Myron Olaf Birkeland
“Our loss is immeasurable,
As is the love that Dad leaves behind.”
On Thursday, January 26, Dad took his final breath in his favorite chair as we comforted him with love and prayers. He was 83 years ‘young’.
Dad was born April 27, 1933, on the Birkeland family farm near Sheyenne, North Dakota, the son of Mamie (Dailey) and Olaf Birkeland. He graduated from Sheyenne High School in 1951, and from North Dakota Agricultural College (NDAC) now NDSU, in 1955.
Dad fell in love with Mom (Mary Ann Allmaras) from New Rockford, and they were married on August 14, 1954. They had a busy, adventurous life raising our family. Mom passed away June 3, 2013.
In 1955, Dad became the Assistant Cass County Agent in Fargo. Mom and Dad later moved to New Rockford, where Dad joined the staff at NRHS as the Vocational Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor. He left teaching to join Herman Allmaras and ‘the boys’ at Rockford Oil. His life long career, which became the ‘work love of his life’, was Town and Country Motors in New Rockford and Carrington. He was proud to be an International Harvester and Ford dealer.
Dad was passionate about serving on committees and councils in New Rockford. He cared deeply about our community, and his involvement was an integral part of his life: St. John’s Catholic Church and Parish Council, City Commission, Celebrations Inc., Knights of Columbus, Eagles, an EMT with the NR & Carrington Ambulance and ... with his red vest and trumpet in hand – "Oh, how he loved the German Band!"
Dad was elected President of the 'National' International Harvester Dealer’s Association and served this prestigious position with pride. Being active in government and the Democratic party was important. He ran for the North Dakota State Senate and was elected to the committee that rewrote the state constitution.
He prided himself on being an NDSU grad and enjoyed cheering on the Bison. Reading was his #1 hobby! Dad liked to think that he and Louis L’Amour were ‘best friends’! He read every single book several times! Spending time at the lakes in Minnesota was crazy and chaotic with kids galore, and he bragged that he had the world record for being the ‘oldest’ water skier! Dad loved aviation and becoming a pilot was a highlight in his life! He made many flights with family and friends in his Piper Seneca 2.
The family farm was near and dear to Dad’s heart. He told us lots of stories about his Mom and Dad and growing up on the farm. He was proud of his brothers and sisters and their families. The beauty of the fall harvest, along with the thrill of combining, were times he cherished. Dad loved having a big family. When he told people, 'I have 8 ‘wonderful’ children, we would roll our eyes and laugh! He enjoyed our school activities & cheering for the 'Rockets'! We chuckled when he'd ask ... "Boys, what is the qualifying time in the pole vault?”
He loved unconditionally and was a powerful influence in our lives. We called him, “The Man - The Myth - The Legend” and “The Sheyenne Flash.”
There will be a huge void in the lives of Ann Guler (late Tim), Pelican Rapids, MN, Mike and Carol Birkeland, Tempe, AZ, Tommy Birkeland, Tempe, AZ, Terry and Sherri Birkeland, Bemidji, MN, Bob and Angela Birkeland, Show Low, AZ, Buffy and Scott Medalen, Minot, ND, Timmy and Penny Birkeland, Perham, MN, and Jose Rodiles, Phoenix, AZ.
Grandchildren: Eric, Amanda, Gretchen, Nate, Brian, Kris, Coltlee, Jon, Jacque, Stephanie, Gabriela, Marikah, Bryce, Emily, Mitch, Mark, Elle, Drew, Liz, and Jack.
Great-grandchildren:Madeline, Rachael, Timmy, Megan, Mamie, Becca, Wyatt, Saige, Sophie and Jacob.
Extended family: Twin sister, Mary Ellen Rue and family, Beverly Soderholm and family, Duane Birkeland and family, Norman Birkeland Family, Carol Joyce Bass and family.
Preceding Dad in death: His parents, Mamie and Olaf Birkeland, wife Mary Ann, infant daughter Susan, daughter Betsy, son-in-law Tim Guler, Shirley and Norris Nelson, Chester Rue, Bob Soderholm, Dodo Birkeland, Norman and Marlys Birkeland, and Jimmy Bass.
Thank you, Dad, for the lessons you taught us about love, life and loss.
We will always remember your kind and gentle spirit and your smile.
ROSARY AND PRAYER SERVICE:
Thursday (Feb. 2nd) Rosary at 6:45PM and Prayer Service at 7PM, in St. John's Catholic Church
MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL:
St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford, ND
DATE AND TIME:
Friday, February 3, 2017 at 10:30AM
St. John's Catholic Cemetery
(Scroll down to send condolence)
Name: Delores Dailey Davis
Message: Myron was my first cousin. His mom and my dad were brother and sister. I didn't know them well. I remember going to the farm when I was young with my sister Rita who spent many summers there. Just want to express my sincere sympathy to all of Myron's family.
Name: Diane Holth-Jaeger
Message: Condolences to Myron's family.
Name: Alex Punton
Message: Our deepest condolences and that he has a blessed passing and will rest in peace.
Name: Barb Seibel Franke
Message: What a beautiful tribute to your dad! He truly was a NR "fixture" and will be missed by anyone who knew him. Condolences to your entire family.
Name: Linda (Kraft) Skramstad
Message: Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Myron will truly be missed but the love he shared with all of you will be carried on always. God bless and keep you all.
Name: Wanda Seymour
Message: Timmy, Penny and families sorry for your loss! Our prayers are with you all!
Ken & Wanda Seymour. Former Cooperstown residents.
Name: Alan and Linda Butts
Message: The Butts family has nothing but fond memories of Myron. He was such a positive person and one left his presence with his sense of optimism. Our family did a lot of business with Town and Country Motors over the years and of course shared his love of flying by partnering in the ownership of two planes. We know his death is a big loss for your family and we share in your grief.
Name: Darren Klein
Message: Our Thoughts and prayers go out to each of you during this difficult time. Myron was an incredible man who always had a welcoming and genuine interest whenever visiting with him. May God bless his soul and welcome him into his heavenly kingdom!
Name: Donald Beck
Message: Condolences, thoughts and prayers to the families of Myron Birkeland. A special man and a special family! God Bless!
Name: Cindy & Rich Lund
Date: Jan. 28 2017
Message: Thoughts and prayers to the family. Enjoyed visiting with Myron over the years in New Rockford...
Name: Dale and Diane Rosenberg
Message: Our thoughts and prayers to the family. Myron was a great person. He was a true gentleman and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Name: Mary M. Koenig
Message: Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you. Please remember your grandfather and father and brother with all the good memories he always left everybody with. He was a good man.
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