Doris Biliske Otto age 88, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on May 5, 2019 at First Care Health Center in Park River, North Dakota.
Doris Margaret Carlson was born along with her twin brother, Don, on March 11, 1931 in Walhalla, North Dakota to Harry E. and Alpha (Olson) Carlson.
Doris grew up and attended grade school in Concrete, ND. She graduated from Cavalier High School and attended teacher’s college in Valley City. She taught at the Eastman country school in rural Akra for a short time.
Doris was united in marriage to Mike Bjornson in Concrete on December 24, 1950. Doris and Mike were blessed with two children, Devin and Cindy. Mike passed away from cancer in 1962. Doris soon suffered another devastating loss when young Devin drowned in 1963.
Despite her heartaches, Doris always found the joy in life and was joined in marriage to Gordon Biliske on July 1, 1963. Doris and Gordon made their home on the farm near Hensel for the next 28 years. Along with daughter Cindy, Doris and Gordon welcomed a son, Dennis, in 1967. Doris was a hard working energetic farm wife that took pride in her combine and the amount of acres that she harvested with it. In addition to her combining skills, she was a talented seamstress & cook. She made enough sandwiches, cookies, lefsa and Icelandic Vinarterta to qualify her for the Hall of Fame many times over.
With Gordon’s passing in 1992 Doris embarked on a new career working alongside her son, Dennis as an auction cashier. During this time, she was an important part of Dennis’ auction career & met hundreds of people; many that continue to ask about her decades later.
In answer to our prayers in 1996 the Lord sent an angel into our lives. On June 29, Doris & Austin (Mick) Otto of Crystal, ND were united in marriage. Austin and Doris made their home at the Hensel farm for nearly 21 years. They spent several winters in Arizona and traveled the U.S. on numerous tours. They gardened, canned and baked in commercial quantities keeping their children’s and grandchildren’s cupboards and freezers full.
In late 2015, Doris and Mick moved to Park River. They remained active attending family functions and events throughout the region. Doris made friends everywhere she went, young and old alike. Family was her greatest fulfillment and the addition of three Great Grandsons in recent years brought her great joy.
Doris is survived by her husband Mick; daughter, Cindy (Tom) Barrett of East Grand Forks, MN; son Dennis, (Sue) Biliske of Hensel, ND; grandsons: Thomas and Tyler (Nicole) Barrett, East Grand Forks and Jake Pryor, Grand Forks; great grandsons: Finn, Rhys and Tucker Barrett; sister, Betty Lesher of Cavalier, ND; sister in law, Eunice Carlson of Rockville, MD; sister in law, Eleanor Biliske of Kent, WA; sisters in law, Lorraine Schroeder and Willis Busse of Cavalier; several cousins, nieces and nephews; extended family Earl and Linda Otto; Louise Dryburgh; Margery and Garreth Kavlie; David and Tami Otto and their children and grandchildren.
Doris was preceded in death by her parents Harry and Alpha Carlson; husbands, Mike Bjornson and Gordon Biliske; son, Devin Bjornson; brothers, Don and Allen Carlson; sisters in law, Jeanette Carlson and Delores (Toots) Carlson; brothers in law, Harry Lesher and Willard Biliske; and granddaughter, Chelsey Pryor.
A visitation will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 PM Friday, May 10th at the Crystal, ND United Methodist Church with a prayer service to follow. Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Saturday, May 11th at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, rural St. Thomas, ND.
In Lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Borg Memorial Home in Mountain, ND or the Pembina County Historical Society.