Lester Tandberg, 87, Minot, died peacefully Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at his Minot home.
Lester Oliver Lewis Tandberg was born March 6, 1925, on the family farm near Newburg, to John and Anna (Braaten) Tandberg. He was baptized and later confirmed at Dovre Lutheran Church at Newburg. He attended the Newburg School, receiving an eighth-grade diploma.
Following school Lester worked for neighboring farmers until June 16, 1943, when he joined the Army at the age of 18. He became part of the 83rd Infantry Division as a heavy artillery mechanic, training at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Following training he sailed aboard the Queen Mary with his regiment, bound for World War II and service in the European Theater in Belgium, Holland and Germany. He was awarded numerous medals and commendations for his war efforts, including a Purple Heart. He was discharged following the war on Oct. 17, 1945.
He returned home to Newburg and it was while working as a farmhand on a nearby Deering farm that he met the love of his life, Lois Brandt. He and Lois were united in marriage Nov. 10, 1947, in Bottineau. They moved into Deering, continuing to farm while Lester also opened his own mechanic shop. For a short time, Lester was also the town cop in Deering.
The couple pulled up roots and moved into Minot in 1956. In Minot, Lester continued his work as a mechanic and over the years worked at several local garages: Johnson Chevrolet, Fisher Motors and Auran/Ryan Chevrolet. He later joined the maintenance staff at the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, retiring in 1989.
Retirement for Lester meant more time with his family. He enjoyed frequenting area farm and antique auctions and flea markets, seeking unusual items. He loved keeping his mind and hands busy so he continued his talent for mechanics. He was often found tinkering in his yard or garage on small engines, lawn mowers and snow blowers.
Lester was known for his fun-loving sense of humor and quick wit. He was a man who loved to tease, share jokes and make people laugh. In recent years, Lester could always be found bringing smiles to the morning coffee bunch at the Broadway McDonald’s. The coffee bunch and McDonald’s employees were a special part of his life, so much so that he was given a McDonald’s employee hat that meant a great deal to him.
Lester loved his family as much as he loved the life experiences he often shared. He will be greatly missed by Lois, his wife of 67 years, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, extended family and friends.
Lester is survived by: his wife; one son, Lauren (Kathy), Beulah; and two daughters, Lannette (Jim) Neshem, Des Lacs, and Leanne (Brian) Steenerson, Minot. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Alysia (Aaron) Huck, Minot; Robyn (Doug) Riti, of Missouri; Brenda (Troy) Mohl, Bismarck; Randy Haugen, Minot; Rick (Denver) Haugen, Burlington; Sheila Haugen, Minot; Shawna (Darrell) Parsons, Glen Ullin; Clint Neshem, Des Lacs; Tyler Steenerson and Shane Steenerson, Minot, and a foreign exchange “granddaughter,” Nadja Fink, Berlin, Germany; eight great-grandchildren, Karver Balerud, Ayla Huck, Jake Tolias, Isabel Huber, Josh and Joey Riti, and Joshua and Rya Mohl; sisters, Violet Anderson, Rugby, and Florence Ress, Cheyenne, Wyo. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Lester was preceded in death by his parents; infant son, Lamont; one daughter, Lenae Haugen; and 10 brothers and sisters.
Funeral: Friday, March 1, 2013, at 11 a.m., in Zion Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Sunset Memorial Gardens, Minot.
Visitation: Thursday, Feb. 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Prayer service: Thursday, 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot. Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).