Neil Hubert Romfo was born on November 7, 1928 in Vang, North Dakota. He was the second of 10 children born to Lily and Helgert Romfo. During his teen-age years the family moved to the Hannah area where they were neighbors with the Kern family. Marilyn Kern and Neil were eventually married on October 12, 1954, but not before Neil spent over a year in Korea serving his country behind enemy lines and earning two bronze stars in the process.
Neil and Marilyn raised three children and farmed their entire married life in in the Hannah area, eventually splitting their time between the farm and a house in Langdon, and finally between Langdon and Florida. Neil did some kind of farm work for 84 years of his life.
Neil was active in the Community and was elected and served 42 years as Cavalier County Commissioner, 46 years on the County Health Board , and two years in the North Dakota State House of Representatives. He and Marilyn are members of the Emmanuel Evangelical Church in Langdon. He loved everything to do with farming, his family, and his community. He loved pranks and jokes and was never without just the right story to tell for every occasion. He was beloved by everyone who knew him—always more concerned about others than himself. A stranger was never a stranger to Neil for long. His was a life well lived by any measure.
He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Kern Romfo; two daughters, Debbie Ringdahl (Randy) Mercer of Fort Myers, Florida; Darla Romfo, Fort Myers, Florida and NYC, and one son, Darrin (Rebecca) Romfo , Langdon; four grandchildren: Sasha (Brian) Iversen, Noah (Lindsay) Ringdahl, Jack Romfo, and Theo Romfo ; seven great-grandchildren: Emma and Annika Iversen and Maya, Maci and Wyatt Ringdahl; one brother, Dean Romfo , two sisters, Annette Tibbits and Marliss Loveredge , along with numerous nieces and nephews, and many brothers and sisters in laws.
Neil died peacefully at his home in Florida surrounded by family on April 29, 2023. In addition to his parents, Neil is predeceased by two sisters and four brothers.
Funeral arrangements are tentatively going to be held this weekend in Langdon, ND. Memorials are preferred in Neil’s memory to Langdon Area Baseball, PO Box 241, Langdon, ND.
Ross Anderson, age 79, of Grafton, ND passed away on April 28th, 2023 at his home surrounded by his family and listening to John Denver. Ross was born on September 17th, 1943 in Grafton, the son of the late Earl and Ione (Midgarden) Anderson. He was baptized, confirmed, and a lifelong member of South Trinity Lutheran Church.
He attended grade school at Sinkler country school and graduated from the Walsh County Ag School in Park River in 1961. Following high school, he graduated from the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton, ND in the printing program (he always said he chose printing because the line for farming was too long).
After graduating, he started his own printing business, Anderson Printing Company, in Janesville, WI. While in Wisconsin, he met Colleen Brady and they were married at the Church By the Side of the Road in Rockton, IL on April 21st, 1979. Ross made many lifelong friends during his time in Wisconsin including the Sunny Slope School House gang.
He returned to Walsh County in 1981 to join his father and brother on the family farm to raise seed potatoes, sugarbeets, and grain. In addition to farming, he and Colleen owned Valley Farm Toys and traveled the region selling farm toys and making many friends along the way.
Ross was always up for a good time whether it was an ice fishing trip, catching up with friends at the Legion, attending Saturday “board meetings” at JR’s in Oakwood, or camping at Larimore Dam.
Football was an event that brought his family together whether it was cheering on the Green Bay Packers, at home, as an official shareholder, trips to Lambeau Field, or a road trip to Frisco, TX to cheer on the North Dakota State Bison.
He was happiest around a campfire surrounded by family and friends with a cooler by his side.
In recent years, he loved keeping busy in the yard, going for coffee with the guys at Nash Grain, spending time with his six grandchildren, and going for a ride with Colleen.
A special memory of his was taking his 89 year-old mother to Norway in 2009.
He is survived by his wife, Colleen, Grafton, ND; children: Shelly Anderson (David Wickert), Stone Mountain, GA, Melissa (Matthew) Oppegard, Park River, ND, Lindsey Anderson, St. Thomas, ND, Megan (Davis) Thompson, Park River, ND; grandchildren: Shelby and Carter Wickert, Ellie, Myla, and Jude Thompson, and Adelyn Oppegard; sister: Genell (Wayne) Jallo, Fordville, ND; many in-laws, nieces and nephews, and cousins. Ross was preceded in death by his parents, brother Vance, mother and father-in-law, and aunts and uncles.
The family would like to thank First Care Health Center of Park River and Hospice of the Red River Valley and would appreciate memorials given to those organizations in lieu of flowers.
Funeral Services will be Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 10:30 A.M. at the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Park River. Visitation will be Tuesday from 5-7 P.M. with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton. Friends may call at the church on Wednesday for one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be at South Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, rural Grafton, at a later date. The service will be live streamed on the Our Saviour’s Lutheran church Facebook page.
An online guestbook is available at www.tollefsonfuneralhome.com
The Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton is in charge of the arrangements.
Dennis W. Nordstrom, 63, of Cavalier, ND, passed away Friday, April 28, 2023, at Pembina County Memorial Hospital. A memorial service will be held Thursday, May 4, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at United Lutheran Church in Cavalier. Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until the time of service at the church.
Dennis was born September 27, 1959, in Cavalier, ND to Wally and Dorothy (Winkler) Nordstrom. He grew up in Cavalier and graduated from Cavalier High School in 1977. Dennis then attended the AVTI tech school in East Grand Forks, Minnesota for welding. He then worked as a welder in Fargo and Grafton, ND. He then went on to have a career as a Medical Laboratory Technologist where he worked at the McVille, ND hospital and the Pembina County Memorial Hospital in Cavalier until the time of his passing. In his spare time, Dennis enjoyed hunting and fishing.
On October 17, 1997, he married Peggy Foss in Grand Forks, ND. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, mother, Dorothy Nordstrom, Cavalier, ND, son, Gordon David, Grand Forks, ND, grandchildren: Haley (Kevin) Kim and Gina Ackerland, siblings: Jerry (Shirley) Nordstrom and Kathy Shanku, all of West Fargo, ND, and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death was his father Wally, daughter, Angela Ackerland, and nephew, Kristopher Close.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis W. Nordstrom, please visit our flower store.
Raymond L. Onstad, age 89 of Park River, North Dakota, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Good Samaritan Society of Park River.
Raymond Onstad was born on October 12, 1933, in Walhalla, N.D., to the late Louis and Ethel (McMurray) Onstad. He was raised on the family farm, just outside of Park River. He graduated from the Walsh County Agriculture School with the class of 1951. After graduation, Raymond farmed with his father and with local farmers. In November 1956, he was called to service in the United States Army, serving two years. After his discharge, he returned home to Park River. In 1960, Raymond took over the family farm.
Raymond was united in marriage to Darlene Gutterud on September 2, 1967, at Trinity Lutheran Church of Edinburg, N.D. They made their home on the farm until moving into Park River in 1977. In the early 1970s, Raymond and his brothers, Donald and Marvin, formed the Onstad Brothers farm operation. He also worked as a clerk for the United States Postal Service in Park River. After 26 years of service, he retired. Raymond and his brother, Marvin, continued to tend their crops and livestock for many years. Raymond retired from farming after the 2011 crop production year at age 77.
Raymond was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Park River. He was an avid stamp and coin collector and a dedicated Minnesota Twins and Vikings fan. He also regularly visited the local Cenex and Welch’s Bakery for coffee time.
Raymond will be missed dearly by his wife of 55 years, Darlene, Park River, N.D.; children: Steven (Linda) Onstad, Grand Forks, N.D., and Lori (Jeff) Dittmer, Mankato, Minn.; grandchildren: Eric Onstad, Heather Onstad, Ian Dittmer, and Emily Dittmer; sisters-in-law: Bernice Onstad, Lynnwood, Wash., and Mavis Onstad, Bemidji, Minn., as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: Donald Onstad and Marvin Onstad; mother and father-in-law, Norris and Norma Gutterud; and brother and sister-in-law, Wayne and Barb Gutterud. Raymond was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 8, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Park River. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Military rites will be provided by the North Dakota National Guard Honor Guard. Burial will take place at Memorial Park Cemetery of Park River.
The family requests memorials be gifted to either the First Care Health Center or the Good Samaritan Society.
Gerald P. Mertens, 91 of Devils Lake ND passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at his home in the loving care of family.
Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, May 2, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with Reverend Joseph Littlefield celebrating the Mass. Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery with lunch and fellowship to follow at the Parish Center.
Gerald Paul Mertens, son of Mary (Van Steenvoort) and Henry Mertens Sr. was born on August 11, 1931 in Crary, North Dakota. He grew up on the family farm, was educated in Crary and graduated from Crary High School. He participated in basketball in high school on a winning team.
Gerald worked on the farm until his marriage to his beloved Shirley Larson on November 14, 1953 in Devils Lake. They went out to California for about a year where Gerald worked construction with his brother Cecil. They returned to the Lake Region and would live, work and raise their family here through the many years.
Upon returning to the Devils Lake area, Gerald and 4 brothers and a sister established Lakeview Dairy. The family members worked side by side, each with their particular job and specialty operating a very successful dairy for many years. Gerald had to retire due to health problems, but the dairy continued on in the Mertens name after it was sold to a nephew.
Operating a dairy is 7 days a week, 365 days a year job, but when Jerry had time off and in his retirement he enjoyed fishing. He treasured time with family and friends. After 60 years of marriage, Jerry’s precious wife Shirley died on November 1, 2013.
Jerry was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and was a 4th Degree Knight. He also enjoyed membership in the Eagles and Elks Lodges.
Jerry felt so blessed to have all of his children and many grandchildren so close to home. So many memories made with family, relatives and dear friends.
Jerry’s loving family include his children Rebecca (Lanny) Duhamel, Ruth (Eric) Dewald, Paul Mertens and Betty Fornshell all of Devils Lake; eight grandchildren Jason (Kristina) Duhamel, Jerrad Duhamel, Breanne (Travis Sand) Duhamel; Lucas (Starr) Klemetsrud; Justin (Mary) Mertens, Shanene (Ryan) Stromme; Chelsy (Trevor) Klienashay, Nathan (Andrea Rutnik) Fornshell; 8 great grandchildren Jordan, Tristen, Sharla, Weston, Scarlett, Sophie, Andre, Beckham: 2 great great grandchildren Bexleigh and Onyx; brothers Charles (Janet) Mertens; sister Phyllis Lang; many nieces, nephews and their families.
He was welcomed home by his Lord, parents, wife Shirley, son David, grandson Kyle Klemetsrud, sons-in-law Kirk Klemetsrud and Ronald Fornshell; brothers Victor, Joe, Hank, Cecil, John, and Ernie, sisters Lucy Ziegler, Rosalie Lucken, Dorothy Kalinowski, Jeannette Weirick, Florence Del Guidice and Mary Evensen.
Paul A. DeSautel, age 80 of Grafton, ND passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023 at the Altru Hospital of Grand Forks, ND.
Paul A. DeSautel was born Aug 2, 1942 in Grafton, ND the son of the late Earl and Emma Lou (Minden) DeSautel. The family moved to Puyallop, WA where he grew up and attended school. He served as a combat medic in the US Navy from 1960-1962. Upon his discharge he returned to Washington and attended the University of Washington where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. He married Karen Berry and the couple made their home in Tacoma, WA where he worked as a bank manager. The couple moved to Kansas in 1999 and Karen passed away in 2000. Paul married Beverly Lamont on January 2, 2003 in Wichita, KS. The couple moved to Grafton in 2018. Beverly passed away in 2019.
Paul is survived by his sons: Kelly (Lynnette) DeSautel, Cavalier, ND and Daniel DeSautel, Wichita, KS; grandchildren: Krystal, Robert and Audrey and four great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and wives.
Graveside services will be Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 1:00 PM at St. John’s Catholic Cemetery Grafton, ND. Military rites will be provided by the Grafton American Legion and the US Naval Honor Guard.
Joyce M. (Hastings) Nelson-Mikkelsen, 89 of Devils Lake formerly of Edmore and Larimore, ND passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at her home in the loving care of her family.
Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Monday, May 1, 2023, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and continue at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. The Funeral Service for Joyce will be on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Devils Lake with Reverend JoHanna Buchholz officiating. The burial will be in the Bellevue Cemetery, rural Larimore.
Joyce Marlene Hastings was born on February 15, 1934, at Grand Forks, ND the daughter of Lloyd and Cassie (Gillis) Hastings. She grew up in Grand Forks, attended the Washington Elementary School and later grades 7-11 in the Larimore Public School.
Joyce was united in marriage to James D. Nelson “JD” on June 30, 1951, in Grand Forks. They established their home in Larimore where Joyce ran the local café. They lived in several other towns before moving to Edmore, ND in 1962.
Joyce and JD called Edmore home for many years. They worked, lived, and raised their family in Edmore. Joyce was determined to receive her High School Diploma, so she went to school alongside her children and graduated from Edmore High School with the class of 1967. She continued her education at Lake Region Junior College and in 1969 she earned her title of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Joyce worked at Mercy Hospital and did some home nursing. She then worked for Morrison-Knudson at the (ABM) Anti-Ballistic Missile site and for the Army Corp of Engineers out of Nekoma ND. In August of 1981, Joyce began working for the Edmore Rest Home until 1987.
Joyce was such an active member of the Edmore community. She was an avid curler as a member of the Edmore Curling Club for 15 years. She loved her time at the curling club. She was also involved in the Concordia Lutheran Church as a Sunday School teacher, in Bible studies and with the WELCA, serving as the secretary and helping on the many projects and events of the church.
Joyce kept herself busy over the years in Edmore, but first and foremost she was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She took in and engaged in all the activities of her children, supported them in all their adventures and was their biggest fan. Joyce loved to entertain family and friends.
In the early 1990’s, JD and Joyce to Devils Lake and Joyce continued to be active in the community and now was able to enjoy all the activities and sporting events of grandchildren and great grandchildren and so many memories made over the years at their lake home. She was always cooking family favorites, making chocolate chip cookies and fudge for the grandchildren and friends to enjoy. Joyce was so happy being a grandma. JD died on November 23rd, 1998.
While living in Devils Lake, Joyce served as treasurer and past president of the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary and spent many hours volunteering in the Gift Shop during her 25 plus years of membership. She participated in some way, either as a supporting walker or on the planning committee for Lake Region Relay for Life for many years. She has enjoyed membership in the Beta Sigma PHI-Preceptor XI Sorority.
Joyce found a wonderful man to spend her later years with, Dr. Cameron Mikkelsen and they were united in marriage on September 18, 2001, in Grand Forks, ND. They made their home in Devils Lake until his death on April 29, 2022. Together they enjoyed many years of square dancing and traveling. They took many trips, travelled around the country, just taking in the beauty of so many old and novel places.
Joyce was a woman of faith, a woman of kindness and compassion and a woman who loved unconditionally and with her whole heart.
Joyce’s loving family includes her children Jim and Coralie “Corky” Nelson, Beulah ND, Danny Nelson, Devils Lake and Donna Wolf also of Devils Lake; Eleven grandchildren Jamie (Maranda) Nelson, Joey (Angie) Nelson, Justin (Amber) Nelson, Josh (Amy) Nelson, Tessa Peterson, Tiffany (Corey Ebach) Peterson, Preston (Brittany) Peterson, Alexandria (Jon) Fortney, Allison (Tyson) Pagnac, Brandt (Arlene) Wolf and Keaton (Lynae) Wolf; 30 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren; step children Brian (Van-Ha-Nguyea) Mikkelsen, Rancho Cordova, CA, Forrest (Kari) Mikkelsen, Grand Rapids, MN, Paul (Nancy) Mikkelsen, Spear Fish, SD; 4 step grandchildren, 9 step great grandchildren; sister Myrna Nicholauson, Fargo ND; sisters-in-law Marlene Hastings, Crookston MN, Alta Hallof, Larimore ND, Lauraine Troftgruben, Grand Forks and Marit (Gary) Petrek, Jamestown ND; brothers-in-law Kenneth Post, Frazee MN and Bert Mikkelsen, Devils Lake; many nieces, nephews and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husbands James “JD” Nelson Sr. and Cameron Mikkelsen, son Allan Nelson, daughter Deb Peterson, daughter-in-law Deb Nelson, sister Bonnie Post, brother Lloyd Hastings and stepson Glen Mikkelsen.
Memorial service and reception with an opportunity to share with an open mic will be held at 2:30PM on Friday, May 5, 2023 at the Days Inn Conference Centre, Winkler with interment at 1:30PM prior to the service at the Rosenbach Cemetery. Viewing will be from 3PM-8PM on Thursday at Wiebe Funeral Home, Winkler.
Terence Grant Fehr
June 13, 1971 – April 25, 2023
With heavy hearts we announce the sudden passing of our youngest brother and friend, Terry. He was born on a warm sunny Sunday, the day of our church picnic. He brought a whole new dimension to our family, being almost a generation younger than the rest of us children. We enjoyed him as a baby and young child with our parents, looking forward to every new thing he did and discovered in this world. As a young boy he had an impeccable memory and recited long poems at family functions. He also had a good sense of humor and always had a joke for the situation and loved to play practical jokes. He had an extensive repertoire of many famous one-liners, especially in Low German, a language he found to be much more descriptive in what he was trying to convey. He could imitate many cartoon voices and enjoyed entertaining others with them. He attended WES and GVC in Winkler, graduating with awards in accounting, drafting and computer science. When he was only 12 or so, our dad, seeing his interest in electronics, gave him a commodore 64. This began a lifelong learning quest into the world of AI, computer programming and all the automations that came with it.
Terry also had interest in spiritual pursuits, learning much of the Bible by memory, and studying it with many friends. Upon confession of his faith in Jesus Christ, he was baptized by pouring in 1989. He then went on to attend Providence College completing a Certificate of Biblical Studies with honors in 1991. When he moved back to Winkler he led a college and career Bible study in his parents’ home and various locations for a number of years. He continued to grow in knowledge and faith over the years, attending and contributing to various study groups and churches. Through revelation and the laying on of hands he received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to activate his spiritual gifts. He had a strong gift of prophecy with which he encouraged many. Later he was baptized by immersion to publicly profess his trust in Christ’s finished work, dying to the natural man, and being raised to new life in Christ. Terry worked in the field of Computer programming and networking. Most of his occupational life he worked with his brothers at Elias Woodwork. For a couple of years in his twenties he worked and lived in Winnipeg installing computer networks in larger corporations. At Elias Woodwork his abilities contributed to the streamlining of the manufacturing process, writing programs that integrated all phases of production and increased productivity. He also did cataloguing and programming for specific applications and computer controlled machines. He was always very excited to see any new equipment that came in and loved to talk with his brothers about the capabilities of these machines. In 1998 Terry had his first health challenge, losing part of his vision, which was later diagnosed as MS. In his twenties he lived with friends in various locations, but when Don and Karen moved back to Winkler in 2000 he moved in with them, living in a basement suite of their home. Slowly he developed more symptoms as a result of the MS, co-ordination, balance and eventually limitations to ordinary life functions. In June of 2021 he suffered an attack on his ability to swallow and ended up in St Boniface hospital on a respirator. Because of the lack of oxygen during that attack, he suffered memory loss and even further lack of ability to move about and take care of himself. He was hospitalized for 5 months, after which he came home for 7 months needing full care. He moved to Salem Home in July of 2022. After the attack in 2021 his strength slowly improved and co-ordination and vision were also showing signs of improvement. We were preparing for him to come home again, when things took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago. He confounded the staff with various unexplainable symptoms and suddenly without saying goodbye he passed away in his sleep. Terry was loved and will be missed by his family and the many friends he made along his life journey.
Terry is survived by two brothers, Ralph and Julie Fehr, John and Linda Fehr and one sister, Karen and Don Friesen. He is also survived by 6 nieces, Kristen Dyck, Lynn Knelsen, Jacqueline Penner, Kayla Sukkau, Tracey Dyck, Katelin Ardila and their families. He was predeceased by his parents, Dave and Tina Fehr, nephew Jordan Fehr and niece Brittany Fehr.
We would like to express gratitude to all who connected with Terry by phone, social media, or personal visits. Thank you for the many prayers and friendship and how you supported Terry, he appreciated it so much. Thank you to all the doctors and caregivers that served him during these past 2 years at BTHC, St Boniface Hospital, Swan Lake Hospital and Salem Personal Care Home. May God richly reward you for the stewardship of your gifts.
Greg J. Close was born on February 13, 1953 in Langdon ND to Harold and Margaret (LePire) Close, the third of five children. Greg passed away April 24, 2023 following a brief battle with cancer.
After high school, Greg found his calling working in road construction. In 1980 Greg went on to build Close Construction Company, which he operated out of Milton and Devils Lake ND for over 43 years. Greg loved road construction and was very dedicated to his work, whether it was designing a job for someone, bidding a job, or working with all the employees and customers. The 43 years he spent in road construction will be his lasting legacy.
Greg married Diane Liebersbach July 6, 1973 and on Fathers Day, June 19th, 1983 son Brett Close was born.
Greg and Diane enjoyed traveling between their homes in Milton ND, Devils Lake ND, and Henderson NV. Together they held a large Super Bowl Party in Henderson each year with many friends and family traveling from coast to coast to attend this fun event. For many years Greg and Diane also hosted many friends and employees for the March Nascar Race in Las Vegas. He looked forward to this time of camaraderie and relaxation with everyone. Over the years Greg initiated many gatherings at their home on Devils Lake for friends and relatives which included cookouts, pontoon rides and jet skiing. The memories are endless.
Greg was Mayor of Milton for 21 years and was the Board of Directors for the Associated General Contractors of North Dakota for many years and a member of the Milton Lutheran Church.
Greg’s colleagues and friends will remember him as a strong, independent thinker who liked to get work done. He carried tremendous amounts of information in his head and had a clear vision for successfully moving complicated projects and negotiations forward. Many thought of him as their go to problem solver who could bring projects and people together to accomplish the tasks at hand.
Greg loved his family above all else. He is survived by his wife, Diane, son Brett (Haley) and his siblings Kathy (Charles) Keelin, Michael (Debbie) Close, Mark (Tammy) Close, sisters-in-law Connie Close, Cheryl (Norman) Hogfoss and brother-in-law Paul (Patty) Liebersbach. Seven nieces and nephews and seven great nieces and great nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents Harold and Margaret, brother Richard Close, nephew Clint Close, father-in-law and mother-in-law Tony and Jessie Liebersbach.
We will love and miss him every day.
A Gathering of Family and Friends will be held on Friday, May 19th, 2023 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake ND and a funeral service at the Milton Lutheran Church, Saturday, May 20th at 1:00 p.m. Coffee and bars to follow at the Milton Legion Club. Burial will be at the Milton Memorial Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asked that memorials be directed to the Milton Memorial Cemetery in memory of Greg.