Francis Bivins

Francis Ellery Bivins, 90, longtime Sawyer area farmer, died Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, in a Minot nursing home.

Francis was born Dec. 25, 1922, in Willis Township of Ward County, the son of Donald and Leona Marvel (Baker) Bivins. He was raised and educated at rural schools in Willis Township and graduated from Minot High School in 1940. He attended North Dakota State University in Fargo for two years and was united in marriage to Joan Laskowski on June 10, 1951, at Minot.

Francis and Joan built a home on the Bivins family farm and purchased additional land in the South Prairie area. They continued to farm in Willis Township throughout the years, where they raised their four children. Francis and Joan retired from farming in 1990. Joan died Nov. 26, 2003.

Francis was a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church, Minot, where he served on the Trustee Board and as an usher. He was a member of the Minot Moose Lodge and served on the Willis Township Board as the treasurer for over 15 years. He served on the Town & Country Credit Union’s Board of Directors and the Sawyer School Board. He also served on the Farmers Union Elevator Board, Ward County Agricultural Stabilization Board and as sexton of Willis Township Cemetery for many years.

Francis’ loving family includes: children, Margaret (Don) Steig, Sawyer, Phyllis Bivins, Mott, Nancy (Joe) Burgard, Jamestown, and Daniel (Katherine) Bivins, Macomb, Mich.; six grandchildren, Jayme (Katie) Steig, Kelly (Troy) Haman, Andrew (Jennifer) Burgard, Michelle (David) Malchow, Marissa and Eben Bivins; four great-grandchildren; sister, Marion (Nels) Narum, of Douglas; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Francis was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Joan; and brother, Ronald.

Funeral service: Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, at 11 a.m. in First Presbyterian Church, Minot.

Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.

Visitation: Today, Jan. 18, from 2 to 7 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.

Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (