Aveard Clayton Fjelstad, 92, of Williston, died at his home on Sunday morning, Aug. 31, 2014.
Aveard was born to Martin and Gunda Fjelstad, in Rawson, on June 20, 1922. He went to grade school in Rawson and graduated from Arnegard High School in 1940. Aveard joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in January 1941, putting in his time at Medicine Lake, Mont. After his discharge, he went back to the farm near Rawson to help with harvest before, along with a friend, heading for California to seek employment. He went to work at Sacramento Air Depot, McClellan Field, three days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as a stock tracer. One of his jobs was ordering parts for Capt. Jimmy Doolittle’s B-25 bombers that eventually dropped bombs on Tokyo in April 1942.
“A.C” enlisted in the U.S. Navy in September 1942. After taking a diesel mechanics course at the University of Missouri and special Graymarine training at Detroit, Mich., he was off to Bayonne, N.J., where he boarded his ship, the USS LST 389. A.C. served with the Naval Amphibians Force in the European Theatre of Operation, seeing action in Africa, the invasions of Sicily, Italy, and Omaha Beach, Normandy. He received his discharge on Christmas Day of 1945 at Bremerton, Wash.
Aveard married Edith Winden on Dec. 22, 1946, in Alexander, where they lived until moving to the Pete and Gladys Olson farm, which they eventually bought, north of Alexander, where they operated a dairy farm, while raising their three daughters. They later expanded their grain farming and switched to beef cattle. They moved to Williston in 1980.
Aveard served on the Rosseland Lutheran Church Board, Poe Township Board, Farmers Elevator Board of Directors, Missouri Valley Creamery Board, helped organize and served as director and secretary of the North Dakota Wheat Producers Association, director and vice president of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association. Aveard also had a lifetime membership to the Williston Elks Lodge, VFW Post of Williston, and the American Legion of Alexander.
Aveard enjoyed traveling with his wife, Edith, and together they saw all 50 states, the British Isles, Denmark and Norway. An avid sports fan all of his life, Aveard especially enjoyed following his grandchildren in their activities and watching the Minnesota Twins. A highlight of his life was raising the American flag at a Twins game in the summer of 2011. He also enjoyed golfing, bowling, dancing, playing cards and breakfast with his buddies.
A.C. was very proud of his wife, his daughters and their families. He was also blessed in recent years by the companionship of his dear friend, Lolla Mae Alexander, who kept his life active walking, doing crossword puzzles together and dancing at the Moose. A.C. enjoyed life very much and to the very end said he was “a very lucky guy!”
Aveard is survived by: his daughters, Rebecca Ann Lenhart (Stan Hill) of Billings, Mont., Bonnie Kay (Don) Wells, of Elkhart, Iowa, and Susan Mae (Bruce) Bradford, of Williston; eight grandchildren, Traci (Jason) Hildner of Portland, Ore., Todd (Kayla) Stenson of Gresham, Ore., Jacob (Staci) DeGroote of Raleigh, N.C., Josh (Alyssa) DeGroote, Joanna (Scott) Larsen and Jodi (Tavares) Johnson, all of Ankeny, Iowa, Adam Forthun, of Minot, and Dana (Nick) Johnson, of Williston; 17 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Jean Brunsvold, of Sun City, Ariz., Donna Winden, of Williston, and Marilyn Miller, of Billings, Mont.; and one brother, Dennis Fjelstad, of Wausau, Wis.; and Edith’s relatives.
He was preceded in death by: infant twin daughters; parents; wife, Edith; and siblings, Evelyn Melby, Marvin Fjelstad, Donald Fjelstad, Margaret Farnam, Leland Fjelstad, Arlene Nygard and Roberta Lalim.
Funeral services are set for: Saturday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m., at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Williston.
Burial: Riverview Cemetery, Williston.
Friends may call: at Fulkerson Funeral Home, of Williston, on Friday, Sept. 5, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family online at (www.fulkersons.com).
Memorials may be sent to Upper Missouri Ministries, P.O. Box 111, Epping, ND 58843-0111, Mercy Medical Homecare/Hospice, 115 2nd Ave. W., Ste. 50, Williston, ND 58801, or the Salvation Army, 15 Main St., Williston, ND 58801.