Mandan News

Obituaries – April 14-20, 2012

Viola Eckroth

“Although I will not be here when you read this, I know I will live on in your hearts and thoughts. Thank you all for being my friends.”

Viola (Weigel) Eckroth, 66, of Mandan, was carried home by the angels into the arms of the Lord on April 1, 2012, at her residence after a long courageous fight with cancer. She managed the disease with a smile on her face, always saying, “I’m fine… don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”

Mass of Christian burial was held on Wednesday, April 4, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. Shane Campbell as celebrant. Burial was at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery, Mandan.

Viola was the third child born in 1945 to Anthony and Rosalia (Wald) Weigel. She grew up on a farm in the Kintyre area and attended a country school for eight years. She attended three years of high school at St. Francis High School in Little Falls, Minn., and finished her last year in Napoleon in 1963. Vi met Louie Eckroth in Mandan, and they were married on June 29, 1965. Louie and Vi took pride in the fact that Vi was a stay at home Mom, but she was always involved in the community of Mandan with many different activities. She was an active member of St. Joseph’s parish and she was a member of the St. Joseph church counsel. She was the secretary of the counsel and also was active in the CCD program. She was a member of a local bowling league and volunteered on many different activities her children were involved in.

Vi especially loved taking care of her flowers. She enjoyed many recreational activities. She loved road trips and trips to see her children and grandchildren. She loved music and dancing. She truly enjoyed visiting with friends and relatives.

In 1986, Louie and Vi moved their family and business to Lodi, Calif. With Vi’s outgoing and positive attitude, she settled into Lodi, and again became involved in the community, meeting many people and working several jobs and eventually worked for 15 years as a Real Estate Administrative Assistant.

Her husband passed away in 2003. After three years she realized it was necessary to move back to Mandan, where she again worked in the real estate community.

It was at that time she met Leander Hoff from Flasher. They had a connection of love, friendship and companionship. They would go dancing, play cards with friends, take local road trips, take trips to South Dakota and to California, Oregon and Branson, Mo., or just go shopping. They had everything in common and truly enjoyed being together.

The rest of her life is just history. Those of you, who knew her, knew what her accomplishments were. She wants to thank all of you who touched her life and befriended her, and to thank those who have stayed by her side in good and bad times.

Her family was her life. She is survived by daughters and sons, Laurene (Gary) Friesz, Mandan, Dalanna (Tony) Vallerga, Lodi, Calif., Larry (Brandy) Thornton, California, and Lee (Michelle) Corvallis, Ore.; 17 grandchildren; sisters, Mary Ann (Alois) Vetter, Fargo, Clara Helvig, Perham, Minn., Aggie (Cliff) Horner, Bismarck, Betty (Ken) Huber, Bismarck; brothers, Anthony (Pauline), Menoken, and Michael (Connie Menne), Vadnais Heights, Minn.; and very special friend, Leander Hoff.

In Heaven she was reunited with her husband; her parents; daughter-in-law, Susie Eckroth; brother-in-law, Donald Helvig; father and mother-in-law, Joseph and Mary Eckroth; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ed and Rosemary Leingang; brother-in-law, Ferdinand Blotske; and nephew, Jerry Blotske.

She wrote, “I wish you all a safe journey until I see you again in my Father’s home.”

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to St. Alexius Hospice and St. Joseph Catholic Church.

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Joseph Jochim

Joseph L. Jochim, 87, formerly of Mandan, died April 9, 2012, in Fargo.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, April 13, at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, with Father Charles Heidt as celebrant. Burial was at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with military honors provided by the VFW Post No. 707 and American Legion Post No. 40.

Joseph was born on Feb. 13, 1925, to Joseph and Eva (Schwartzenberger) Jochim in Eagle Butte, S.D. He was raised and educated in Selfridge. Joseph served in the United States Army during WWII from 1944 to 1946. After the service he started working as a heavy equipment operator, building roads in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He then moved to Mandan and worked for Morton County for many years. He married Viola Erdman in 1952 and she died in 1964. He then married Ann Gaab on Oct. 30, 1973, in Mandan. Joseph also worked for the United States Postal Service, where he retired.

Joseph was a perfectionist when it came to his yard. Everyone marveled over his beautiful yard and garden. He enjoyed shore fishing but never had much luck, so his son introduced him to fishing in a boat and his luck changed. Joseph and Ann traveled throughout the United States and would take many side trips to the casino. He was a member of the Mandan Eagles, Moose, American Legion and VFW clubs.

Joseph will be deeply missed by his wife, Ann, Fargo; sons, Dwight, Nevada, Jerry (Joan), Tom, (Carleen) and Bob (Carol) all of Mandan; stepdaughter, Sandra (Terry) Bosch, Fargo; stepsons, Darrell Hansen, Fargo, Ron Hansen, Valley Jo, Calif., and Melvin Hansen, Las Vegas, Nev.; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; sister, Hattie Wetsch, St. Paul, Minn.; brothers, Oscar (Geraldine), Mandan, Stanley (Anna Jane), New Salem, Casimir (DeLainis), Mandan; and sister-in-law, Iola Jochim, Lodi, California.

He was proceded in death by his parents; wife, Viola; brothers, Pete and Valentine (Lydia); and brother-in-law, Phillip Wetsch.

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Axel Nelson

Axel G. Nelson, 93, of Lisbon, formerly of Oakes, passed away April 12, 2012, at the North Dakota Veterans Home, Lisbon.

A memorial service was held on Monday, April 16, at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon.

Axel G. Nelson, son of Gustaf and Anna (Gustafson) Nelson was born April 23, 1918, at Timmer. He was baptized at home in 1918, and confirmed in 1934. Axel attended school through the eighth grade, and then worked as a farm laborer, until entering the service on Feb. 16, 1941. He served his country during World War II. After his discharge on Dec. 25, 1945, Axel returned to North Dakota and farmed near Breien. He was united in marriage to Elayne Belz on Dec. 1, 1949, and to this union three children were born. In 1959, the family moved to a farm near Oakes. Elayne passed away in 1967, leaving the job of raising their children to Axel, a job he proved very capable of handling.

He married Ruth Breiner Bornhoeft Aug. 8, 1975, in Mandan. In 1982 Axel retired from farming, and he and Ruth moved to Oakes. In 2004, he entered the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth of Lisbon; two daughters, Anne (Richard) Kaiser, Carrollton, Texas, and Lori (Tim) Steinwand, Ellendale; a son, Bruce (Sue) Nelson, Lutz, Fla.; four grandchildren, Sara Kaiser, Kara Kaiser, LaDonna (Steve) Golden and Jennifer (Scott) Buric; and five great-grandchildren, Katie Ingal and Jessie Golden and Tyler, Ava, and Alex Buric. He is also survived by stepchildren, Judy (Bill) Kopp, Evelyn (Jim) Spangler, Margaret (Donald) Boehm, Ted (Sandy) Bornhoeft, David (Linda) Bornhoeft, and Tom Bornhoeft; a sister, Ruth Maxie, Arlington, Texas; a sister-in-law, Lena Nelson, Mandan; 15 step-grandchildren; 16 step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Axel was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elayne; brothers, Raymond, Melvin, and Grant; and sisters, Edith Miller, Evelyn Swensen, Gunhild Gailband, and Esther Richter.

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Sylvia Schmitz

Sylvia Schmitz, 93, Bismarck, died April 14, 2012, at St. Gabriel’s Community, Bismarck.

A funeral service was held on Thursday, April 19, at First United Methodist Church, Mandan, with Reverend Steve C. Johnson officiating. Burial was at Mandan Union Cemetery.

Sylvia was born Feb. 21, 1919, in Philip, S.D., to John and Bertha (Hanson) Peterson. She was raised and educated in Luc, Wisc., and attended high school in Fredrick, Wisc. Sylvia attended River Falls State Teachers College in Wisconsin and received her teaching degree.

In 1941 she married Albert Bliese and they moved to North Dakota. She taught school in rural St. Anthony and Huff. She continued her education at the University of Mary in Bismarck. On June 25, 1968, she married Louis A. Schmitz in Mandan. Sylvia retired from teaching in 1971 and then worked as a part-time librarian at Morton County Library for 10 years. Sylvia was a member of First United Methodist Church in Mandan, United Methodist Women and Cup of Friendship.

She is survived by one niece, June Meyers, St. Paul, Minn.

Sylvia was preceded in death by both of her husbands; her parents; and two sisters, Marian Johnson and Daisey Burley.

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