Mandan News

Obituaries – Dec. 27, 2013

Ann Popelka
W O Ann Popelka copyAnn Popelka, 96, Mandan, passed away Dec. 22, 2013, at Sanford off Sunset, Mandan. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 28, at DaWise-Perry Funeral Services, Mandan. Burial will be at St. Johns Cemetery, rural Mandan.

Visitation is scheduled from 9 a.m. until time of service at DaWise-Perry Funeral Services.

Ann was born March 25, 1917, to William and Anna (Dvoracek) Chyles in rural Morton County, where she attended rural schools. On May 22, 1943, she married Anton Popelka in Mandan, and they farmed south of Mandan until moving to Mandan in 1996. Ann enjoyed a good game of Smear and sometimes Whist. Ann and Anton attended and hosted many card parties. She was an excellent cook and always had something baked and a cup of coffee for anyone who came by. Christmas was a favorite holiday, and she baked lots of goodies. She was a member of First Lutheran Church and ZCBJ Lodge.

She is survived by one daughter, Pat (Larry) Friesz, Flasher; one son, Allen (Veda) Popelka, Kokomo, Ind.; a daughter-in-law, Colleen Popelka; two sisters, Vi Dietrich, Bismarck, and Esther Wenger, Mandan; five grandchildren, David Friesz, Lisa Braun, Matt Popelka, Nick Popelka and Angela Popelka; four great-grandchildren; her first great-great-grandchild due in March; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ann was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a son, Galen; her brothers, Billy and Frank; one sister, Lillian Lantz; and an infant sister, Marie.

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Michael Waliser
WO Michael WaliserMichael Waliser, 75, Bismarck, died Dec. 17, 2013 at Sanford Health in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held Dec. 20 at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, with the Rev. Msgr. Thomas Richter as celebrant. Burial was in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with military honors provided by the Bismarck AMVETS Post 9.

Michael Waliser was born Jan. 15, 1938, in Flasher, the son of Michael Sr. and Martina (Mosset) Waliser. In August 1963, Michael joined the U.S. Army. After being honorably discharged, in 1967, he returned to Selfridge to work on the family farm until 1985. After moving to Bismarck, he worked for Lesmeister Trucking.

Michael’s strong work ethic served him well doing various jobs as needed. He had an appreciation for nature. Taking long walks and fishing offshore on the Missouri River were a few of the outdoor activities. He was truly a farmer and cattle rancher at heart. Farm life was so much a part of him, the high point was harvesting. Known for his creative practical jokes, Michael had a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed reading about history and westerns, watching western movies and a good game of pinochle with family and friends.

Michael will be deeply missed by his sisters, Helen Holzer, Diane and Betty Waliser, all of Bismarck, Patricia (John) Aldinger, Underwood, and Mary (Richard) Vollmuth, Hot Springs, S.D.; brothers, George and Tony, both of Bismarck, Robert (Sandra), Selfridge, Joe (Carol) Piedmont, S.D., John (Gail), Lisbon, and Ronald, New Salem; many nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Diane Waliser, St. Marys, Kan.; and his neighbor and good friend, Norm.

Michael was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Ann (Joe) Hoon; brother, Jim; and an infant sister, Cathleen.

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Donald Bentz
W O Donald BentzDonald Bentz, 67, Mandan, died Dec. 18, 2013, at his home after a valiant battle with MS and bile duct cancer. His devoted family was by his side.

A funeral service was held Dec. 21 at First Lutheran Church, Mandan, with the Rev. Lee Herberg officiating. Burial was at Mandan Union Cemetery.

Donald was born April 4, 1946, in Carson to George and Bertha (Kraenzel) Bentz. He attended Heil Grade School and graduated from Elgin High School in 1965. Donald worked at Kopp Standard in Bismarck. In 1969 he met Paulette Heyne and on June 20, 1970, they were married at First Lutheran Church in Mandan. They made their home in Mandan. Donald owned East Main Standard for a year and a half in the late ’70s. He then worked as a service writer at Remund Ford, which later became Bill Barth Ford. He retired in 2008 after 25 years. He went on to work at L & H Manufacturing and drove for Carquest and Cedric Theel.

In his free time, Donald enjoyed riding horse, playing horseshoes, bowling, softball, camping, and was an avid Green Bay Packers fan.

Blessed to have shared his life are his wife of 43 years, Paulette Bentz, Mandan; two sons, Michael (Lana) Bentz and David (Katie) Bentz, all of Mandan; two grandchildren, Kaylee and Bradyn Bentz; three sisters, Frieda Roth, Bismarck, Arlene (Vernon) Dietz, Bismarck, and Delores Tache, Great Falls, Mont.; two brothers, Harold Bentz, Bismarck, and Arnold (Carole) Bentz, Menoken; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Edward and Gerald; father- and mother-in-law, Arthur and Helen Heyne; brother-in-laws, Vernon Roth, Raymond Rennich and George Rennich; and niece Paula Rath.

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Thelma Stanley
W O Thelma StanleyThelma L. Stanley, 83, passed away from natural causes at Sanford Medical Center, Bismarck, on Dec. 24, 2013. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec.30, at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery south of Mandan.

Visitation will take place at Bismarck Funeral Home on Sunday from 7 to 9 p.m.

Thelma was born in Buffville, Kan., on Feb. 27, 1930, to Andrew and Minnie Anstine. She went to grade school in Buffville and high school in Altoona, Kan. After high school, she was employed by Southwestern Bell Telephone. Thelma married Robert Stanley on Feb. 17, 1950. Thelma and family moved to North Dakota in 1954.

Thelma began working for the North Dakota National Guard (adjutant general’s office) at Fraine Barracks. She moved to the new armory when it opened and continued there until her retirement in 2010. Thelma received the North Dakota Army National Guard Legion of Merit Award for her “outstanding service, dedication, and loyalty to the organization.”

Thelma was an avid bowler. She bowled in two leagues for many years and enjoyed bowling in national tournaments throughout the United States. Thelma derived great satisfaction from watching her family participate in athletics. Beginning with her sons’ involvement in Mandan athletics and continuing with her grandsons’ participation in Washburn, Williston, Bismarck and Mandan, she was their most ardent fan.

She is survived by her husband, Robert, Mandan, and her children, Mary Ellen, Mandan, and Leonard and his wife, Reva, Bismarck. She is also survived by four grandchildren, April Stanley and her sons Noah, Owen and Logan Boudrie, Monroe Mich.; Josh and Brittany Stanley and their daughter Abigail, Toledo, Ohio; Levi and Tina Stanley and their daughter Emma, Ames, Iowa; and Bo and Brittany Stanley, Northfield, Minn.

She was preceded in death by her parents, son David, sister Margaret and three brothers, Leonard (lost at sea in World War II), Leon and Melvin.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that memorials be directed to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.

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Caroline Conrath
W O Caroline ConrathCaroline Conrath, 85, passed away on Dec. 23, 2013, at Elm Crest Manor, New Salem.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, at First Presbyterian Church, Mandan. Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service.

Caroline was born on Jan. 1, 1928, to Friedrich (Fritz) Conrath and Anna (Krauth) Conrath. She had a wonderful childhood in Hebron and always considered it her hometown. In 1939, the family left for what was supposed to be a summer visit with family in Germany. However, World War II broke out just weeks after their arrival and the family was unable to get back to the United States until 1946. During that time, Caroline matured into a young woman and an enthusiastic artist. She remained close to her cousins and friends from Germany her entire life. While in Germany, she got her first paying job when she was hired as an interpreter for the U.S. Army.

Upon her return to the United States, she attended the Metropolitan Business College in Seattle. She was also a graduate of the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis. After graduation from business school, she returned to North Dakota and began working for the North Dakota Teacher’s Retirement Fund, where she was employed for 38 years.

Caroline’s first love was always art, especially painting. Besides painting, she enjoyed pen and ink drawing, sculpting, pottery, and woodcarving. She became especially noted for her commissioned acrylic-on-rock paintings. In 1965, she received a patent for a serving tray she invented. She began showing her artwork publicly in 1954 and held her last exhibit in 2012. Her mother was also an artist and in 1971 they opened the Dakota Originals shop, which later became the Ann Conrath Art Gallery. In 2013, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of writing her family history.

She was a founding member of the Mandan Art Association and a member of the Bismarck Art & Galleries Association and Gallery 522. She was also a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the Central Dakota Humane Society, the Nature Conservancy, the Dakota Zoological Society and First Presbyterian Church of Mandan.

Caroline was preceded in death by her parents and her siblings, Frederick Conrath, Theodore Conrath and Mary Ann Mayer; her nieces, Diane Steinwald and Marilyn Bender; and her nephew, Tim Katzbeck.

She is survived by her sister-in-law, Fran Conrath, and by her nieces and nephews, Charles (Theresa) Conrath, Kathie (Stephen) Peightal, Susan Conrath, Carol (Kim) Katzbeck and Donald Mayer (his special friend Tracy) and several great-nieces and nephews.

Caroline loved all animals, but especially cats. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Central Dakota Humane Society is suggested.

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