01/24/2021 (2789)

Face Book Posting
From Susan Fassett Martin (’65):  Belle Fourche, SD


Bottineau First Lutheran Sunday School Picture
Posted by Neola Kofoid Garbe: Minot, ND


This is a nice picture with three familiar faces for many Dunseith folks.
Jean Pladson, Ednamae (Abe) Nelson and Neola Kofoid Garbe.
Jean Pladson was a first cousin to me, brother Darrel (Bud) and the Morinville siblings.
Ednamae was Carlyle’s Sister. Their father was Abe Nelson.
Neola, You look so Happy, Cheerful and Smiley in this picture.
Garbe, Neola


Patty Grossman (DHS Class of ’67) Passed away.
Posting from LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

Sorry to have to report another death.

Patricia Grossman Colby Hazel  April 28, 1949 – December 28, 2020

Her full obituary in on the Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot. Her funeral was live streamed on January 4, 2021. I was able to watch it and I believe it is still available.

Patty was in the Class of 1967 from Grades 3-11. Her father taught HS English at Dunseith during those years.  Mr. Ben Grossman was hired as principal in Velva in the fall of 1966.  Patty and (I believe) all her siblings graduated from Velva.

Her brothers Paul and Peter have lived in Hazen for many years. Both of them worked in the coal industry.  The youngest brother, Parrell Grossman, is a lawyer and has worked in the North Dakota Attorney General’s office as the head of the Consumer Affairs Division for a long time.  Whenever there is a scam going around, Parrell will be interviewed by the press to advise and warn the citizens of ND.


In response to Francine Gottbreht’s son about DHS annuals
Posting from LeaRae Parrill Espe (’67):  Bottineau, ND

In response to Francine Gottbreht’s son about DHS annuals, as far as I know there were never any annuals published during the 60s or before that. Maybe someone has more information, but the class of 1967 for sure did not have one.

My husband, Terry Espe, began his career teaching in Dunseith in 1968.
He has a few annuals from his teaching days, the earliest is 1970.


1/15/2021 (2788)

Dunseith Alumni Website is back on line


Our Website, https://dunseith.net/blog/ ,  is back on line running safe and sound. When my Hotmail email address, associated with our site, was compromised they temporarily blocked the site for nearly a month.  For security purposes, they also required me to purchase an SSL certificate of which they are requiring for all Websites now too.

Each and every blog is posted on this website too, with a simple searching tool that allows you to you to search all the postings to find whatever you are looking for.

Our Website is open to the public, so they too will find their subject matters in our sight with their google searches.


Mick Kester Memories
From Art Rude (’71):  Bismarck, ND

I just want to say thank you again for all you do.  Mick Kester was a tremendous guy, I always looked up to him, son of Red, that great guy that would visit with the kid I was as he delivered the fuel.  I thought the world of both.  There are some things I definitely do not like about Facebook, but the way I have been put in touch with wonderful people I hadn’t heard from in years is tremendous!  Mick was one of those people.  I felt honored when he communicated with me.  I was shocked to hear he was gone.

Although it’s not good news, I like knowing.

Thank you!

Every day is a gift, that’s why they call it the present!

Have a great day!!

Art Rude


Mick Kester Condolences
From Colette Hosmer (’64):  Santa Fe, NM

Dear Janice, W

When I think of sister, Jan, (several times a day) you and Mick often slip into the same thought.  I am so, so sorry to hear of Mickey’s passing.  I have always loved thinking of you two still together since high school.  Please know that I share some warm memories with you.



Trying to locate Dunseith Highschool Year books.

Posting from Francie Gottbreht Dutra’s (’63) son:  Lacey, WA

Evening, Mr. Stokes!

By way of introduction, I’m the eldest son of Francie Kay Gottbreht (Dutra).  I have very much enjoyed your alumni website and read it constantly to add to my (amateur) genealogy pages.    I usually push out my questions about Dunseith to my mom, or my Aunt Maryann Brennan or sometimes Sharon Shen but this time I thought I might reach out to you as a quasi-fellow researcher/archivist:   Why is it that I can only find one digital copy of the Dunseith High School yearbook?  I’ve been searching bookstores, eBay, auctions and even the university libraries and all I ever come across is the 1972 yearbook.  Was there a school name change or are the folks from North Dakota just that stingy with their high school memorabilia?    :)

Any thoughts or insights you could give would be much appreciated.    I sincerely hope you have made archiving plans for your huge database of photos, stories and contacts from Dunseith… I consider them to be of the greatest family/community treasures!



Retired professor writing a book about San Haven.
Posting from Brenda Hoffman (’68):   Taylors, SC

A retired Moorhead, MN State professor is writing a book about San Haven with emphasis on hospitalized children with TB. If anyone has information that might help Professor Grineski with his research, please send contact info to Gary so the Professor can discuss your information with you via the Internet or telephone.


Earl, Lillian and Woodrow Aal Pictures
From Cheryl Larson Dakins (’71):  Bedford, TX

I am attaching a couple pictures. One is of Earl and Lillian Aal, the other of Earl and Woodrow Aal. These pictures are in folders and in beautiful shape and I would love to send them to any relatives or descendants that might like to have them. I’m hoping someone on the blog will be able to help point me in the right direction.
Aal, Earl and Lillian



01/07/2021 (2787)


Michael Kester (DHS Class of 1959) Passed away
Posting from Janice LaCroix Kester (’59): Fargo, ND

My husband of 58 years on Dec 29th, passed on Dec. 14 at Sanford’s ICU hospital from leukemia. We were high school sweethearts. His obituary  can be found on Boulger’s web site. Michael (Mick)Kester Boulgers Funeral Home There are many comments from former students & colleagues  on the guest book.  We read some of them at his service that helped us get through  a difficult day.   I don’t remember a time  Mick wasn’t part of my life. This has been a tough year for so many. I lost my brother, Jerry. my brother in law, Elmer, and now my beloved husband in less than 6 months. 2021 just has to be a better year.

Thanks, Gary

Michael “Mick” V. Kester
Kester, Michael
Date of Passing: December 14, 2020


On Monday, December 14, 2020 Michael (Mick) Vaughn Kester passed away peacefully at the age of 79 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo from Leukemia. By his side was his wife, Janice (Jan) Dianne LaCroix Kester and his children.

Mick was born on August 9, 1941 to Ormal (Red) and Margery (Hunter) Kester of Dunseith North Dakota. He attended Dakota College in Bottineau, then graduated from Mayville State College with a Bachelor in Elementary Education in 1963. He later received his Master’s Degree from NDSU.
Mick and Jan were born one day apart and met when they were 8 years old. They grew up together and had so many shared memories. They became high school sweethearts and were married December 29th, 1962. lt would have been their 58th wedding anniversary later this month. They raised three children, Todd, Troy, and Julie.

In his youth, he worked on farms and helped his Dad who worked for Standard Oil to deliver gas. He had fond memories of milking cows, mostly because they gave him a horse for the summer as his wage. Later he helped his family during harvests. He just couldn’t stay retired, so in his 70’s Mick began hauling sugar beets. He just loved to talk about farming and equipment and always enjoyed being part of farming.

His first teaching and coaching position was in Esmond, ND. He wanted to pursue a Master’s Degree at NDSU, so he applied for a position at Agassiz Junior High School in Fargo, ND. He taught science for 21 years at Agassiz where he became known for “The Kester Test”. He transferred to Centennial Elementary for the last 12 years. After 37 years of teaching he retired in May, 2000. He began a recycling program in school system. He also volunteered at Nativity Church as an usher and later at the Police Department.

After retirement, he worked many part-time jobs, retired again, and purchased a lake cottage near Perham MN. He enjoyed his neighbors along the beach, margarita cruises on the pontoon, puttering in the yard and spending time with family and friends on Big Pine Lake. When in Fargo he liked meeting up with other retired teachers for socializing. Mick and Jan also enjoyed getting away from the cold winters and made the long drive to Mesa, AZ, then to Ft. Myers Florida. They truly cherished that time with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife Janice; children Todd of Canandaigua NY, Troy (Kelli) of Minneapolis, MN, and Julie (Bill) Miller of Kansas City MO; Grandchildren Isabella Kester of Canandaigua, Ellen Kester and Jonah Kester of Minneapolis, Dana Miller of Denver CO, Bill (Joy) Miller of King of Prussia, PA, Corey Miller of Philadelphia PA; Great Grandchild Dalia of Philadelphia, PA; Sisters, Joanne Boucher of Rugby ND, Pennie (Gary) Grenier of Rolette, ND and Cheryl (Randy) Gaugler of Ft. Lauderdale FL along with cousins, nieces and nephews.

Mick was preceded in death by his parents Ormal (Red) & Margery; In-laws Henry and Gladys LaCroix; brother-in-law’s, Elmer Boucher and Jerry LaCroix; and granddaughter Alexandria Kester.

On Saturday December 19th, 2020, a private service will be held. A Celebration of Life to follow later when it is safe to gather. Visit boulgerfuneralhome.com to sign the guestbook.

Memorial contributions may be made to Sanford Health Foundation for the Roger Maris Cancer Center and at Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation.


Condolences to the Stickland family
From Vickie Hiatt LaFontaine (73): Grafton, ND

Dean so sorry to hear of your loss, sending my sincere condolences


Findagrave Memorial for Darrel Stickland
From Ken Striker:   Dayton, OH


I made a Findagrave Memorial for Darrel.  Links are there for parents.




Posted by Dean Stickland (’73):  Olympia, WA

Stickland, Darrel

Darrel Lee Stickland June 20, 1949 – December 23, 2020

Darrel (Doc) was born to Robert E. Stickland and Irene (Adams) Stickland in Rolla, ND.  He was raised in Dunseith, ND, a small rural community a few miles south of the Canadian border.  As a young child he had numerous health scares.  Someone commented that in order to pay off all the medical bills he’d have to be a doctor.  The nickname “Doc” stayed with him for life.

Darrel attended college for two years and left the University of ND in 1969 to take a job in Fargo where he met his future wife, Jan.  A move to the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area in 1970 began a new and lasting career as a drywall contractor.  Darrel was an accomplished guitar player and a great part of his non-working time during those years was spent playing lead guitar for the “Doc Kelly Band” at various venues in the Twin Cities area.

In 2008 work slowed in the Twin Cities due to an economic downturn so he moved out to Olympia, WA to begin a new business in a milder climate.  He was referred to a local property management company and spent the last 12 years working almost exclusively for them and their clients.

Most of Darrel’s adult life was busy with family, business and music.  In 2019 he began to read his Bible and started attending some local gospel services.  In March 2020 he expressed his commitment to follow the things he was reading and hearing about.  Often these last months he expressed his feeling of a deep and satisfying peace.  He often spoke of his hope for his eternal future.  He is rejoicing in that realization now.

Darrel was preceded in death by his parents and his older brother Leland.  He is survived by his only daughter, Laura, two granddaughters and two great grandchildren, all of Rochester, MN and a younger brother, Dean (& Marion) of Olympia, WA.

Darrel passed away suddenly in his home after suffering an apparent heart attack.  He was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him.

There will not be a memorial service for him due to current restrictions on gatherings.


Elaine Gunville Obituary and condolences

Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70): Bottineau, ND


Gary and Friends of Dunseith Alumni,

Sincere sympathy to the family of Elaine Gunville.


Vickie L. Metcalfe


Krisandra Gillis Obituary and condolences
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND


December 26,2021

Gary and Friends of Dunseith Alumni,

Sincere sympathy to the Gillis and Hunt families on the passing of

their loved one.

Sincerely, Vickie L. Metcalfe


Sympathy to the Carol Eller Desjarlis and the Stickland Families
Posted by Vickie Metcalfe (’70):  Bottineau, ND

December 26, 2020

Gary, and Friends of Dunseith School alumni,

Sympathy to the sisters of Carol (Eller) Desjarlis. and sympathy to  Dean and the extended Stickland family.

May everyone who has suffered loss, each find comfort and peace.
The loss of a spouse, parent, child or sibling is a deeply sorrowful personal wound.  Mourning is especially difficult during these last trying months of Covid -19 pandemic where ability to share  grief has  been significantly altered.

For people recalling the former  school community, loss of  a classmate is a sobering reminder when reflecting on fond memories and experiences. We shared lots of stuff, with peer classmates through several years of our journey; primary school through upper high school attendance.

I believe, Carol (Eller) Desjarlis joined our class in grade three, upstairs in the big white school house in Mrs. Halvorson’s classroom. As I recall, she and her 3 sisters (Julie, Bonnie and Ivy)  transferred in after school started. It is not easy walk for a child… into a group of strangers.

The day, Carol walked into the classroom, I was duly impressed by her  beautiful long hair.

Carol always was quite proud of her, maternal Grand-dad G. Albert  who was a  farmer and United States veteran of WWI.
Our class, the  class of 1970 with 48 of classmates, was the largest class to graduate from DHS at that time.

Of the Stickland brothers I  remember Dean.  I never quite figured out, at the time there were actually  3 brothers. I knew their dad,Mr. Stickland  was the rural mail carrier and brother to our neighbor, Joy Peterson. And they were related to Annie Nicholson. The two elder Stickland brothers I often confused with each other.  I thought they were two altogether, known as Doc?

Being a  country girl of the hills, I thought Dunseith school was pretty big in population especially in junior high.

All of a sudden!  There were 3 sections of 7th and  3 sections of 8th graders. The walls were fairly bursting, young teens…. everywhere.

Overnight it seemed many country township schools closed.  Dunseith Day closed their 7th and 8th grade.

All  consolidating into one Dunseith School. Whoa… several kids who had attended Catholic Boarding schools also came.

It was a  brand new scary world for most of us.  Kids just wanting to fit in and be accepted in strange surroundings, YUP! Those were “the days of yore”  when,  Dunseith School “Baby Boomers”  milled around through the halls!

Until later,

Vickie L. Metcalfe