with the president. The Filipino Army has arrested this guys Army and followers and has taken control of all of his commands.

Debbie Morinville Marmon (70) update follow a stroke:

From Shonda Azure Campbell (94): angelic_desires_of_a_firefairy@yahoo.com Minot, ND

Gary and All, my Aunt Debbie looks great she is walking short distances…..with a smile that can still melt hearts . She can say a few words but some how you know what she is saying !!

May no soldier go unloved.
May no soldier walk alone.
May no soldier be forgotten,
Until they all come home.

San Haven Question:

From Allen Richard (65): Midland, MI

Does anyone have an aerial shot of the San in color, circa 1950 — 1965? Maybe we need to go to the State Archives or Historical Society. A lot of out spouses and younger people really don’t have a good idea of the beauty of the place in its heyday.

Allen Richard

From Keith Pladson (66): Stafford, VA


Just a quick note to you. I continue to be impressed with your apparent knowledge of so many different families. It’s like whenever anyone mentions a family, it jogs your memory banks about so many different details of that family — the spouses, the siblings, the children, where they lived who their friends and neighbors are/were. It’s like a continuing history lesson with all the details included. What I find particularly amazing is that you and I have been away from ND for similar numbers of years. And, we grew up in fairly close proximity within the Turtle Mountains. I knew many of the same families you did and through your Dad’s adoption we are even cousins (though I really don’t understand all that first or second or third once or twice removed stuff). Yet I either never learned of all the connections between families that you did or I have forgotten many of those I may have known. So thank you for keeping me informed.

Many people write in to your blog and some of them (Mel Kuhn, Larry Hackman, and Dick Johnson to name a few), are gifted story tellers and thus make for very entertaining to reading. But I can’t imagine anyone doing what you do better than you do it. If all the readers of your blog had been tasked with finding someone to put this all together and keep it going like you do, I can’t imagine that we could have found anyone better or more perfectly suited for the job. With all the various inputs that you receive, you are able to show genuine interest, compassion and knowledge when and where appropriate and the willingness to spend the time necessary to do all the postings and keep it current and up to date. And all we can do is say thanks. So, thanks again, Gary, keep it going.
Keith Pladson (66)

Thank you so much Keith for this wonderful compliment. I’ve got to get some anti swelling medication to bring the swelling down in my head. I don’t get a swelled head easily or that often. At least that is what I try to think. You’ve got a wonderful way with words. I hope I’m at least part of what you said. Yes, you and I came from the same neighborhood. In our high school days your family moved to the old Stokes place then known as the Thompson place, the family of your mother Ella. Her mother was a Stokes, sister to my Grandfather, Frank. Your family moved around some in your growing up days too. Speaking of the Helgeson’s, I remember well when you guys lived on the Zieman farm west of Salem church. Helgeson’s lived several miles south and a little bit east of where you guys lived. My first memory of your family thou was when you were living on Lester Halstead’s place south of the Willow Lake school. Elwood Fauske farmed that land in later years. How was it that Lester Halstead owned land up there. He was a big time prairie farmer in Bottineau County. He lived near Maxbass as I recall. That’s half way to Minot from Bottineau. My folks were very active in the Metigoshe Lutheran churches. 90% of the Bottineau county hills folks were members of those churches. My folks were very active in Rolette county community affairs as well. My dad had lots of relatives (biological) living in and around the Bottineau area too. My folks were also involved with many of the Bottineau activities. With all these connection and going to school in Dunseith, I learned to know many folks in my growing up days. Being the socialite that my dad was I was able to maintain, thru him, many of these relationships. He died in 2000. I was a lucky guy. Speaking of my dad. Two weeks before his death, he and I were visiting folks in the hills. He was driving. When we stopped by to see Glen and Gladys Rude, getting out of his Pickup he told me, “we can’t stay long because Gladys will think she has to make us lunch.” He said “you know she’s over 85 years old”. She was only 2 years older than he. Dad was a week shy of his 85th birthday when he died. Gladys did fix us a nice lunch and our stay wasn’t short. With that visit, Glen could have been out bailing hay, but he chose to visit with us instead and insisted we stay. When I mentioned this to LaVerne, his brother, his words were, “Glen is a gentleman farmer”. How true those words were. That was probably the last visit Glen had with my dad, so he probably made a good choice in that respect.

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

Several years ago Angelina Duchesneau Forman, former wife of Harland Gottbreht sent me the excellent picture of Myron Evans, Harland and Charles Watkins. I believe it was taken in 1936 at the graduation of Harlan. All three were cousins: Myron the son of Ole Evans and Cecelia Gottbreht; Harlan the son of Fred Gottbreht and Pearl Fassett; Charles the son of Glenn Watkins and Madeline Wolcott [Madeline’s mother Louise was a sister of Wm Gottbreht Sr]. All three lived in the Dunseith area until WWII disrupted their lives. Myron and Alice Tennancour laboring on their farm; Harlan off to the Pacific Theater where he served with the original SeaBees; Charles in the Air Force. Harlan continued as a road and bridge builder in the state of Arizona. At the time a son of Mildred Gottbreht Solomon stayed with him, he was proprietor of a Tavern in Scotts Bluff, AZ. The descendants of Fred Gottbreht know very little about the family. Some of you may be able to tell them more. Susan Fassett Martin sent a quote from the memoirs of Wm. Fassett and I am sure Gary can attach those remarks here.

Wm. Fassett’s quote from Susan Fassett Martin (65):

(1936) Dad said in his history book….” When we lvied on the farm in the twenties, one of my early memories was of watching Fred Gottbrehts threshing rig coming across country to our place. The old steam engine took most of the day getting there and the big column of smoke announced their coming long before they arrived. I remember making several trips back and forth on my pony to check their progress. Both grandma Kate(Fassett) and grandma Goodie(Gudrun Amundson Rennick Watkins) worked on the cookcar at one time or another during threshing season.”

I am trying to date the tractor pictures. These were given me by Arla Gottbreht. She said that her father George worked on this tractor many times. I do not know if they were still in use in 1935 or the date of the car sitting in the roadway. I thought someone might recognize the bee skips in the background or the short approach into the farm. That certainly looks like an ash heap near the tractor.

Myron Evans, Harland Gottbreht, Charles Watkins

Picture taken by Dakota Memories Photography, Bottineau, ND, Clyton Parrill (72) Owner

Former Dunseith Teacher’s – Class of 65 reunion – 7/12/07
L to R: Dennis Espe, Vinian Hewson-Dinius, Art Rude & Bob Lykins

09/24/2017 (2561)

Bernadette Stokes

This picture was taken yesterday afternoon.  Mirasol and Tata (Green top) had just given Bernadette her shower and were putting the final finishing touches on her before going to the mall for dinner. This was the first time in nearly a week that she was well enough to go out. We ate out at the Mall again today too. After eating Bernadette was ready to go home. Both last night and today, Tata physically fed Bernadette at our dinners. Bernadette lacks the coordination for using her eating utensils.

Tata, Novie and Mirasol all take very excellent care of Bernadette. Mirasol’s duty day is from 8 AM to 4 PM daily and  Novie’s from 2 to 10 PM. They both do house hold chores, cooking, etc. and assist with Bernadette. Tata’s primary job is taking care of Bernadette. When she is not needed she can go to her house located 30’ from our front door. When called she is here in a heartbeat. Bernadette calls her often too. Tata has been with us for 14 years. She and Bernadette are very close and even more so now with Bernadette’s sickness. My duty day is from 10 PM to 8 PM. Some of those nights lately have been kind of long too. The last couple have been pretty good though. A few days back, from Midnight until 7 AM she was up 9 times. That was a long one. Last night she was up only twice. Not so bad. If it gets bad enough I will hire someone for the nights too.
Stokes 2561


Blog (635) posted on November 27, 2009

Posted on November 27, 2009

Myron (65) & JoAnn Zorn Family:

From Marlys Zorn Bryan (69): Fairbury, Nebraska

To everyone who has been writing to Myron Zorn and his family,

We all appreciate you so very much. This has been an incredibly hard time for Myron and JoAnn. But at the family gathering in the chapel the night before the funeral, JoAnn stood up and thanked everyone, saying “We have been held up by prayer. We know it.”

So thank you all so much for what you have been doing for them; you have made a difference.

Ryan was a great man.

Marlys (Zorn) Bryan, (Myron’s sister)

Folks, The email address, listed above, the we have on file for Myron & JoAnn Zorn is good. For some reason my messages to them were getting returned a few months back. I’ll give it another try with today’s message. Gary

Florence Pladson Sime (62) – Update following her car accident:

From Tina Pladson Bullinger (78): Bottineau, ND.


We have so much to be thankful for this day!! Florence got to go home yesterday!! She will be taking out-patient therapy in Minot for her hand and arm, but is doing so well, even the doctors are amazed at her progress. We just want to say thanks for all the prayers, cards, phone calls, and visits. Thanks you all and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tina Bullinger

This is wonderful Florence that you are recovering this fast with all the broken bones you had following that accident. You have to be one healthy hearty person with a lot of determination to recover this quickly. This has to truly be a wonderful thanksgiving for you. Gary

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

Gary, yes Della was the mother of the Hermanson boys and Marvel was in
my grade . Lindstrom’s lived east of the school , not sure which farm.
It has been too long ago but Orvin would know . and yes Clem Helgeson
attended with us at Loon Lake # 2 but as a high school correspondence
student. Also Amsbaughs,Ted Pladsons , Knutsons , Martin Rudes, Ingolf
Fulsebakke, Ole Hagens, Ritzmans, Christiansons, Cliff Halvorsons, Tom
Hagens, Clyde Satrang, Olsons, over the years I attended there and I
may have forgotten some families!!!

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

Tom, I recognize all but the Ritzman family in those you mentioned. Your dad’s name was Tom making you Tom Jr. or as a lot of us know you as Tommy. You have always been Tommy to Orvin and your nephew Don Nelson, Donny. Elmer and Millie Torgerson Lindstrom were always very close to our family. They were extremely close friends of Leonard and Dot Kevil’s over on Little Prairie too. They belonged to the same church. I only remember Della Torgerson Hermanson, Millie’s sister, as being widowed living in Bottineau. I never knew her husband or any of her children, who are older than me by a number of years. Elmer Lindstrom came to my folks rescue several times when they were down and out and had no where to turn. I remember one year he brought his big “R” John Deere tractor and bailer all the way up from the prairie to bale the hay in my folks meadow when dad’s equipment broke down and he had no means of putting up the hay. Elmer gave my folks some butchered beef in some trying times too. For a number of years, Dad and Elmer put up all the hay on Oscar & Sylvia Bergan’s and John Wolf’s east of Lake Metigoshe. Elmer and Millie’s youngest daughter Deb is married to Kevin Lee, brother to my Brother Darrel’s wife Debby. Elmer and Millie had 5 girls. Elmer always wanted a son. He would have dearly liked to have Adopted my brother Allen, but my folks did not agree to that.


Sept. 1970 – Not sure of the occasion
Dean Lamb and Joanne Millang both 1970

A Horsetale story from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

A Horsetale

The Louis Bergan family and William (#1) Metcalfe family were friends and neighbors in Hillside Township for many years from the early 1900’s-1935.
Emil Metcalfe and Clayton Bergan were about the same age,attended Bergan School, and enjoyed an easy and life long-lasting friendship.
Quiet, gentle Emil (Cliff fondly called him ‘Joes’ or ‘Joesy’) allowed Cliff who was younger by about three years tag along on his ventures with Clayton.
One sunny Sunday, summer afternoon adventure, in the early 30’s, could have quickly turned to be almost fatal disaster.
Three “boys”, were left to their own devices. (William)Bill Metcalfe had a yearling colt which was broke to lead but someday, he planned to break to drive. Clayton and ‘Joes’ were “Boys will be boys”, who want to prove their worth as men,and convinced each other. They had seen horses broke by men and they were big enough to do the job!
After catching the green broke gelding,Cliff hung onto the halter, while the other two managed to collar and pull on a harness. The horse shied, was nervous, sidestepping round and around. With much effort and team work, he was finally quiet and hooked up to a single tree, to the wagon.
The boys were quite certain the hard part done, now, was the easy part. Just climb up in the wagon and go for a Sunday drive. Then, return to the farm with the horse pulling the wagon.
‘Joesy’ crawled up on the wagon seat, and in his broad capable hands,took up the reins. Clayton, a slender, gangly, young fellow, climbed up to next to ‘Joesy’ to ride shot gun and specifically give advice on how to accomplish the job.
Cliff let go of the horse, moved quickly as not to be left behind, jumped into the box to stand behind the seated older boys.
The horse with a sudden snort, squeal, then mighty leap, burst into a mad trot then gallop. An immediate runaway! The wagon _ took off bouncing up and down, to and fro over and across the trail! NO brake! Three boys hanging for dear life onto the careening seat!
Try with all his might, there was no easy way ‘Joes’ could slow the horse down. A bright idea! Clayton pointed toward two lone trees,and stutteringly yelled, “P-p-put him–wite– be-tween d–d–does too tw—ees…..!”

‘Joesy’ putting his strength into both arms steered. Clayton and Cliff hung on as the horse leapt between the two trees, snapping the harness, next the single tree, off and away went the horse on a dead gallop, reins trailing along behind.

The wagon bluntly jarred to a Sudden. Complete. Stop. Stuck right-between- the two solid trees. Three boys sailed out and over the wagon onto ……..

…………………………………………………………HOT, HOt. hot sun overhead.
The next thing Cliff recalled, he woke up, walking, slinking along in the shady shadow of the tired, sweaty horse, holding his throbbing head. ‘Joes’ groaned and moaned as he led the horse, the other hand clenched against his ribs. And, Clayton? Clayton with nary a scratch, un harmed, took off briskly in direction of home.

When they were together years later recalling experiences of horse breaking, Emil said, he’d landed on his chest on a big boulder where Cliff had landed squarely on his head quite unconscious. Clayton had dropped and rolled. Emil and Clayton then caught the horse and got Cliff up and walking.

The moral of this story told to me often, probably could be, from another saying, more often quoted by the storyteller, my dad,Cliff Metcalfe. “One boy half a man. Three boys ain’t worth a______.”

Metcalfe boys were careful to never complain about injuries. Nor could they recall being punished for a broken wagon. William Metcalfe was a man who somehow knew the boys had learned their lesson that Sunday afternoon.
Years later, a doctor told Emil, he had broken his ribs sometime and another asked Cliff, when he had a severe concussion.

They chuckled heartily, as they remembered the day when three boys discovered they were not yet men. And they, The Boys of Hillside….always enjoyed their life long friendship.

This is story told to me by my dad, I’ve told to my nieces and nephews and I tell them it’s a tale from their Grandpa Cliff. Vickie Metcalfe/November 2009

Post card post marked 1939

09/20/2017 (2560)

Bremerton / Seattle trip

I forgot to mention with my last posting that we returned to Cebu from Seattle late last Wednesday, actually 1 AM Thursday morning. We were there exactly one week. Ahead of time I arranged three reunions and gatherings of fiends that enabled us to see lots to folks too. We spent a lot of time with our kids and grandkids too.

Bernadette handled the trip quite well. On Saturday she went into another spell that she didn’t start to come out of until Tuesday morning, the day we left. I was a quite concerned about her being able to make the flight back to Cebu. They questioned us at SeaTac too, if she was able to travel.

L to R: Gary, Granddaughter Nevaeh, Daughter Sheryl, Bernadette, Grandson Tyler, Bernadette’s sister Erma, Daughter-in-law Lorelie and Son Bernie.

Our two year old grandson’s Bryce and Brydon
Stokes-3 Stokes-4


Lloyd Counts, Jr | 1951 – 2017


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Lloyd Counts, Jr

May 11, 1951 – September 14, 2017

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Lloyd Counts Jr, age 66 of Dunseith, died Thursday at a Belcourt hospital.  His funeral will be held on Monday at 10:00 am at the St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Dunseith.  Wake will be Tuesday beginning at 5:00 pm with a prayer service at 7:00 pm at the Eagle Heart Cultural Center in Dunseith.

Lloyd Counts, JR was born to Lloyd and Louis (Trottier) Counts on May 5, 1951 at Rolla.  He attended School in Dunseith and graduated in 1970.  During highs school he played football and basketball.  He was well known for his basketball skills.  In 1971, he married Bernadette Peltier and they had 3 sons, Jason, James and Lloyd III and 1 daughter Penny.  This marriage later ended.  In 1995, he met Jeanette DeCoteau and they spent the last 22 years together.  Out of this relationship, they combined 5 kids, Jason, James, Lloyd III, Kari and Corey.  In 2004, he began his horse racing career.  He loved to travel and watch the races, especially his own.  He traveled to Minnesota, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Montana.

Lloyd was very passionate about football.  His favorite team was the Minnesota Vikings.  He enjoyed watching games with his family and friends.  Lloyd loved life and enjoyed his time spent with his family and friends.  He spent many days riding around the country side visiting.  Even with his disabilities, he enjoyed life to the fullest and never felt defeated.  He has a big heart and was the most caring and giving person.  He enjoyed making new friends wherever he went, striking a conversation with whomever he met.  Lloyd will be dearly missed and will live on in our hearts.

He made his journey home on September 15, 2017.

He is survived by his significant other, Jeanette; children, James (Sarah), Lloyd (Tessie), Corey (Markielynn) and Kari (Joel); 19 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren; sisters, LouAnn (Clarence) St. Claire, Barbara (Steven) Larocque, and JoAnn (Randy) Counts; brothers, Clarence (Mary) Counts and Ernst (Michelle) Counts.

He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Penny; son Jason and brothers, George and Ronnie.

Arrangements were with Nero Funeral Home in Bottineau.  Friends may sign the online register book at www.nerofuneralhome.net.


Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70): dogdays@utma.com Bottineau, ND

In Memory of

Conrid “Connie” Wallace Metcalfe

December 24, 1939 – September 14, 2017



Conrid “Connie” Wallace Metcalfe

December 24, 1939 -September 14, 2017

Conrid Metcalfe age 77 passed away September 14, 2017.

Conrid Wallace Metcalfe a son of Archie & Bernice (Seim) Metcalfe, was born December 24, 1939 in Bismarck, North Dakota. He moved to the Seattle area as a child and attended Marysville High School graduating in 1958. After high school he attended Everett Junior College and also played football for the Seattle Cavaliers. In 1963, he joined the Naval Air Reserve where he attended air crew school and played football for the Navy.

In the 70’s, he started working as a journeyman carpenter for Expert Drywall, Inc. and later bought into the company with his partner and was involved in many major construction projects throughout Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. In 1997, he started another construction company with his daughter where they worked together for eighteen years.

Throughout his life, he has always been a true cowboy & horseman, he really enjoyed every aspect of owning and also showing quarter horses with his daughter when she was young. He always had a great love of animals, especially horses and border collies owning them most his life. He also spent many years boating, fishing, crabbing and always enjoyed being on the water.

He is survived by his daughter, Melissa Swenson (Metcalfe); son-in-law, Eric Swenson; beloved grandson, Ethan Swenson; his wife, Eva (Yanlin) Liang and dearly loved dog Sisu.

Funeral Service will be at 10:00 am on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at Evergreen Funeral Home – Everett, WA. Reception will follow at the funeral home. Committal Service following at Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, 1615 SE Everett Mall Way, Everett, WA 98208.

Arrangements under the direction of Evergreen Funeral Home, Everett, WA.


Blog (634) posted on November 26, 2009

Posted on November 26, 2009

Condolence to the Ryan Zorn family:

From Esther Murray Fleming (65): Flint, MI

I just wanted to send our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Myron Zorn. I was so sorry to hear about Ryan. I did not know him but I know his dad from high school. May God be with you at a time like this.


Esther Murray (Fleming)

Sharon Zorn, I do not have a good email address for Myron & JoAnn. Can you relay this messages and the others previously posted to them?

Thanks, Gary

Dunseith Alumni Reunion:

Dorothy Hiatt Swanson (46): Moorehead, MN.

Folks, I received a phone call last night from Dorothy Hiatt Swanson. We had a wonderful visit. We both grew up in the Ackworth community, so we had lots of things to talk about. She was enquiring about the date of the Alumni Reunion. She had seen our publication in the Bottineau paper. For some reason the Date got dropped when it was published in their paper. When I asked her if she’d like for me to add her to our list of those attending, she said “YES”. Dorothy does not have email. Dorothy is a sister to Eleanor Fauske, Charlotte Lang, Florence Dahl, Howard Hiatt and that family. Gary

Dunseith Alumni Reunion – 5/22/09 – Bingo Barn:

From Verena Gillis: Dunseith, ND.

Please add Gaillord and his wife Rene Peltier to the reunion list. Also
Shannon (Gillis) LaVallie and her husband Stacy
LaVallie-Devils Lake, ND
Unsure as to where Gaillord is right now but will find out.

Also, thank you to Vickie Metcalfe for the wonderful pumpkin donuts, they
were very delicious!

We are going to need to do a survey on food, I am currently getting
estimates on Ham, Roast Beef and Turkey, also twice baked potatoes. If we
can order these items along with some baked beans, vegetables & dinner
rolls, we can charge so much per plate to pay for it, what do you think?
I will have an idea on what the cost would be by next week. This would
relieve people from having to bring, right?

Folks, what do you think about Verena’s idea for food? This sounds like a pretty good idea to me. It puts a lot of the work load on her though, but it will for sure keep the costs down which is one of their main objects.

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

Hi, Gary Just a quick correction as my mother, Agnes maiden name was
Melhus which most people spelled Melhouse. Her father Peter Melhus came
from Indiroy, Norway , when he was 5 and they landed in Minn. where
he met our grandmother Helen Halvorson, (not related to Henry ) but
her sister was married to Hans Satrang so we are related to them. Clyde
went to school with us at Loon Lake #2 and also Irene Lindstrom, at
first Aanon Torgerson ‘s lived north of the school and Lorraine went to
school with us. Then Don and Marv Hermanson who moved there.

We love E-mail letters, Love Tom and Dot

Tom, These are some of my relatives you mentioned. I did not realize they lived in your neighborhood. Mrs. Anton Torgerson was is sister to my dad’s adopted mother and also to Mrs. Nick Lund. Of the Torgerson’s I knew Mildred, Knute and Della very well. Millie married Elmer Lindstrom. When they lived in the hills, I always thought they lived farther North. That was before my day. Irene was the oldest of their 5 girls. I did not realize that she attended school in the hills. Elaine was several years younger followed by Shirley, Dianne & Deb. In my day, Elmer & Millie lived a mile or so west and south of where #43 comes to and end on the west end of the hills. Is #14 the intersection there? At the moment I have forgotten. Irene Lindstrom Tonneson has done extensive history on her mothers side. Irene lives on a farm NE of Souris. You mention a Hermanson. I’m not sure who Don & Marv were, but Della Torgerson was married to a Hermanson. He died before I can remember back to. Della lived in Bottineau. Knute lived in Alvarado, MN. He visited the Bottineau area often. Gary

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (70: Bottineau, ND.

Ryan Zorn was the son of Myron (65) and JoAnn (Soland) Zorn.

Fallen soldier honored as person who worked to make a difference

JOSHUA WOLFSON Casper Star-Tribune | Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brig. Gen. Tim Cole embraces JoAnn Zorn after presenting her with a Bronze Star for her son, Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn, during his funeral Tuesday morning at Wright Baptist Church in Wright. (Courtesy photo)

WRIGHT — Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn gave a simple answer when his father once asked him to consider leaving the military.

“Dad, I’m making a difference,” he said.

Zorn, who died last week in Iraq, was remembered Tuesday at his funeral as a model soldier who gave his life for a cause he passionately believed in.

“He had an undying loyalty to his country, to his family and to his God,” said classmate Jeri Gibson, one of more than 300 people who packed Wright Baptist Church for the service.

Zorn, 35, died Nov. 16 when his armored vehicle overturned near the city of Tal Afar in northwestern Iraq. The Wright resident had been helping Iraqis develop communications and intelligence operations as part of the 311th Military Intelligence Unit of the 101st Airborne Division.

In his 16 years in the U.S. Army, Zorn served tours in Saudi Arabia, Korea, Germany and Iraq. He was a battle-hardened officer who embodied Army values, said Brig. Gen. Tom Cole, who addressed mourners during the 75-minute service.

“Ryan was not a complainer,” Cole said, standing near Zorn’s flag-draped casket. “He would just say a simple ‘Roger.’ That was his hallmark.”

Cole presented Zorn’s mother, JoAnn, with a Bronze Star earned by her son.

“It’s not just our soldiers who sacrifice so much for our freedoms,” the general told mourners. “Families give so much.”

While stationed in Iraq, Zorn made sure the soldiers under his command received care packages. A deeply religious man, when back in Wyoming he’d ask his pastor to pray for his men’s safety.

“He was proud of what he did, and he died doing what he believed in,” said his father, Myron.

Zorn never married, explaining that he didn’t want to find a wife only to be sent back to war. But he had a close relationship with his parents and other family members, said the Rev. Clay Alexander, who officiated the service.

Alexander read from two letters written by Zorn’s nieces. In one, Paige Zorn called her uncle a hero. “He’s a little chubby and had short, spiky hair,” she wrote. “He is really cool.”

Mourners — including Gov. Dave Freudenthal and Sen. Mike Enzi — watched a video that showed Zorn grow from a skinny, blond boy into a burly soldier, posing with other troops in front of a mural of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

The video also included footage of the scene in Gillette on Sunday, when thousands of people lined the streets to watch a hearse take Zorn’s casket from the airport to a funeral home. Dusty McClintock attended that procession and made the 50-minute drive to Wright for the funeral.

“We just wanted to come out and show our support,” said McClintock, who traveled with a group of about 10 motorcyclists.

Zorn was born in North Dakota but moved shortly after his birth to Upton, in northeastern Wyoming. His schoolmates described him as a big-hearted person with a constant smile.

He didn’t have a single enemy, said Hidie Bland, who traveled to the funeral from Sheridan.

“Not one,” she said. “I don’t think I ever saw him raise his voice.”

Friends said Zorn was soft-spoken but had a hearty laugh. He enjoyed athletics and possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of sports that some claimed rivaled the ESPN staff’s.

Upton High School Principal Gary Glodt recalled Zorn as a quiet, family-oriented student who enjoyed helping others.

“He had a distinct laugh,” Glodt said. “Everybody knew it was Ryan when they heard it.”

Even after Zorn joined the military, Glodt maintained contact with his former student. The educator remembered the pride Zorn had for the military’s mission in Iraq.

“He kept telling all of us that we were over there for a reason and helping out the Iraqi people,” Glodt said. “He was proud to be part of it.”

Contact Joshua Wolfson at josh.wolfson@trib.com or 307-266-0582.

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

The only Thanksgiving Day that stands out in memory must have been about 1949. It was very cold, lots of snow and Dad’s car would not start. He arranged transport via Dunseith taxi service; Mr Lilliby no doubt. I believe Grandma Evelyn was back from Seattle and working for Rosie McCoy at the Crystal Cafe and served up a fine meal in a small separate dining room. Mom and Dad had light duty on very few Thanksgiving Days; both would give the turkey their expert attension. Mogen David was for toasting, but I remember Dale splashing some on the turkey, Thanksgiving 1954 in our new home at The Corner.

Main Street Dunseith looked much the same as in 1949 as in the picture attached plus snow over a paved roadway. Of my old photo collection, those from Evelyn Gaudette Gottbreht are the only ones dated! And always in her beautiful script. Arla Gottbreht and Mary Evans [daughter of Celia Gottbreht and Ole Evans] were 6 going on 7 years old. Is anyone surprised to see the barber poles in the Fassett and Gottbreht Hardware window? It was 1932 that Main Street was paved in preparation for the crowds that would arrive to attend the dedication of the Peace Gardens. It must have been Floyd Richard or Oville Grenier who told me that Gr Grand Wm Gottbreht would sit out front of the Hardware Store and converse with the visiting locals in his last years [1859-1945]. In 1927, all of the children of Wm and Mary Ann Gottbreht retuned to the family home to celebrate Thanksgiving. Only Joe Gottbreht traveled the great distance from Superior, WI where he and Murtle Marie Duffy lived after his harbor/port service in WWI. Their mother was in poor health and passed the following February.

Corrections welcome. Thank you Gary, Sharron

Standing: Frederick, John, George, Joseph, James [Teddy], Wm Jr
Seated: Anna Borland, mother Mary Ann Kelly, father William, Cecelia Evans

Arla Gottbreht and Mary Evans [daughter of Celia Gottbreht and Ole Evans]


From Vickie Metcalfe (70: Bottineau, ND.

Gary, One month from today will be Christmas. My principal sent me this fwd. It has some things to reflect on for THANKSGIVNG. May you and Bernadette have a HAPPY one. Vickie

Folks, today is Thanksgiving. We are a little ahead of you guys in the states. As I previously mention, we are going to the Marriott Hotel, this evening, for a genuine Thanksgiving dinner buffet with turkey and the whole works.

I want to share this Thanksgiving Trivia from Vickie with all of you on this Thanksgiving day.

I wish you all the best on this Thanksgiving day. Gary


How Erma Bombeck viewed Thanksgiving Day…
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are
consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes.
This is not coincidence.”

How Rita Rudner viewed Thanksgiving Day…
“My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house
is a time of sorrow.”

How Mark Twain viewed Thanksgiving Day…
“Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two
or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really
had something to be thankful for–annually, not oftener–if they had
succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the
previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their
neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the
reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was
perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was
all on the white man’s side, consequently on the Lord’s side; hence
it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual

How P. J. O’Rourke viewed Thanksgiving Day…
“Thanksgiving is so called because we are all so thankful that it
only comes once a year.”


\\ \\\ | /// //
\\ \\ | /////
\\\\~ ~////
( @ @ )

Turkey growth and development…

A lady was picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store,
but couldn’t find one big enough for her family. She asked the stock
boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?”

The stock boy answered, “No ma’am, they’re dead.”

( ) ) /
\ ( (_/

Be thankful…

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire…
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something…
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times…
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations,
…because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge…
because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes…
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
…because it means you’ve made a difference.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,

…and they can become your blessings.

09/17/2017 (2559)

Dakota Drifters to Perform at Hostfest – Sept 27-30, 2017
Posting from Neola Kofoid Garbe:  Bottineau & Minot, ND
Dakota Drifters

Dakota Drifters

This quartet is made up of Dick and Brenda Johnson from the Turtle Mountains in north central North Dakota; Carl Kannianen from the Stanley area; and Toby Nelson from Minot. All four are home grown self-taught musicians who really enjoy country music.

 Dick farms near the International Peace Garden. He has been involved with music from the time he was young. He plays guitar and handles most of the vocals. He is known to favor Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash songs and always includes a few Norwegian jokes to keep things lively.

Toby is the owner of Prairie Winds Band Instrument Repair LLC in Minot ND. He and his staff keep busy repairing and maintaining all types of musical instruments for the upper northwest region of ND. As a sophomore in High School, he taught himself how to play drums and has been performing with the band Tin Star for the past 20 years. Toby is the newest member of the Dakota Drifters and is excited to help them keep traditional country western music alive!

 Brenda works for the North Dakota Forest Service in Bottineau. She started playing the standup bass just a few years ago. She keeps the group organized and is always looking for new “old” material. She and Dick have played and entertained together for several years.

 Carl farms in the Stanley area and has played the guitar for many years. He found out early in life that he enjoyed music. He sings harmony on several songs and also does vocals. Carl has a unique style of picking and his instrumentals are fabulous.

 This group plays a variety of country, gospel, rock-a-billy, and even some rock and roll. So if you like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Chet Atkins and other similar old time music you’ll enjoy hearing this group perform.


Joe Mufferaw
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70) Bottineau, ND

Gary and friends of Dunseith,

As a child, did you  all ever hear tales of  Joe Mufferaw?

My dad  would tell us he was going to see “Joe Mufferaw”.

We wondered which neighbor Joe Mufferaw was?

Forever guessing,Emil Morin, Uncle Wild Bill, or Art Seim  because dad would end up visiting with one of those families

Finally I  decided it could be a name our dad used  when he  was going somewhere  to visit  and not planning   for  us kids to go  along.

Or perhaps Joe Muffraw meant, ” It was  grown up time to talk, and none of  a kid’s  business.”

Art Seim  would also say,  “I’m going  over to see Joe Mufferaw.”

I  asked dad any times “Who is “Joe Mufferaw”?  He’d never tell me.

Sometimes answers to all my pondering comes around and there’s it is,  serendipity!

I read  news from various parts of the English speaking world  on my computer everyday.

(I don’t own a TV  to watch the news)  I believe that comes from a long ago anti-TV  habit instilled in me at age six when our family lived  with dad’s brother in Marysville WA.

Uncle Archie  absolutely disliked TV!  He’d  frown,  and turn off the TV.  He’d  change the subject by, singing a song, telling  a story, make us read,  play cards or  board games.

With the age of computers I discovered  a whole new world;Canadian  TV news, Irish news, BBC, State of Montana and  State of Washington news, etc.

Serendipity!  I hit  a Jackpot  a couple years ago when reading Canadian  entertainment news about a much  beloved Canadian singer.

Stompin Tom Conners had  passed away.

I  hadn’t heard of Stompin Tom. Just what made him special to Canada?  Well, he wouldn’t move S. of the border to Nashville the heart of his music was Canadian.

He wrote “The Hockey Song”, which is famous  at every hockey game across Canada.

Then, Holy Cow! WoW!

Low and Behold!

Stompin Tom wrote  and performed a song, “Big Joe Mufferaw.” I listened.

Finally I  researched and figured out who Joe Muffraw was.

Joe Mufferaw was a Canadian legend!  He was a  French Canadian (Paul Bunyan) Logger.

And, Joe Mufferaw who was born in the early 1800’s lived in the same area  of Ontario as my paternal grandpa Bill in the mid 1800’s.

(Arnprior, Renfrew, Smith Falls and the Rideau Canal)

Again  with memories of my dad and Uncle Bill who were keepers of our family oral history.

As was, Emil Morin and Art Seim who also could tell a story  2 or 3.  Perhaps as children they were told tale’s of Joe Mufferaw.

I wonder what they would say about a wood statue of  a French Canadian Logger and  the Stompin Tom’s song? It is a neat song, be it oral history or ‘tall tale’?


Until Later,
Vickie Metcalfe


Conrid Wallace Metcalfe Passed Away
Posting from Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

Our dear cousin, Conrid Wallace Metcalfe  passed away this evening Thursday, September 14, 2017.

His parents were  Archie Albert  Metcalfe

and  Bernice (Seim) Lindberg

His grandparents were;

John and Ingrid  (Espe)Seim  &  William and  Rose  (LeDuc) Metcalfe

I  first  met Conrid when I was 6.  when our family  lived  with his dad in Marysville.

After his dad died, Conrid moved back  from college, into his Dad ‘s room.

And was with our family.

Both Nancy and I fondly thought  of him  like a  big brother………..

The  memory of Conrid’s  time  here on earth  will always be cherished..

Godspeed dear cousin.

Conrid Wallace Metcalfe

September 14th 2017 • EverettWashington



Edit this Obituary

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Conrid Wallace Metcalfe, passed away peacefully on September 14 2017 in EverettWashington, leaving to mourn family and friends. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Conrid Wallace Metcalfe’s life. Flowers and condolences may be sent in memory of the loved one.

Date of Birth : Dec 24 1939



Blog (633) posted on November 25, 2009

Beachler Family
Reply from Allen Richard (65):
Lynette Beachler is married to Mark Richard, son of Floyd and Carmen. They live on a farm outside of Rolette.
Allen Richard
Allen, That’s all I needed was a memory jar. The Beachler’s are originally from Little Prairie. Lynette’s parents were LuVerne (deceased) and Marie (Eurich) Beachler. Marie is a sister to Dave Eurich. Lynette (82) is the author of a children’s book.
I recieved the following messages after having responded to Allen’s message above.
Reply from Carmen Leonard Richard:Rolette, ND.
About the Beachler family, the parents are Luverne and Marie (Eurich) Beachler. Their children are Wyatt, Clayton, John and Lanette. Luvern passed away in the year 2000 and Marie lives in Rugby. Wyatt and his wife and family live in Steele ND where he works at the Cenex Station. Clayton and his wife, and John and family live and work in Minneapolis. Lanette is married to our son Mark and live on a farm near Rolette. They have two children Riley and Megan. She works at the Rolette school and has written two childrens books.
If you wish to have addresses I can get them for you. We saw Clayton and Betsy this summer when they were home
Marie is always included in our holiday gatherings, and she always brings the pies. Juneberry pie is her specialty.!
Reply from Evon Lagerquist (77): Dunseith, ND.
The Beachler’s that lived in the area were LaVerne and Marie. Their daughter, Lanette, is married to Floyd and Carmen Richard’s son, Mark. I think they had 3 sons, Wyatt, Clayton, and John. LaVerne passed away a few years ago, and Marie now lives in Rugby………
Reply from Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.

Yes, the Clifford and Charlotte Metcalfe family photo was taken the fall of 1970.

Nancy, a public health nurse for Park County lives in Powell Wy with her husband Norm Moreno.

Their son is a Desert Storm vet, who lived in Nebraska with his family. The rest of us now live in the Bottineau -Dunseith area.
To help with your information.Re; Beachler
I ‘m sure there are family members who could give you more information.
Cecil and Ruby Beachler were sweet people who lived close to my great uncle Carl Wicks on West High Way #43. Ruby had beautiful snow white hair.
I believe Clayton and Wyatt are the son’s of Marie (Eurich) Beachler who lives in Rugby, Marie’s husband Laverne is deceased. Their daughter Lanette (Beachler) Richard lives in Rolette.
Colette (Pigeon) Schimetz and Mary {Eurich) Knutson are nieces of Marie (Eurich) Beachler whose siblings included Eva, Betty, Olynda, Frieda, Irene, Erma and brothers, Dave( who was married to Winifred Pritchard) and Fritz who passed away during WW II.
I don’t know if I listed all the David and Eva Eurich “‘kids”…who were neighbors and friends of many folks in the hills and on the prairies around Dunseith.
Eva Eurich, Dave Kraft and Kate Fassett were siblings.
Dave Kraft’s daughter,my neighbor, Dorothy (Kraft) Schneider lives down the street across from Wes and Ovida.
Telling about your dog, gives me a sense of your home. Dogs provide lots of company and delight. Mine make me get out and go for a walk when its cold. This morning it’s +18., the weather forecast for tonight, ” up to a couple inches of snow coming”, so I’ll be reluctantly finding some warmer boots.
My dogs are very multi talented “guard dogs”? The first responder, Sven the cockatiel, sits in front of a sliding glass door and raises lots of ruckus whenever something is intruding in the back yard. This alerts the furry critters and soon they are at the window jumping and barking. Quite the alarm system! Someday’s I am alerted to the meter man, rabbits, or stray dogs. Once a couple deer. Recently its been a big ….C-A-T. Yep, somebody’s hungry fat fluffy white with gray and black spotted house c-a-t, is on the prowling stalk for birds. It tries to slink by my car when the garage door is open. Then, slyly comes and peers at Sven through the glass swishing its magnificent fluffy tail. The dogs are very happy to add to the birds commotion!
Well enough rambling it’s time to be off.
Have a good day. Vickie
Bev Morinville Azure (72) update:
From Shonda Azure Cambell (94): Minot, ND.
Just a quick note as we get ready to go to the hospital .Things here are still the same we are just taking things a day at a time . Mom had a nice suprise last night when my Aunt Debbie and her husband Kenny got here. Other then that there is not much to report , please keep all the praying going it help so much and again I can not tell you enough she loves each of you very much.
Shonda, We have not had an update on Debbie (Morinville 70) for a long time. How is she doing following her stroke?

Reply from Erling Landsverk (44):Portage, WI
Hi Gary and Everyone:
Dick Johnson beat me to the punch again. Thank you for the kind words Gary. I was unaware that you knew so many of our neighbors. I do have a few questions, so I will list them and do what you can;
Before Nick Lund lived over near Rispa’s I believe that it was the Andrew Bjerklund family that lived there. I went to school with Engrum, Evelyn and Margaret Lund. I knew both leonard and Obert., what happened to Engrum, Margaret and Evelyn. I was under the impression that Mrs Lund’s sister was Mrs Aanon Torgeson,is that the way it is. Ole Rispa was a tough old Norweigen, My brother went out to visit folks around 1969, and he said that he helped Ole, and Albert Saw wood. They were sawing up logs out of the woods, and Ole must have been around 90 years at the time. How about the Fulsebakke family? Did you by any chance know any of the helgeson family or the Amsbough family? I wonder if you knew any of the Christianson family, they lived across the lake from the melhouse family. Those Christianson girls sure were attractive. As far as I know they had one brother, Clarence. He Was still single in 1943 when we moved to wisconsin. At any rate, you should be getting your Audio book any day now and I put something else in along with it. Hope it makes it O K.
I want to thank you for all the help I received in locating folks, it meant a lot to me and to those that I contacted as well. And to Dick Johnson, I really have to take my hat off to you. You obviously have a razor sharp memory and a heart of gold to go with it. As I remember in other messages that i listened to, you were pretty active bringing smiles to retired folks with music and good followship. The world needs more folks like you.
Iwant to wish everyone of you North dakota folks living there now or elsewhere the happiest of Thanksgiving days, and a super time with your family and friends.
Erling Landsverk
Erling, It wasn’t until later in my adult life that I realized Mrs. Nick Lund’s wife was a sister to my dad’s adopted mother. We were with Leonard a lot, but not to much with the rest of his family. I always knew Dad and Leonard were related, but never knew the connection. You are right, mrs. Lund’s sister was a Torgeson. I knew most of her family quite well. It was through them that I learned the connection of Mrs. Lund and my grandmother. We don’t have any history at all about my Dad’s adopted mother, however, Irene Lindstrom Tonneson, granddaughter of Mrs. Torgeson does and has done extensive genealogy on that side of the family. I will send you here contact info with a separate message.
I will let some of the others speaks for the Christianson, Melhouse and Fulsebakke families. Clarence Christianson was married to Neola Kofoid Garbe’s aunt, Alvina Brudwick. There were two Christianson Families, Casper/Ella & Sigur/Hanna (Lagerquist). These two families were neighbors, but were not related. Agnes Melhouse Hagen is Orvin, Leland & Tom’s mother. Donnie Nelson, she may have been your grandmother, but she was a mother to you.
The Helgeson’s lived south of Salem church. I knew Clem and Selmer quite well. Clem never married, but Selmer was married to Joyce Smith, sister to Joanne (65) and Eldon (63). Clem & Ralph (Luella Boardman 49) Bjornseth were diesel mechanics. They worked together as a team doing onsite overhauls all over the country. They were some of the best mechanics of all times. I didn’t realize the Amsbaugh’s lived in that part of the hills. Franklin was married to Edna Clark, Dave Clark III sister. Franklin was working for the Minnesota Valley Breeders when he died back in the 60’s. Gary
Ryan Zorn, Son of Myron (65) & JoAnn
From Rene Casavant (65):Bismarck, ND
I want to give condolences to the Zorn family for the great loss of their son Ryan. Myron and I were best of friends during our High School years. I travel through Newcastle, Wyoming on my way to visiting my step-daughters in Colorado. I plan to jog off from Newcastle to Wright and visit the Zorns during my trip next summer. I haven’t contributed much to this blog, however I have really enjoyed keeping up with the Dunseith Alumni nostalgia. Please put my name on the list for attendance at the May Mini Reunion. Rene Casavant
From Vickie Metcalfe (70): Bottineau, ND.
Today’s Billings Gazette
Wyoming News
Thousands line streets to honor fallen soldier

Vickie L. Metcalfe

Dignitaries to attend services for Wyoming soldier killed in Iraq

Staff Sergeant Ryan Lee Zorn

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Gov. Dave Freduenthal says he plans to attend services in Wright for a Wyoming soldier killed in Iraq.

A funeral service will be held today for Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn at the Wright Baptist Church. Zorn will be buried at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D.

The Department of Defense says the 35-year-old graduate of Upton High School died last week in a vehicle accident in Iraq.

Myron Zorn, Ryan’s father, said U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso are also scheduled to attend

Thousands line streets to honor fallen soldier
Wyoming-linked service members killed in action listed

CHEYENNE — Wyoming-linked servicemen killed in action since 2001 include:


• Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn, 35, Wright, Nov. 16, 2009.

• Army Staff Sgt. Tyler Pickett, 28, Saratoga, June 8, 2008.

• Army Pvt. Corey L. Hicks, 22, Glendale, Ariz., son of Russel Hicks of Casper, May 2, 2008.

• Army Staff Sgt. David Julian, 31, Evanston, March 10, 2008.

• Army Staff Sgt. Brian M. Long, 32, Burns, June 10, 2007.

• Airman 1st Class Eric…

CHEYENNE — When Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn finally returned home to northeast Wyoming on Sunday morning, thousands braved cold and windy November weather to pay tribute to the fallen soldier from Wright.

People of all ages lined the streets of Gillette as Zorn’s casket entered town from the airport, escorted by more than a thousand vehicles including police cars, emergency vehicles and motorcycles with dozens of leather-clad military veterans and supporters.

“It was just incredible. It really was,” said 80-year-old Gillette resident Nancy Yonkee, who watched the procession with her daughter along Highway 14/16.

“I’ve lived here all my life, and I’ve never seen an outpouring like that before.”




Zorn, 35, was killed Nov. 16 near the city of Tal Afar in northeastern Iraq when his armored vehicle overturned. A communications expert with the 311th Military Intelligence Unit of the 101st Airborne Division, Zorn had been helping Iraqis develop their own communications and intelligence operations.

Zorn’s body arrived at Gillette-Campbell County Airport late Sunday morning in a Falcon 20 jet from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

A crowded terminal fell silent as an honor guard and Zorn’s family approached the plane and pallbearers lifted Zorn’s flag-draped casket over to a waiting hearse.

“There wasn’t a sound to be had anywhere through that — (a) whole 20 minutes or better,” said state Sen. Michael von Flatern, R-Gillette, who was in the terminal building.

“It’s a moment that sends a chill up your spine, there’s no doubt about it.”

As the casket was slowly driven from the airport to a downtown Gillette funeral home five miles away, thousands of flag-waving Gillette residents lined the streets to pay their final respects to Zorn.




People held signs saying “God bless you” and “We love you, Ryan.”

Firefighters saluted as the hearse passed underneath a fire engine ladder extended high over the street, with an American flag unfurled underneath it.

The outpouring of support was even more impressive given how little time there was to prepare for Zorn’s body’s return.

Gillette Mayor Duane Evenson, along with several military, veterans and civilian organizations that helped plan for the procession, had less than 24 hours’ notice that Zorn’s remains would be flown back to Wyoming on Sunday.

Word of the planned procession quickly spread around town through word of mouth, newspaper and radio coverage and forwarded and reforwarded e-mails.

Myron Zorn, Ryan’s father, said it was “mind-boggling” to see the amount of support his family has received from perfect strangers around the community.

“It was just, well, gee it was nice,” he said. “I feel so bad, but you can’t imagine how good it feels to know that people are willing to come out and support you like that. It means so much.”

Funeral services are scheduled to be held at 10 a.m. today at Wright Baptist Church. About 12:30 p.m., a funeral procession will take Zorn’s body from Wright to be interred at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D.

U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, as well as Gov. Dave Freudenthal and other dignitaries, will attend the funeral. Freudenthal has directed that flags be flown at half-staff across the state today to honor Zorn.

Greg Dougherty, who owns and operates a welding shop in Gillette, paid $6,500 to give the Zorns a red, white and blue Christmas tree from the Gillette Festival of Trees, an annual event in which locally crafted Christmas trees and wreaths are auctioned off for charity.

The tree was sent to Wright for a Monday afternoon memorial service and today’s funeral.

Dougherty, who’s often made charitable donations, insisted that he didn’t want any publicity about his gift.

“I just thought it would be a nice gesture to do for the family,” he said. “I have a son in the military, and I respect all the people in the military very much.”

Contact Jeremy Pelzer at 307-632-1244 or jeremy.pelzer@trib.com

09/03/2017 (2558)

Going to Seattle.

This will be my last message before leaving for the USA.

Bernadette and I will be departing Cebu at 2 AM this Tuesday Morning for Seattle. We arrive in Seattle just past noon on Tuesday the 5th and depart going back to Cebu on Tuesday the 12th.  Bernadette, I think, will be able to make the trip OK. Once we are there her Half-sister, Erma, who lives there, will be staying with us full time in our hotel assisting taking care of Bernadette. Here I have lots of help. Our kids and Grandkids are all there, so we will be spending a lot of time with them.

Yesterday, September 2nd was my dad’s Birthday. He too was a twin. They would have been 102. It was also our first Twin Grandson’s 2nd birthday too. His Twin Brother was born on September 3rd. The first was born just minutes before midnight and the other just minutes past midnight only 20 minutes apart, but none the less different days.


Our twin Grandson’s Brydon and Bryce Stokes


Blog (632) posted on November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Philippines”
Folks, I forgot to answer Angela Berube’s question about how we celebrate Thanksgiving here in the Philippines. This year we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with the folks from the US Retired Military activities Office (RAO). Being retired from the Army Reserves qualifies me to belong to this organization here in Cebu. We will be going to the Marriott Hotel for a genuine American Thanksgiving Buffet dinner. It is through the RAO that I am able to have a Fleet Post Office (FPO) address. That in it self is a great benefit. The local mail system is very unreliable here in the PI. We RAO members pay an annual fee to maintain the local office here in Cebu. The United States mail system delivers all of our mail to our local office. Three years ago Bill Grimme sent a CD to our Local address and to this day that CD is still in the mail. I received Dick and Brenda Johnson’s CD, mailed to our FPO address, in 10 days. Gary
Beechler’s question Previously posted:
Question from Lynn Halvorson Otto (75): Seoul, Korea
Hi Gary, can you put this on the blog! Does anyone remember the Beechler (spelling) family that lived in Dunseith. One son was in my grade and his name is Clayton. Another son’s name was Wyett, not sure though. Thanks, Lynn Halvorson Otto
I remember the Beechler name well but I’m brain dead remembering anything about the family. I’m sure with a memory jar I will remember. Gary
Ryan Zorn Commemoration – Veterans Burial Flags
From Sharron Gottbreht Shen (59): Everett, WA.
Ryan Zorn was listed in silent commemoration this morning’s KOMO 4 National News. We stand in the shadow of yet another soldier gone to glory. Evie and I talked, then Ernie and I spoke of the loss for the Zorn Family and our wish to console them. I pray for Ryan’s eternal rest and feel such gratitude for the years and life Ryan gave for us.The attached notice was published 1931; the practice was initiated in 1930.

Thanks Gary, Sharron

Me again Gary. This item was also quoted from the American Magazine in June 1931.“It is for babies that we live and love and strive; they are the essence and joy of life; they are the hope of the future.”


Clifford Metcalfe Family:
Back Row L to R: Nancy, Vickie & Cliff
Front Row L to R: Cyndy, Archie, Shannon & Charlotte (Lottie)


Back: Roberta Hagen Striker (75)
Front: Kim Hiatt Hermann (77)





Margaret Metcalfe Leonard (65)




Class of 65 gals:


Margaret Metcalfe, Susan Fassett & Carol Jasper

Our little dog
Our little dog went in the house about 9:00 PM last night. Since about 2:00 AM it has been raining. It’s currently 12:15 PM and out little dog has not gone out in the rain to relieve her self yet. She’s been on the porch and that’s all the farther she’s gotten. She’s back in the house now. It’s amazing how long these animals can hold out. Gary.