5/9/2016 (2381)

Forgot to post Blog from May 8, 2009 with last Friday’s posting.

Folks, When I went to post last Friday’s blog on our Website, I noticed I had forgotten to include May 8th’s Blog from 2009. Sorry about that.


Condolences to the Dennis Espe family
From Dawn Gregory Allard (’74):  Bottineau, ND

We were so sorry to hear about Dennis Espe`s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with Peggy and the family.


Condolences to the Dennis Espe family
From Bill Krause (’74):  Dickinson, ND

My condolences to Mr Espe’s  family… Although we didn’t always see eye to eye when he was my teacher,  I always had the utmost respect for him. Years after graduating and running into him and Peggy I always called him Mr. Espe. Probably the only teacher I ever had that earned that respect during and well after high school.. You will be missed Mr Espe..  With Deepest Sympathy, Bill Krause


Condolences to the Dennis Espe family
From Don & Colleen(Conroy ‘58) Martel:    Rosemount, MN

Colleen and I are very sorry to hear of Dennis Espe’s passing.  He was a wonderful friend, and a great asset to the Dunseith School faculty and the whole community.  Our condolences to Peggy and his whole family.

Don & Colleen(Conroy) Martel.


Dennis Espe Memories
Face Book posting from Brad William (’78):  Hallock, MN

I always enjoyed my science classes from Dennis Espe. I’m sure the many dissections & various experiments left lasting impressions on most of his students. The thing I recall most was the last week or so of his 10th grade Biology class. He had the whole class intimidated by saying the final exam would cover EVERYTHING we learned that entire year (and that green book was thickest of any class I ever took). It was only a slight relief to hear him say that none of the test questions would be new to us, as they would all be taken from previous exams, quizzes, labelled diagrams, worksheets, etc. He handed each student back all of the tests & papers they completed for the full year, then said we would spend the last 2 weeks of class to review for the final exam. He also made a point of stating that he had used the exact same final exam for all of his previous Biology classes, then got this big grin when he announced that NO STUDENT EVER SCORED 100% (97 was the highest). So naturally I took that as a personal challenge. I thought of all the prior Valedictorians & honor students who took that same final exam, and since this was my only opportunity to compare myself with them, I made it my goal to ACE THAT FINAL. Two days after taking the final exam, Mr. Espe had a list of all the test scores (without names) taped to his classroom window, with a big 100 circled in red ! Most of my friends just assumed I was the one that had the perfect score, and even though I was fairly confident, Cary Lamoureux was always close competition, so bragging rights couldn’t be confirmed until he passed the exams back. On my way out the door, I couldn’t resist telling Mr. Espe “I guess you’ll have to come up with a new final exam next year …. This one was too easy” …… which brought out his famous “machine gun” laugh. ……. So thanks & R.I.P Mr. Espe ….. You had a positive impact on all of your D.H.S. students, and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing you. Paul Krause Tina Busche Gary Stokes


Condolences to the Dennis Espe family
From Dewy Morinville (’72):  Dunseith, ND

Sorry to hear of Mr. Espe’s passing
Prayers to his family.
He was a great teacher.


Condolences and memories:  Dennis Espe family
From Trish Larson (’73):  Livingston, MT.

Oh dear.  That is shocking news about Dennis.  He was a great teacher and gave me the drive to study and learn because he made it so interesting and fun.  Will remember his smile forever.  My heart goes out to his family who will surely miss him something awful.  So sorry for this bad news.  Rest in Peace.  You were one of the good ones.


It’s a small world
Melvin Pederson, Son of Sam Pederson – Peterson (Pederson) Lake – Ackworth community
Message from Doreen Larson Moran (BHS ’61):  Spokane, WA

Guys, this is the family the Peterson (Pederson) lake, our childhood swimming lake, is named after. Sam Pederson was a sister of Jennie Handland’s


We were at the VFW hall in Priest River for breakfast this morning and I picked up conversation with a couple at the door.  (I am my father’s child – no one is a stranger to me).

I said we were heading to ND in the morning; he said my parents are from ND.  SO – his father is 90 now – Melvin Pederson; lived near the Peace Gardens.  SO that tells me probably Dunseith area.  The son, Tom with wife Mary.  He remembered going to his mother’s place hear Devils’ Lake down a dirt road.  Crary.  Tom and Mary lived in upper MN/Wisconsin before moving to Spokane WA area.  They have a place near Newport WA/Priest River ID along the Pend Oreille River.

Bob and I will head to ND in the morning.   My cousin Kent Joraanstad did buy his grandfather’s homestead about a mile from the Canadian border out by Souris.  He does have an older 2 story house as their second home.  They lost their home; everything in the Butte CA fire Sept 11th.  They have another year and half to determine if they will try to rebuild on their land.  Permit process in CA is expensive and lengthy.

Guess we will see   some of the horrendous smoke from the fires burning in Alberta.  The worst one is Ft McMurray.  80,000 to 90,000 have been evacuated.  Really bad.

Thank you for all you do to keep people connected.  I told Tom that the small world, you might tell me they were from Ackworth.

Doreen Larson Moran


Hello Doreen,

Yes, Melvin Pederson is from the Ackworth community. He lives in Spokane now. He left the Ackworth community before I was born so I never knew him. I knew his dad, Sam, though.  The Pederson farm was located a half mile west of our place.

It is a small world.

Blog postings from December 2009

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

Gary, Lowell Pederson is the brother of Melvin’s that lives in Spokane, and Arizona in the winter……..

Evon Lagerquist.

Evon, Checking my notes from when I talked to Melvin Pederson, you 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.


Blog (449) posted on May 8, 2009


Posted on May 8, 2009

Clifford George Counts Passed away:

From Debbie Poitra Rondeau (77): Dunseith, ND

Dear Gary,

Good morning,

Our prays go out to the family of Clifford George Counts.

Clifford George Counts passed away on May 8,2009. Went to school in Dunseith graduate the year of 1978. He is 48 years old. He is the son of the late Lloyd Sr. & Louise Counts of Dunseith. George is survive by his wife Rochell Jaste Counts. His children are Herbie, Tyrell, Carletta and Carleen Counts all of Dunseith.

His brothers are Lloyd Jr., Clarence “Swede”, and Ernie Counts all of Dunseith, sisters Barbara Counts LaRoque, Louann Counts St. Claire of Dunseith and Joann Counts of Belcourt. George would be my first cousin, his dad and Mom Betty Counts Poitra are brother and sister.

Debbie, Our condolences are with Clifford’s family. Thank you so much for sending this info. Gary

Deb Morinville Harmon (70) update from Bev Morinville Azure (72): Dunseith, ND

Hi everyone, Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to let you all know about Deb…….I feel so much better now that we went to Montana to check on her…. She is doing wonderful. Kenny and her family take geart care of her. She has a way of letting you know what she has to say. She can walk with a cane it is hard to see her like this but knowing Deb she will be up and around. in no time. Diane and Colette
she is looking forward to seeing you and she wanted me to tell everyone thank you so much for all the cards they sure did lift her spirits. Gary thanks for all you do may the Lord bless you.


From Susan Fassett Martin (65): Spearfish SD

Hi all, John and I just returned from a 16 day excursion on the Amtrak Empire Builder and the Lakeshore Limited to NYC (Brooklyn, actually) to visit our son, Josh and his girlfriend Jennie. We had a great time. I want all to know that my son works for a non profit called 826NYC/ Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store. They tutor and mentor kids from 6-18 that are interested in writing. They also do field trips, plus numerous other activities with the kids. Josh just completed a web catalog for the Superhero Supply Store, check it out atwww.superherosupplies.com We attended a fundraiser while we were in NY and had a great time. Josh was also a great tour guide for us and took us to see the sights. We went to Ellis Island, Mets game at the new CitiField, Times Square, Brooklyn Museum of Art, went to the 47th floor and ate at the revolving View restaurant in downtown NY, Coney Island, and went to see Brian Dennahy starring in “Desire Under the Elms” We ate and ate and ate and walked and walked and rode the subway. First time in NY for either John or I and we had a great time. On the way home, we had a 5 hr layover in Chicago, so rode the elevator up to the 99th floor of the Sears Tower to see the city. It was a great experience for a small town girl. I am glad to be back home, though. Way too many people in NY.

Cheers, Susan

Message from Marge Longie Wilcox (56): Vancouver, WA


My first years in school were in St. John I lived with my grand parents for awhile, then in 1952 I moved to Dunseith with my mom. my grand parents name was John, Mary rose Langan. My grand-dad worked for Martineau store for many years, and also the catholic church.

Gary thanks for all of the hard work your doing on this blog everyday.

Marge Wilcox

Email address change for Lola Metcalfe Vanorny (68): lrvanorny@nd.govDunseith, ND

Hi just to let you know my address at work is now – lrvanorny@nd.gov

Thanks so much– I need my Alumni fix– every morning!!- ha

Thanks for all you do!!–Lola

Lola, it’s been a while since we’ve heard from you. It’s great seeing your name come up on my computer screen again! How are things with you? Gary

Linda Mae Wilson, 44, Dunseith, died Tuesday, May 5, 2009

in a Minot hospital from injuries suffered in an automobile accident April 21, 2009, near Rolla.

She was born April 21, 1965, to Donald Delorme and Mary Rose Fayant in Belcourt. She married Robert Wilson June 17, 2006, in Belcourt.

Survivors: husband; daughter, Angel Enno; sons, Darrin Fayant, Michael Fayant, Adam Fayant; four grandchildren; mother of Belcourt; sisters, Donna Fayant, Dunseith, Alma Morin, Plentywood, Mont., Phyllis Fayant, Grace Fayant, Krystal LaRocque, all Belcourt, Debbie McLeod, Hazen; brother, Leslie Fayant, Belcourt.

Funeral: Today, 10 a.m., St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Belcourt.

Burial: Church cemetery. (Elick Funeral Home, Rolla)

Grace Fayant & Linda Mae are sisters

Roy family photo names provided by Mel Kuhn (70): St. John, ND

Howdy Gary,

At morning coffee with the guys yesterday in St. John these names were put to the Roy family picture. Back row left to right–Karen,Carl,Connie. Front row left to right–Jennifer,Emery,Gary,Val.


Roy Family:

Back: Karen, Carl, Connie

Front: Jennifer, Emery, Gary, Val


Hiatt family Tree – 4 generations from Herman (Victoria & Alice) HIatt

Folks, this is what I have come up with for the Hiatt family tree. Please let me know of any corrections/additions that need to be made. The primary purpose of this tree is to identify those in the Hiatt family and where they fit into the family picture.

I have also attached the Power Point slide of the Hiatt family tree. Gary