Mandan News

Obituaries – July 14-20, 2012

Kyla Geiger

Kyla Michele (Hoff) Geiger, 44, Mandan, died July 8, 2012, at Medcenter One Hospital in Bismarck, with her loving mother and daughters by her side.

Funeral services were held on Friday, July 13, at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. Chris Kadrmas as officiant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Kyla was born Sept. 19, 1967, in Butte, Mont., to Carl C. and Willene (McGee) Hoff. She was raised in different cities throughout Montana and Idaho until moving to Mandan in 1975. She attended Mandan Grade School and graduated from Mandan High in 1985. She worked for many businesses in Mandan and Bismarck, but the job she was best at was being an amazing mother. She was married in 1987. From that union, she had three beautiful girls, whom she loved dearly.

Kyla loved fishing and camping when she was younger. She loved taking the family car out and driving around in open fields. When she married, she loved fishing and camping with her girls. Her hobbies were crafting, gardening, reading mystery books and attending garage sales. She moved from St. Anthony, to Mandan, then to Bismarck while working for the Comfort Inn. She moved in with her mother prior to entering the hospital, where she was when she passed away. She was a great daughter and a terrific mother, whom we love and miss dearly.

She is survived by her three wonderful daughters, Lacie, Danae, and Shana all from St. Anthony; half-sister, Christine Burkhardt and her three girls; mother, Willene Hoff; and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins. Her aunts Dorothy, Cyndy and Linda were very special to her.

Kyla was preceded in death by her father, Carl; both sets of grandparents; six uncles, Frank, Pete, John, Tony, Henry and Michael; and one aunt, Mary Ann.

Memorials are preferred to Kyla’s family.

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William Geiger

William J. Geiger, 82, Mandan, died July 9, 2012, at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, July 13, at Spirit of Life Church, Mandan, with Rev. Chad Gion as celebrant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery, with military committal services conducted by American Legion Post No. 40 and VFW Post 707.

William was born on March 29, 1930, to Matt and Rose (Hellman) Geiger in Harmon. He was raised and educated in Center. William joined the U.S. Army serving from January 1951 to December 1952 as a Military Policeman stationed in Italy during the Korean War. After his active duty service he returned to the North Dakota and entered the Army National Guard Reserve serving from 1953 to 1959. He married Wilhelmina Boehm on Oct. 26, 1953, in Crown Butte. Together they moved to Wahpeton, where he studied auto mechanics; thus began his lifelong passion for restoring tractors and automobiles. In 1986, he retired from Amoco Oil Refinery after a successful 32-year career as an Operator. In addition to his career at Amoco and raising a family of 11 children, he also owned and operated a farm and ranch north of Mandan. He was especially proud of his Black Angus herd and his numerous antique tractors.

William was devoted to his family, his faith and a strong work ethic. He had a lifelong love of history in particular, his family heritage and ancestry. William was proud to have served his country and generously gave his time to his community. As a veteran he was honored with a Presidential Letter from President George W. Bush, congratulating him and Wilhelmina on 50 years of marriage. A trip to Europe was highlighted with a special blessing from the Pope.

William appreciated the land and all it provided. Hunting was one of his many passions in which he was able to share with his sons and grandsons. He was a registered sharpshooter with the NRA as well as an avid gun collector. William’s enthusiasm for fishing was evident with many fishing trips shared with family and friends. Another favorite pastime was playing the guitar and harmonica and was enjoyed by all. Through all of this, family was central in his life that provided many years of love and now wonderful memories we will all forever cherish.

William will be deeply missed by his loving wife, Wilhelmina; daughters, Debra Geiger, Bismarck, Clarice (Gordon) Fode Bismarck, Brenda (David) Demers, Chaska, Minn., Carolyn Geiger, Henderson, Nev., Julie Geiger, Mandan, Barb (Ken) Meister, Denver, Colo.; sons, Warren (Pam), Mandan, Curtis (Julie), Henderson, Nev., Gerard (Deb), Dickinson, and Michael (Korena), Mandan; 22 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sister, Lorraine Landeis, Mandan; brother, Melvin, Minot; and sister-in-law, Karen Geiger (wife of Daniel), Gilbert, Ariz.

William was preceded in death by his parents, Matt and Rose Geiger; his son, William Frank, Jr.; great-grandson, Caleb Geiger; brother, Daniel; sister, Viola; brother-in-law, Robert Stein; sister-in-law, Karen Geiger (wife of Melvin); and brother-in-law, John Landeis.

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William Kelsch

William Charles Kelsch, Mandan, died at his home surrounded by his family after a courageous battle with cancer on July 13, 2012, at the age of 79. Services were held on Monday, July 16, at Christ the King Church in Mandan, with Father Al Leary officiating. He was laid to rest at Mandan Union Cemetery.

William was born Sept. 2, 1932, in Bismarck, to Clemens F. and Mary Margaret (Roche) Kelsch. William, who went by the name Bill, was the Kelsch’s middle child of their seven children. He lived his life in Mandan, attending Saint Joseph’s grade school and Mandan High School, where he graduated as Valedictorian in 1950. He was selected a member of the 1949 North Dakota All State football team. In 1953, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and received his Juris Doctor, with honorary membership into the Order of the Coif, from the University Of North Dakota School of Law in 1956. Bill was admitted to the bar in 1956 and began the practice of law with his father in Mandan. In 1959, Bill was elected States Attorney for Morton County and served four terms in that office. He was elected to the N.D. House of Representatives in 1967, where he served two terms. During his second term, he chaired the House Judiciary Committee and introduced, and saw the passage of, legislation calling for the Second Constitutional Convention. He was elected Mandan’s delegate to that convention held in 1972. Bill served on the N.D. Parole Board from 1974 through 1981, acting as its chairman the last four years.

Bill was past chairman of the N.D. States Attorneys Association, past director of the Mandan Hospital Association, the Mandan Library Board and a member of the N.D. Centennial Commission. He was a board member and past president of Mandan’s Heartview Foundation.

Bill married Joan Wise on Aug. 16, 1954, in Mandan, and four children, Steven, Thomas, Mary, and Jean, were born of their marriage.

Bill was the senior partner in the Kelsch Law firm of Mandan and he practiced law out of Mandan for 42 years, retiring his license in 1998. Both his brother, Thomas F. Kelsch, and his son, Thomas D. Kelsch, among others, joined him in the Mandan firm.

Bill is survived by his wife Joan, to whom he was married 57 years; three children and their spouses, Steven (Anne), Grand Forks, Thomas (RaeAnn), Mandan, and Jean (Charles) Bingert, Mandan; seven grandchildren, Zachary (Jenna) Kelsch, Grand Forks, Alexander Kelsch, Mandan, Cassandra (Jason) Weidman, Des Moines, Iowa, Kyle, Matthew, and Danielle Bingert, all of Mandan, and Sarah Kelsch, Grand Forks. He is also survived by siblings, Jean Cordano, Fishers, Ind., Kathy (Tony) Ruiz, Hollister, Calif., Robert, (Theresa), Davis, Calif., Thomas (Karen), Bismarck, Charles, (Linda), Encino, Calif.; sister-in-law Nancy, Newark, Del.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Mary; his parents; his brother, David; and his brother-in-law, Waldo Cordano. He would prefer any memorials be to the church or charity of your choice.


Mary Schmidt

Mary Schmidt, 99, Bismarck, died July 9, 2012, at St. Gabriel’s Community in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Saturday, July 14, at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. Johnson Kuriappilly as celebrant. Her burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Mary was born on May 31, 1913, to Anton Frank and Elizabeth Schmidt in Fallon. She was raised and educated in Fallon. At age 9 Mary learned to play the organ, then played at church services for approximately 29 years while living in the Flasher and Fallon area. She married her gradeschool sweetheart Thomas A. Schmidt on Jan. 17, 1931. After their marriage they farmed in the Fallon area until 1958, when they moved to Mandan. Mary worked at Heartview Foundation until she retired in 1980. She later moved to Bismarck, where she entered the Edgewood Vista in November of 2007.

Mary was a busy farmwife, growing her own garden and generously sharing the produce. While raising children and helping whenever she could on the farm with various farm duties. She also liked to crochet and listening to music since it was a big part of her life. Mary not only played the organ in church, she also could play a good old polka. Mary’s grandchildren were a delight when they came to visit. Cards and bingo were also a favorite part of her life.

Mary will be deeply missed by her daughters, Carol (Dale) Olson, Aberdeen S.D., Linda (Dennis) Mosbrucker, Washington, Utah; son, Randy, Washington, Utah; 16 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and daughters-in-law, Georgene, Alvina, Pat, Bernice and Donna.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Thomas A., who died on March 17, 1981; daughter, Delores; four sons, Richard, Roger, Ronny and Robert; brothers, Ralph, Marcus, Steve, Leo, Thomas, Joseph and Frank; sisters, Eva, Tina and Rose; daughter-in-law, Sandy; and son-in-law, Roger.

Two extra stars are in the skies, I know they are my grandmother’s eyes, looking down upon her fold, remembering memories wrapped in gold, we love you Grandma Mary. May you rest in peace. Your grandchildren.

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