Thinking of You Archives

Past Department President (1993) Viola Constance (Olson) Vigen, 89, passed away Monday, April 17, 2017 at Ave Maria Village in Jamestown, ND. The family will have reserved seating available for Auxiliary members who will also serve as honorary pallbearers. Please keep family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m. Friday, April 21, 2017 at Atonement Lutheran Church, Jamestown.

Visitation: One hour before the funeral service at the church.

Interment: Carrington Cemetery, Carrington, ND.

This information and obituary available at:

Arrangements are in the care of Williams Funeral Home:


Tuesday, March 14th is Past Department President (2000-2001) Donna Rice’s 82nd Birthday.
She lives in an assisted living apartment and is very happy and quite well.

Donna Rice
701 Roosevelt Ave. Apt C
Maddock, ND 58348



Past Department President Betty Malkowski celebrates her 80th birthday on March 9th! Please help us celebrate with a “card shower” by sending a greeting card to Betty at:

106 4th Ave NE
Belfield, ND 58622.



Past ND Department Commander and Past National Vice Commander Boyd Clemens has passed away.

Here is a link to his obituary :

Boyd H. Clemens, 93, passed away March 9, 2017, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center.

Boyd was always active in the American Legion. He served as vice commander of the Williston post and served in all offices of the Lloyd Spetz post #1 in Bismarck. He also served as North Dakota District Vice-Commander. In 1973 he was elected State Commander in North Dakota. In 1974 he was elected a National Vice-Commander of the American Legion.

The family would prefer memorials to the ND Veterans Cemetery.  Please keep family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

It is with sad hearts that we share that Dave Rolfson of Watford City Post 29 passed away on Monday, March 6, 2017. His funeral service will be held at 11 am on Monday, March 13, 2017 at First Lutheran Church in Watford City. Visitation will be on Sunday from 1 pm until 5 pm at the Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home in Watford City and 1 hour prior to the funeral service.

Dave was a past West Region Vice Commander, 9th District Commander and was currently the American Legion Foundation West Region Director.

Dave Rolfson obituary

Please keep the family of Shirley Lindstrom, District 4 Vice President, in your thoughts and prayers. Her mother, Dorothy Thiel, 94, New Rockford, died March 3, 2017, at Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd, New Rockford. Rosary and Prayer Service will be Thursday, St. John’s Catholic Church, New Rockford. Rosary at 6:30PM and Vigil Service at 7PM. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m., Friday, March 10, at St. John’s Catholic Church. Burial will be in Mandan Union Cemetery, Mandan.  Further arrangements are pending with Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford. (Bismarck Tribune)

Dorothy Thiel obituary

It is with sad hearts that we keep Past Department Secretary Cat Olson in our thoughts and prayers. Her father, Neil Fleming, passed away on February 14, 2017. A Funeral Mass for Neil will be held at 1:00 p.m., Monday, February 20, 2017 at St. Bridgid’s Catholic Church in Cavalier, ND. Visitation will be held Sunday, February 19th from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00p.m. with a 6:00 p.m. vigil service at the church.

Neil Fleming obituary

Barb Useldinger of Fargo, ND, passed away November 23, 2016.  She held a variety of unit offices and was also the Fargo VA Gift Shop Chairman for many years.  Her husband, Vern, has also been very active at the post and department level and was a long-time department adjutant.  Barb will be remembered fondly by those who knew her. There will be a prayer service at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 30th at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center (Fargo) with visitation from 5:00 to  7:00 p.m. The funeral mass will be at Holy Spirit Catholic Church (Fargo) at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, December 1st with visitation from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Barbara Useldinger Obituary

Condolences to the family may be sent to:

Vern Useldinger
2306 8th Street N
Fargo, ND  58102

George Freund of Cando, ND passed away yesterday.  His funeral will be at 10:30 on Friday at Sacred Heart Church in Cando, ND.   Gladys has asked us to get the word out to his Legion Family.

Gladys Freund
PO Box 744
Cando, ND  58324

George served as my 3rd District Commander while I was Department Commander in 1993-1994 in the 75th Anniversary Year of The American Legion. He was a good man and will be missed.

Don Herrly

Sadly, we share news that the Honorable Herman Fredrick “Sparky” Gierke III, Past National Commander of The American Legion, passed away Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016 at a hospital in Bismarck, ND at age 73. The Honorable H.F. “Sparky” Gierke was former Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court, the first Vietnam-era veteran to serve as National Commander of the American Legion, and the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington DC, a post to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush just two years after serving as national commander. Former Justice Gierke served as national commander of The American Legion in 1988-89, the same year Alice Galka from Gary, Indiana served as the Auxiliary’s national president.

He is survived by his four children: Todd, wife Jan and their children in Fargo, ND; Scott, wife Marissa and their children in Hawley, MN; Craig, wife Jen and their children in Bismarck, ND; and Michelle, husband John Ristad and their children in Minneapolis, MN.

Funeral services for Past National Commander Gierke will be at 11:30 AM this Friday, August 12, 2016 at Parkway Funeral Home, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, ND 58503; PH: 701-223-1100. Visitation will be one hour before the service at the funeral home with interment at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery following the services.

Cards and expressions of condolences may be sent to:
PNC “Sparky” Gierke Family
4509 Boulder Ridge Rd
Bismarck, ND 58503

In lieu of flowers, donations in PNC “Sparky” Gierke’s name may be made to:

North Dakota American Legion Foundation
Attn: Dept. Adjutant
P.O. Box 5057
West Fargo, ND 58078


Memorial contributions may also be made online to The American Legion:

The American Legion Auxiliary sends out deepest sympathy to the Gierke family and holds them in our thoughts and prayers.

To read the Legion’s online obituary of PNC H.F. “Sparky” Gierke: Click here
To visit the funeral home online: Eastgate Funeral Home
To read about Justice Gierke’s distinguished career: ND Courts
Mary “Dubbie” Buckler, National Secretary

Executive Director, American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Past Department Chaplain Donna Lennon of Rugby, ND. She left us on July 8th, 2016, in Rochester, MN. Donna was a long-term member of the Rugby American Legion Auxiliary.

Visitation will be Tuesday, July 12th, 2016, starting at 6 pm. A prayer service will start at 7 pm. This will take place at Niewoehner Funeral Home in Rugby, ND.

Visitation will continue Wednesday morning, July 13th, at the funeral home from 8-10 am. The funeral service will be held at Bethany Lutheran Church in Rugby (July 13th) at 2 pm with a 1 pm visitation. Interment will be held Thursday, July 14th, at 11 am at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan.

Funeral arrangements by Niewoehner Funeral Home. (701) 776-6222.

Grand Forks Herald Obituary

It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Betty Ruzicka of Fordville on July 6, 2016, in Grand Forks. Betty was a long-term member of the Lankin Auxiliary and a past District Two President.

NW Division Vice President Judy Twete remembers…”Betty was a constant attendee at District Meetings and Department Conventions. Soft spoken Betty was always a smiley presence at all events and looked like a million bucks. May she rest in peace. Allen, Betty’s husband, was a long time chairman of Boys State for the Department of ND. Both Allen and Betty were great Legion Family members”.

A visitation is scheduled for Sunday, July 10th, 2016 from 5-7 pm at the Quale Lutheran Church in rural Fordville, ND. A prayer service will also be held starting at 7pm. The funeral service is scheduled for Monday, July 11th at 10am with a 9am visitation. This is also at Quale Lutheran Church in Fordville.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Bakke Funeral home of Larimore, ND. An obituary link is located below:

Betty Ruzicka Obituary

I (Don Herrly) was saddened when I was looking at the State Deaths in The Bismarck Tribune to see that my good friend Ken Vatne from Hamlet passed away on Saturday, June 18th.

Ken was a long time member and Chairman of The Legion Athletic Committee. Ken served as Western Region Vice Commander in the 1990 – 1991 Legion year on The Leading Edge Team under Department Commander Curtis O. Twete. His fellow Vice Commanders that year were Don Weible in the Central and Sue Kime in the East. I was his 7th District Commander. Ken was a good man and a dedicated Legionnaire that will be deeply missed.

Services are pending.

Condolences can be sent to his wife/family at:

 Shirley Vatne

20 Hamlet Ave.

Hamlet, ND 58795

Past Department Commander Wesley “Wes” Martin

Wes Martin passed away on June 4, 2016.  His funeral was held on June 10, 2016.

Wes Martin obituary

Wes and his wife Verna had recently moved to Aberdeen, SD to be closer to family due to health issues. The ND Past Department Commanders Club as well as my wife Annamarie and I (Don Herrly) extend their sincere condolences to the Martin Family and will be making memorial donations in his memory to The ND American Legion Foundation.

Condolences can be sent to his wife/family at:

Mrs. Verna Martin

1000 Roosevelt St Apt 2

Aberdeen, SD 57401-7386

Past National President Kristine “Kris” Nelson of Minnesota

Kristine Nelson passed away on April 20, 2016 in MN.  Below are obituaries.


Sherri Ormonde

Sherri R. Ormonde, District 10 President, passed away at Sanford Medical Center on Sunday, March 20.  Our thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time.

  • InForum Death Notice
  • Visitation-Thursday, March 24, from 5-7 p.m. at the Armstrong Funeral Home in Lisbon, ND
  • Funeral-Friday, March 25, at 11 a.m. at the Gustaf Adolf Lutheran Church in Gwinner, ND

Judith Williams

Judith Williams, RoYaL member of the Streeter ALA Unit died on Feb. 10th, 2016.   Judith battled brain cancer.   She was a Past Department Chaplain, 1996-1999, and a Past District 4 Vice President and President.  At the present time, she was District 4 Vice President/secretary.   Judith was unit Chaplain and Americanism chairman for many years.   She will be greatly missed.

  •  Obituary
  • Prayer service – Monday, Feb. 15th at 7 pm, at Haut Funeral Home, Jamestown.
  • Funeral – Tues, Feb. 16th, 10:30 am, at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Streeter.

Correspondence can be sent to the address below:

Judith Williams Family

PO Box 143

Streeter, ND  58583


Marilyn Ann Hanson

Marilyn Ann Hanson passed away on Monday, November 2, 2015 in Billings, Montana.

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