Mandan News

Obituaries – July 3-9, 2012

William Adams

William “Billy” Adams, age 82, of Mandan, died June 26, 2012, at Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center in Bismarck as a result of West Nile disease with viral encephalitis complications. Funeral services were held on Friday, June 29, at the First Lutheran Church in Mandan, with the Rev. Lee Herberg officiating. Burial was in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery on Monday, July 2, with military honors provided by the Mandan VFW and American Legion Posts.

Billy was born on Dec. 15, 1929, in Mandan, the Son of William C. and Irene (Neverdahl) Adams. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Ward in Okinawa. An Airman 1st Class, Billy also served in the U.S. Army reserves, retiring in 1978, with the rank of staff sergeant. He was united in marriage to Florence Ann Roehrich on Nov. 5, 1957, in Bismarck. He dairy farmed south of Mandan for many years.

Billy loved to play the accordion and have coffee with friends. He also enjoyed gardening and stayed active helping friends. He was a member of First Lutheran Church, the V.F.W., American Legion, the Moose and was a former member of the Eagles.

He is survived his sons, Michael (Pam), Scott (Patti) and James, all of Mandan; his grandchildren, Kristy (Ryan) Brouchet of Apple Valley, Minn., Billy Adams of Mandan and Mandy Adams (special friend, Jerry King) of Rapid City, S.D.; great-grandchildren, Ryan Brouchet, Jr., Kye Brouchet, Tate Beckler, Taylor Adams and Chance King; and special friend, Pat Vadnais.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Scott; and his wife, Florence, who died in 2008.

Go to to sign the online guest book.


Lorna Ellis

Lorna Faye Ellis, 77, passed away peacefully on March 10, 2012, at the Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City. A memorial service was held on June 30, at the Mission Evangelical Free Church in Wilton, with the Rev. Russell G. Whitaker Jr. officiating. Interment followed at the Mission Evangelical Free Church Cemetery, east of Wilton.

Lorna was born on Jan. 3, 1935, in Fargo, to Stanley and Beatrice (Evju) Tennison. At age 9, Lorna and her brother John were adopted by Anthony and Lydia Erickson, of Wilton. Lorna attended Grass Lake Elementary School in Wilton. She continued her education at Bismarck High School and graduated in 1953 from Stillman Valley High School in Stillman, Ill.

In October 1955, Lorna married Emil Barth, of Mandan. They resided in Rockford, Ill., for a number of years before returning to North Dakota. In 1968 they moved to the farm south of Driscoll, where they farmed and ranched. Lorna also worked in Bismarck for many years as a legal secretary. She enjoyed gardening, reading and playing the piano and organ.

Lorna was survived by her son, Jeffery (Victoria) Barth, Driscoll; grandchildren, Chantel and Tyler Barth, Driscoll; brother, John (Lila) Erickson, Wilton; and many nieces and nephews.

Lorna was preceded in death by her birth parents; adoptive parents; and one nephew, Marshall Erickson.

Go to to sign the online guestbook and view tribute flowers.


Melvin Zerr

Melvin M. Zerr, 80, Mandan, died Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at St. Alexius Hospital. Mass of the Christian Burial was held on Saturday, June 30, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, with the Rev. Shane Campbell celebrant. Burial was in the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Melvin was born Nov. 25, 1931, in Arena, the son of Emil and Martha (Scherbenski) Zerr. He was the middle child of his parents’ 15 children. He was raised and educated in Arena. He came to Mandan in 1953 and started working for the North Dakota State Industrial School in 1954 and worked there until 1963 when he went to work for Foremost (Cass Clay Dairy) for 34 years, until his retirement in 1996. He married Pearl Hruby in Wilton on May 25, 1957. Together they had three children, Michael, Lynnette and Marvin.

He was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan Eagles, Mandan Moose and the Bismarck-Mandan Elks.

Mel was a wonderful husband, father, father-in-law and grandpa. He loved fishing and hunting until the last couple of years. But Pinochle, Thirty-One and putting puzzles together were his greatest pastimes. His family played cards with us until the last few days. He was a wonderful cook even with all the German dishes, which we will all miss.

He enjoyed the wonders of nature, especially the hours he spent in his garden. The produce would be made into a special recipe of salsa, which was generously shared. Melvin and Pearl traveled throughout the United States, and this included stops at various casinos.

Melvin will be dearly missed by his family. He is survived by his wife, Pearl, of 55 years; two sons and two daughter-in-laws; one daughter; one son-in-law; and seven grandchildren, Michael and Jan Zerr, Mandan, and their children, Monica and Aaron Janessen, Grand Forks, Nicole and Dayton Norheim, Minot, Mandee and Bear, Grand Forks, Lynnette and Bill Gedrose, Mandan, and his son Nathan and her son, Kyle and Heather Messer, Mandan, and their son, Trent, Marvin and Colleen Zerr and their children, Olsen, Corbin and Jakob all of Harvey. He is also survived by three brothers and one sister-in-law, Fred and Dallas, Tuttle, Allan and Diane, Jamestown; three sisters, Alice Irvine, Bismarck, Margie Jansen, Valley City, and Janice Zerr, Albuquerque, N.M.; three sister-in-laws, Edna and Don Flynn, Bismarck, Gladys Zerr, Audubon, Minn., Colleen Zerr, Pick City; brother-in-law, Don Hruby; two sister-in-laws, Lou Hruby, Bismarck, Margaret Krivoruchka, Dickinson; and many nieces and nephews.

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Ray, Robert, Ronald, James, Wallace; three sisters, Ruby Spah, DeNelda Lachenmeier and Gladys Zerr; sister-in-law, LaVonne Zerr; and six brother-in-laws, Albert Lachenmeier, Henry Spah, William Jansen, Art Lachenmeier, Sam Krivoruchka and Albert Hruby.

Go to to sign the online guestbook and view flowers.