Merle N. Ault, 86, of Cavalier, ND, passed away Friday, December 30, 2022, at Wedgewood Manor in Cavalier.
On February 28, 1936, Merle Nicholas Ault was born to Nick and Violet (Sellheim) Ault in their home 4 miles south of Cavalier.
Merle attended and graduated from Cavalier High School. His first job was Cavalier’s lone newspaper deliverer because he knew where everyone lived. He attended Dakota Business College in Fargo. Merle was proud to work with his father at the Hartz Superette for many years.
Merle met his wife, Barb, while on a trip to California. They married on August 20, 1966 and enjoyed over 50 years together.
As a business owner, Merle was active cutting meat, ordering and stocking, as well as accounting. When he got to do a home delivery, he counted that as a bonus because he got to visit with a friend.
Merle started the Polaris Sales and Service for some winter fun. He and his friend Jack Williamson worked together, providing a place for young and old to come in and visit while working on their machines. A few of Merle’s sno-cats and cars continue to be in Polaris parades to this day.
Ault’s Fireworks was another fun business adventure. Merle sold fireworks in Cavalier for 64 years.
It is true, Merle was always working. He found great joy in being busy and lending a helping hand.
Merle served Cavalier as a City Councilman for 25 years. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge #22 for over 50 years.
Merle was a lifelong member of the Cavalier Presbyterian Church, where he was baptized and confirmed. He was a Trustee and a faithful servant of the Lord.
Merle’s grandchildren were the light of his life. He smiled over every picture, call, and visit. He was entertained by their stories and laughter. He loved them beyond measure.
Merle is survived by his daughter Noël, and son-in-law Daryl Watson of Cavalier. His grandchildren, their wives, and children are Nick and Becky Watson-Rylee and Reegan; Joseph Watson-Adrianna, Amaya, and Meelah, and one great great granddaughter Amira; Jordan and Natasha Watson-Ellie and Wilder. He is also survived by, brother Everett and Dolly Ault; brother-in-law Richard and Sharon Nolan; sister-in-law Mary Nolan Winkler, and many nieces and nephews.
Merle was preceded in death by his parents, Nick and Violet Ault; his wife Barbara Ault; great-grandson Conner Alexander Watson; brother Robert Ault; sisters, Maurine Striegel and Anna Mae Ault; brother-in-law Dennis Nolan.
Our family would like to thank all the staff of Wedgewood Manor, where Merle lived so comfortably. The love and kindness shown is appreciated more than you will ever know.
Memorial service will be held Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cavalier Presbyterian Church, Cavalier, ND. Visitation will be held for one hour before the time of the service at the church.
Diane Marie Pitcher
** Please note Diane's funeral has been postponed until Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Edinburg. **
Diane M. Pitcher, age 61 of Edinburg, North Dakota passed away peacefully, with her daughter by her side, on Sunday, December 18, 2022 after a short stay at the PioneerCare Center of Fergus Falls, Minnesota.
Diane Marie Tveit was born April 27, 1961 in Grafton, North Dakota, the daughter of the late Konrad and Mary Ann (Phillips) Tveit. She graduated from Edinburg High School in 1979. She worked as a CNA in area towns. Diane was united in marriage to Duayne Pitcher on September 10, 1990 in Grafton, North Dakota. The family made their home in Grafton until moving to Edinburg in 2005. Diane moved to Battle Lake, Minnesota and spent the last few years living with her daughter and son-in-law.
She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church, Edinburg, ND and the Edinburg American Legion Auxiliary. She loved to spend time with her family and friends. She enjoyed baking and cooking for her family and sharing her goodies with people. She enjoyed crafting and recently discovered a love for fishing and bowling.
Diane is survived by her children: Cheri (Ben) Dischinger, Battle Lake, MN; Cindy (Douglas) Morstad, Casper, WY; Tom (Nichole) Morstad, Jr., Crookston, MN; her grandsons: Mason and Asher; siblings: Karen (Robert) Haugen, Pauline (Chris) Williams and Konrad (Louise) Tveit; brother-in-law: Monte Sticha and her dog, Rocko. Several nieces and nephews also survive. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Duayne and sister Selma Sticha.
Funeral services will be Thursday, December 29, 2022 at 11:00 A.M. at Trinity Lutheran Church, Edinburg, North Dakota. Visitation will be Thursday for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Trinity Lutheran Cemetery, Edinburg, North Dakota. The funeral will be livestreamed via the Tollefson Funeral Home, Inc. Facebook page and a video of the funeral will be posted to her obituary following the funeral.
Earl P. Dunnigan
Earl P. Dunnigan, 64, of Walhalla, ND passed away Thursday, December 15, 2022, at his home. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, December 21, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. at the St. Boniface Catholic Church, Walhalla, ND. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 20th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. rosary and vigil service at the church.
Earl Peter Dunnigan was born April 6, 1958, at Langdon, ND to Raymond and Rita (Fischer) Dunnigan. He grew up on the family farm and then graduated from Walhalla High School. Earl worked at Robertson Lumber in Walhalla, Lorrich Industries, farmed, and worked for Mechanical Contractors. Later he worked for Dahl Truck and Auto in Langdon, ND and then for Cenex in Walhalla.
Earl truly loved farming, country cruising with his dog Princess, hunting, four wheeling, and was a huge NDSU Bison Fan. Earl loved spending time with his family and enjoyed visiting with anyone he met.
On October 13, 1984, he married Beverly Kirby at Olga, ND. He is survived by his wife, Bev; sons: Ryan Dunnigan, Walhalla, ND, and Blaine (Summer) Dunnigan, West Fargo, ND; mother, Rita Dunnigan, Walhalla; siblings: Debbie Hudson, Rolla, ND, Nancy Dunnigan (David Koehser), Minneapolis, MN, Mary Saxowsky, West Fargo, ND, Shirley Breimeier, Beulah, ND, Edgar (Deanne) Dunnigan, McVille, ND; sister-in-law, Linda Dunnigan, Minto, ND. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death was his father, Raymond and brother, Daniel.
December 14th, 2022
Audrey Hartje leaped into Jesus’s arms at 6:00 p.m. on December 14, 2022. The second she breathed the air of Heaven, her pain and suffering was gone! She was joyfully greeted by her father, Russel Stegman and her brother, David Stegman, as well as her father-in-law Leonard Hartje and her brothers-in-laws Dale Spiedel and Ray Brown, along with many others who loved and adored her.
Audrey Stegman was born February 26th, 1960, in Cavalier, ND, to Russel and Mabel (Berg) Stegman. She grew up in Cavalier, ND and attended high school there. Between 1976 and 1978 she worked at the nursing home in Bathgate, ND, a job she loved very much but chose to leave to go to college for a year. She married the love of her life, Curtis Hartje on March 2nd, 1979, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cavalier, ND. Shortly after, she started her job at Motor Coach Industries, where she worked for 38 years until she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Audrey loved to garden and can, but her biggest joy in life was serving others. She had such a selfless heart and always put everyone’s needs before hers. She was always busy serving the Lutheran Church in Neche, ND in any way she could. Helping on the Relay For Life committee for 10 years was also a great joy of hers. She lived for her grandbabies, and they were the only reason she fought to live for so long. She would visit and play with them every available minute she had.
Although the last 5 years of her life was a sad tale, she strongly exampled what it’s like to walk a difficult road with Jesus by your side. Yes, it was filled with great suffering and pain, but she understood what it meant to carry the cross for Jesus. The Holy Spirit filled her with such strength, courage, peace, and comfort. When she found out she had 2 months to live, she calmly smiled and said, “You should be happy for me!” Giving all of us around her such great comfort.
She is survived by her husband, Curtis Hartje; children: Trisha (Hartje) McCurdy, Kent McCurdy (son-in-law), Rachael (Hartje) Thompson, Steven Thompson (son-in-law); grandchildren: Kadence McCurdy, Gryffen McCurdy, Gracelynn McCurdy, Aiden Thompson, and Cole Thompson; mothers: Mabel Stegman & Lorraine Hartje (mother-in-law); brothers: Mark Stegman, Gary Stegman, Gary Hartje (Brother-in-law); sisters: Gwen (Stegman) Tagliabue, Susan (Stegman) Spiedel, Kris (Pollestad) Stegman, Sue (Hartje) Brown; nieces & nephews: Coy Stegman, Jedidiah Stegman, Jennifer (Krutsinger) Grabinger, Joel Stegman, Erin Stegman, Katelyn Stegman, Kyle Stegman, David Brown, Bobby Brown, and Barbie (Brown) Hoffarth.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Lutheran Church in Cavalier, ND. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. prayer service at the United Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Growing Hope in Pembina County, Faith in Action, Pembina County Food Pantry, or Pembina County Social Services.
Colleen M Langowski
Colleen M. Langowski, age 75 of Grand Forks, ND and formerly of Minto, ND passed away on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at the Altru Hospital of Grand Forks, ND.
Colleen M. Hughes was born June 5, 1947 in Grafton, ND the daughter of the late Leo and Madeline (Dobson) Hughes. She graduated from Minto High School. Following her education she was united in marriage to Robert Langowski on June 4, 1966 in Minto, ND. The couple moved to California where she worked as an Administrative Assistant at the Mercy Ambulance Company. She later worked at the Arroya Elementary School. The couple returned to Minto in 2000. Robert passed away in April of 2011. She moved to Grand Forks in 2018.
Colleen was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the Minto American Legion Auxiliary.
She is survived by her daughters: Brenda (Jon) Saiers, Larimore, ND; Sandra (Mike) Webb, Avondale, AZ; grandchildren: Robert (Rachel), Brittany (Derik), Caitlynd, Sara, Kimmie, Annie, Jacob Kacey,& Shelby (Casey); great grandchildren: Avery, Jaxon and Tallyn. She was the last surviving member of her immediate family. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert, two brothers and one sister.
Visitation will be Thursday, December 22, 2022 from 5-7:00 P.M. with prayer service at 7:00 P.M. at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton. Inurnment will be at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery, Minto, ND in the spring.
Margret "Peggy" Ann Curran
Margret “Peggy” Curran, 84, of Grand Forks, ND passed away Sunday, December 11, 2022, at Valley Senior Living on Columbia in Grand Forks.
Margret Ann Davis was born on August 8, 1938, in Grafton, ND the daughter of Lawrence and Laura (Samuelson) Davis. She was raised in Walsh County, North Dakota and graduated from Grafton High School. She went on to attend Business School in Kansas City, KS. Margret returned to Grand Forks and married Paul “Kelly” Curran in 1967.
Margret enjoyed going to garage sales, bake sales, shopping at thrift stores, cooking, baking, and making lefse. Margret was a woman of unconditional love. She was the best mother and loved her family and grandchildren. She was a longtime member of the Red Hat Society in Grand Forks. Paul preceded her in death on December 21, 2012.
She is survived by her sons, David Curran, Grand Forks, ND, Daniel Curran, Kalispell, MT and Michael (Rhonda) Curran, Thief River Falls, MN; 4 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren and her dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her brothers, Leland Davis and Roger Davis and her sisters, Helen Thorp and Betty Hein.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the charity of your choice.
Margret loved the color, purple. If possible, in her honor, please wear something purple for her Memorial Liturgy.
Memorial Liturgy: 11:00 a.m. Monday, December 19, 2022, in the Historic Norman Funeral Home Chapel.
Family Greeting: One hour prior to the liturgy in the funeral home on Monday.
Interment: In the spring, at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Minto, ND.
Irene E Espelien
Irene E. Espelien age 98 of Park River, ND passed away peacefully on Friday, December 9, 2022 at the First Care Health Center of Park River.
Irene Emma McLaughlin was born January 20, 1924 in Cleveland Township, Walsh County, ND the daughter of the late Howard and Rose (Lansing) McLaughlin. She grew up on the farm in Cleveland Township with her two sisters, Ethel Corah and Margaret Winther and two brothers Harold and Lawrence.
Irene married Joseph Espelien on December 25, 1942 in Alexandria, LA. After Joe’s discharge from the army in 1946 the couple returned home and farmed in Norton Township until retiring in 1988 and moving to Park River.
Irene was an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church and WELCA, the Riverside Swinger’s Square Dance Club, the Bosh-Ryba American Legion Auxiliary in Lankin, ND; and the Northeast North Dakota Pioneer Machinery Association. Irene enjoyed sewing, baking, cooking for family and working on the farm. She loved to square dance, listening to Polka music and the Molly B program, gardening and spending time with her grandchildren.
Irene is survived by her children: Arden (Donna) Espelien, Scappoose, OR, Carmen (Steve) Severson, Minto, ND, ReNae (Wayne) Gerszewski, Park River, ND, JoEllen Espelien, Park River, ND, 9 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Joseph, siblings and 2 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 10:30 AM at the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Park River. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Memorial Park Cemetery of Park River in the spring. Services will be livestreamed on the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church Facebook page.
Dwayne J. Briese
Dwayne J. Briese, passed away Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Safe Harbor Group Home in Proctor, MN.
Dwayne was born November 17, 1952, in Fargo, ND, the son of Marvin and Wilhelmina (Stark) Briese. He grew up in the Glasston area and attended school in Cavalier. Dwayne worked as a truck driver until he lost his vision. He resided in Duluth, MN, for the last 20 years. He enjoyed listening to country western music and telling jokes.
He is survived by his son, Patrick; brother, Ken (Val) Briese, Cavalier, ND; and nephew, Steve (Tracy) Briese, Cavalier, ND.
He was preceded in death by his parents and niece, Jennifer Briese.
Funeral service will be held Monday, December 12, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, rural St. Thomas, ND. Visitation will be held for one hour before the time of the service at the church.
Ramon R Hernandez
On December 8th, 2022, the most amazing husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend was called home by his heavenly family.
Ramon Hernandez was born in Carrizo Spings, TX on January 19th, 1947 to his parents, Olivia and Ramon. In 1967, he had laid eyes on his future wife, Alicia, for the first time from across the street by the Court Motel in Parma, Idaho. She was carrying an 8-pack of RC Cola when he went over to meet her. He introduced himself to her and the rest is history.
Over the years, Ramon and his wife, Alicia, indulged in perfecting Mexican cuisines, such as Mexican rice, Caldo, Tamales, Menudo, among many others.
He enjoyed spending majority of his time with family and having cook outs. He loved music just as much as traveling, but only by driving. Speaking of driving, he also loved cars. He was able to purchase his dream car, a Corvette, just a few years back. He shared this love & passion with his children as well as his grandchildren.
Through his hard work, sacrifice, and most importantly, love, he was able to provide a better life for his children, grandchildren & great-grandchildren. He will be very deeply missed; however, we know that he is in a better place with God.
He is survived by his lovely, beautiful wife of 54 years, Alicia Hernandez; his wonderful children, John of Emerado, ND, Mike (Claudia) of Grafton, ND, Linda of Jena, LA, Frank of Fargo, ND, and Angie (Chris) Lee of Grafton, ND; his grandchildren, Jazmyn (Devin) Curry, Zak Hernandez, Alicia Hernandez, Celica Gonzalez, Isiah Hernandez, Lexi Hernandez, Brianna Gonzalez, Jesly Hernandez; and great-grandchildren, Sean, Huey, Vanessa, and Selena.
He is preceded in death by his mother Olivia, father Ramon, brother Ismael, sister Yolanda, and grandson Josh.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, December 12, 2022 at 2:00 PM at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church of Grafton. Visitation will be Sunday from 3-5 PM with a prayer service at 5:00 PM at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton. Friends may also call at the church for one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at the Grafton City Cemetery in the spring.
Robert J. Robinson
Robert J. Robinson, 72, of Grand Forks, ND, formerly of Cavalier, ND, passed away Monday, December 5, 2022, at his home in Grand Forks, ND. Funeral service will be held Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at the United Lutheran Church, Cavalier, ND. Visitation will be held Friday, December 9, 2022, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Askew Funeral Home, Cavalier, ND.
Full obituary to follow.
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