Mandan News

Obituaries – March 31-April 6, 2012

A. Benjamin Dove

Alexander Benjamin (Ben) Dove, Jr., 86, Mandan, died March 31, 2012, at Medcenter One, Bismarck. His cherished wife and three children were able to say their goodbyes as Ben was preparing his departure from his earthly home to be welcomed into his heavenly home by his parents and the God he served all his life.

A memorial service was held on Wednesday, April 4, at First Presbyterian Church, Mandan, with the Revs. Deanna Reikow and Don Schmid officiating.

Ben was born Jan. 29, 1926, in Rocky Mount, N.C., the son of A.B. Dove, Sr. and Elizabeth (Winters) Dove. During the depression his parents moved to Washington, D.C., with their two young sons, where his father was employed as a meat cutter. Ben and his brother Dannie loved living in the nation’s capital and were eager sightseeing guides to our of town guests. After graduating from high school in 1944, Ben enlisted in the USAAF and was proud to have served his country in a non-combat role in the Pacific. With the GI bill Ben graduated from the U of Maryland and McCormick Seminary. As a seminary student Ben spent a summer helping a blind minister of seven congregations in the Devils Lake area. He drove a beat up car he dubbed the “Mud Hen,” and thus began his love affair with North Dakota. Members of four small churches (Minnewaukan, Webster, Egeland and Bisbee) fell in love with this young, handsome student and created the tri-County Larger Parish, which enabled them to extend a call to Ben after his ordination in 1953.

In 1959 Ben accepted a call to the Mandan Presbyterian Church, beginning a 32-year ministry to a congregation he dearly loved. At Ben’s retirement service the members conferred upon him the title “pastor emeritus.” Last month they honored him again when they rededicated their educational building changing its name to the Dove Wing. After retirement Ben continued his ministry by serving as moderator to small churches in the area, including Wilton, Glencoe and Hazelton, conducting many funerals, weddings and baptisms. Ben also served the denomination at the local, presbytery and national levels. He was on the Jamestown College Board of Trustees, a charter member of Missouri Valley Habitat for Humanity, a Mandan Lions recipient of Melvin Jones Award, past sheriff of Westerners, and a former chaplain at Heartview Foundation. Ben Served on the board for AID, Inc., was member and contributor of the Mandan Art Association and enjoyed contacts with clergy of many faiths.

Ben and Barbara (Schmid) Dove were married May 8, 1957. Ben jokingly remarked that he didn’t have a relative within 1,500 miles until he married Barbara and acquired 1,000 relative in a 50 mile radius. While serving lutefisk or going to Sons of Norway he would wear his “Norwegian by marriage” pin. Ben and Barbara became the parents of three children, Ben IV, Rebecca and Dan. He was a family man and after visiting with his kids he would often say, “They are the real treasures of life.” Many trips were taken to the east coast so the children could develop strong ties to Ben’s family. Ben was proud of his heritage that dates back to the early 1600s and the Dovedale Plantation in Dovesville, S.C. Waterskiing at Brush Lake was a favorite family activity. Ben was proud to say he was still skiing at 84. A faithful jogger for many years, he walked a mile the day before his death. Ben was a southern gentleman and treated his wife as though she were a VIP. He was happy to be a grandfather and was thankful to live to see them become beautiful teenagers. Ben was not “computer literate,” so he communicated thought the USPS with letters to his children, grandchildren, family and friends. They liked receiving his “real” mail and cherished the wit and wisdom he imparted in his distinctive script. Ben completed his 116th volume of his “Sometime Journal” the night before he suffered a massive stroke.

It was apparent to anyone that knew Ben he harbored a special affection for anything on wheels. He took flying lessons, bought and restored a Luscomb airplane for occasional use in commuting to his four parishes. He restored a Model T and a Model A that he later sold. In 1984 his three children surprised him with a Model A body. Over the next 20 years he collected fenders, and engine, and hundreds of other parts so he and his son Dan could get it in running condition. In 1976 Bernie Berger made one of Ben’s dreams come true when he allowed Ben to be an occasional relief driver for his company. Besides hauling cattle and hogs, Ben also hauled grain for his brother-in-law. His basement is a treasure trove of toy cars of every variety and he created a beautiful layout for his childhood Lionel train.

Ben is survived by his wife of almost 55 years, Barbara; two sons, Alex B. (Donna) Dove IV, Collegeville, Penn., and Daniel Edward (Tracy) Dove, Jamestown, and one daughter, Rebecca (Peter) Sieling, Pacific Palisades, Calif.; seven grandchildren, Abigail, Isabel, Alex Benjamin Dove V, Pennsylvania, Laura and Robert Benjamin, Sieling, Calif.,, Sgt. Brandon (Summer) Schmitcke; two great-grandchildren, Kayden and Jamison, Fort Hood, Texas, and Kristy Schmitcke, Bismarck; one brother, Dannie, Beltsville, Md.; two sisters-in-law, Jackie (Jack) Morrow, Minneapolis, Minn., and Mary (Dennis) O’Briant, Fargo; one brother-in-law, Edward Schmid, Minnewaukan; and many beloved nieces and nephews.  In addition to his beloved family, Ben is also survived by a host of people he dearly regarded as his friends and several boys that were given his name.

He was preceded in death by his parents, “Buck and Lib;” and three sisters-in-law, Joan Dove, Marguerite Claypool and Suzanne Schmid.

Ben was a man people trusted and loved. He was never judgmental and treated everyone as one of God’s children. He was a sincere man who loved much, gave generously of himself, and was truly a servant of God.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be direct to the Ben and Barbara Dove Scholarship Fund at Jamestown College, Salvation Army and AID INC., Mandan.

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Margaret Gangl

Margaret Gangl, 96, Springfield, Mo., passed to her heavenly home on March 26, 2012.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, April 3, at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. William Ruelle as celebrant. Burial was at the St. Anthony Cemetery, St. Anthony.

Margaret was born April 30, 1915, in Morton County, the 10th child of 13 children born to George and Angelina (Aqulina) (Leingang) Wetsch. She was raised on the family farm south of St. Anthony and attended a one-room country school.

Margaret married John Gangl when she was 22 years old, on Oct. 22, 1936, and together they had one son, Robert. They lived on the farm homesteaded by John’s parents near St. Anthony, where they began farming, their lifelong livelihood.

Margaret was a member of the St. Maria Verein and the Christian Mothers. She enjoyed traveling around the area of Springfield with her grandchildren, whom she lived with in her later years. She had a passion for baking and cooking and made some of the best pastries, strudel and everyone enjoyed her potato noodles. Margaret loved quilting and embroidering. To help keep her mind sharp, she spent many hours working on word search puzzle books. Her greatest love and passion was spending time with her family and relatives. She had a deep love for her faith, and prayed the Rosary often, and was a kind and generous woman and full of humor that affected everybody that she came in contact with.

Margaret is survived by her son, Robert (Alice) Gangl, St. Anthony; granddaughter, Victoria Gangl, Springfield, Mo.; grandson, Scott (Ronda) Gangl, St. Anthony; great-grandson, Tyler McClean, Springfield; brother and sister-in-law, Henry and Elizabeth Gangl, Mandan; and many nieces and nephews.

Margaret is preceded in death by her husband, John; parents, George and Angelina Wetsch; siblings, Elizabeth, Anna, Martin, Kathryn, Rose, MaryAnna, Margaret 1st, George, Elenora, Clemence, Thomas and Caroline, and their spouses.

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Mathilda McCarty

Mathilda “Tillie” (Haag) McCarty, age 100, residing at Medcenter One Living Center, Mandan, died on March 23, 2012.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Friday, March 30, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mandan, with Reverend Shane Campbell celebrating. Interment was at Mandan Union Cemetery next to her first husband, Peter Haag.

Mathilda was born in St. Anthony on Sept. 18, 1911, to Wendeline and Elizabeth (Keller) Beehler. She attended schools in St. Anthony and Mandan. Tillie married Peter Haag on April 30, 1930.

She worked as a presser and finisher for Toman Cleaners in Mandan for over 27 years. Peter died in 1964. In 1975 Tillie married Mac McCarty in South Carolina. She was a lifelong member of both the Eagles Auxiliary and the benevolent St. Mary’s Verein of St. Anthony.

Tillie’s favorite hobbies were sewing and quilt making. She made countless beautiful quilts for her children and grandchildren until her arthritis prevented her from continuing. She loved to socialize with friends and family and she loved to dance. In later life she became an avid fisherwoman.

Tillie is survived by two sons, Ronald (LaVerne) Haag of Mandan, and Robert (Renee) Haag of Le Center, Minn.; and two daughters, Ruby Morrell of Mandan, and Janice Poole of Wagener, S.C. Tillie was very proud of and cherished her large family of eight children, 20 grandchildren, and many more great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren.

Tillie was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Peter Haag and Gaylord “Mac” McCarty; two sons, Arthur and Raymond; two daughters, infant Julie Ann and Elizabeth “Bettie” Deichert; and brothers and sisters, Whilamina “Minnie,” Rose, Jacob, John, and Elizabeth.

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Susan Paul

Susan Paul, 47, Mandan, died, March 28, 2012, at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Monday, April 2, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. Shane Campbell as celebrant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Susan was born on Oct. 30, 1964, in Bismarck, to Martin and Delores (Kratz) Wenger. She married Thomas C. Paul on Aug. 5, 1995, in Mandan.

Susan was a loving and dedicated mother, gentle though independent and determined in her manner. She had a special fondness for cats. Family was always a source of enjoyment for Susan and she always looked forward to their visits.

Susan will be deeply missed by her husband, Thomas, Mandan; daughter, Ashley, Mandan; father, Martin Wenger, Mandan; sisters, Kathy (Tony) Giardini, Mandan, Debra (Dan) Davenport, Balwin, and Lori (Scott) Miller, Mandan; brothers, Mike Wenger, Steven Wenger, and Kenneth Wenger, all of Mandan, and Marty (Amy) Wenger, Grantville, Penn., mother-in-law and father-in-law, James and Priscilla Paul, Mandan; and stepfather, Ralph Kratz, Mandan.

Susan was preceded in death by her mother, Delores; and sister-in-law, Angie Wenger.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred.

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Wesley Schmidt

Wesley R. Schmidt, 41, Bismarck, died March 27, 2012, at his residence in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Saturday, March 31, at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, with the Rev. Charles Heidt as celebrant. Burial was at the Mandan Union Cemetery.

Wesley was born in Mandan on Nov. 6, 1970, to Simon and Lillian (Hatzenbuehler) Schmidt. He graduated in 1989 from Center High School. After high school he went to Phoenix, Ariz., and California, to further pursue his musical aspirations. He returned to North Dakota and attended Bismarck State College and received a degree in Power Plant Technology. He then worked for various power plants as a technician in California. He then returned to North Dakota and attended NDSU, graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering. He was currently a civilian employee as the state Energy Manager for the North Dakota National Guard.

As a young boy at the age of 8, Wesley won his first musical talent show. This was the beginning of his life style with music as the highlight. While in high school he played with his brothers in the band The Schmidt Brothers. His instrument of choice was the drums, which he mastered and continued with many groups who needed a drummer. He also had a great voice which was unique, in that he could sing and drum at the same time. His second band was Hectic Red, including other bands such as Zu Zu, Midnight Express, Nightlife and Furious George, and was especially honored to play with Richard Torrance. The most recent band he was in was Downside. He was a great fan of Motley Crew, Metallica and Jimmy Hendrix. This combined with an avid fan of the Oakland Raiders was an example of his multi-talents and interests. A fond memory of his mother was when he said, “Ma, I have a good job, but my heart is in music.” An important part of his life was family, especially his very special friend, Donna Praus, and their son, Stone. He enjoyed watching Stone play football and he would often play a light game of catch with him. These precious memories of Wesley briefly show his pride and love of his extended family and friends, his dedication to his work and most of all sharing his talents with so many of us.

Wesley will be missed by his mother, Lillian, Mandan; very special friend, Donna and their son, Stone; sister, Carol (Steve) Horner, Mandan; brothers, Calvin (Jackie) and Myron (Carrie), all of Mandan, and Simon, Jr. (Michelle), Bismarck; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Simon; and his grandparents.

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Jean Schulz

Jean M. Schulz, 60, Mandan, went to meet Jesus March 23, 2012, at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck.

Mass of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, March 27, at Spirit of Life Catholic Church, Mandan, with Rev. William Ruelle as celebrant. Burial was at Sunset Memorial Garden.

Jean will be deeply missed by her daughter, Jennifer (Jeremy) Ballensky, and her very loved granddaughter, Breanna Jean Ballensky, Mandan; brothers, Steve (Pam) Schulz, Palisade, Minn., Tom, Bob (Melodie), Bismarck, Dave (fiance, Kim Bullinger), Mandan, Jim, Lincoln, Neb., Ted (Becky), Watford City, and Chuck (Jackie) Gardner, Kan.; and sisters, Jackie Smith, Stevensville, Md., and Julie Schulz, Meridian, Idaho.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Beatrice Schulz; and an infant sister, Judith.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to Jennifer Ballensky.

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