Ardel Ingwalson, 89

Ardel Ingwalson, 89, of Phoenix, AZ, and Crosby, ND died June 19, 2019, in a Phoenix hospital with loved ones around her.

Funeral services will be July 1, 2019, 2:00 pm at Concordia Lutheran Church, Crosby, ND. Interment will be at Concordia Lutheran Cemetery.

Ardel was born in Fargo, ND on March 4, 1930, daughter of Arthur and Viola Johnson. She grew up on the family farm in the Red River Valley with her brothers Cecil and Vernon.

Ardel was the only child in her grade, in a one-room schoolhouse. She graduated from Walcott High School then went to college at Moorhead’s Concordia College where she studied music and played center on the women’s basketball team.

Her very first job was working for the Veteran’s Affairs Office and this became a lifelong cause for her. As an advocate for all veterans, she was instrumental in creating the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery in Mandan. Ardel went on to serve as the State President of the North Dakota American Legion Auxiliary from 1990 – 1991 and as the National Vice-President of the American Legion Auxiliary from 1991 – 1992. She enjoyed mentoring young women while heading the North Dakota American Legion Girls State.

Ardel had varied interests throughout her life. Early on, she took to playing the accordion for wedding receptions at The Rose Room, in Fargo. She became a music teacher with over 600 students for piano, organ, and accordion. She worked in the accounting department of Farmer’s State Bank and was the church organist at Concordia Lutheran for a decade. Ardel owned and operated a ceramic shop, did horticultural research about growing roses in northern climates, was a member of the St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary, was an excellent seamstress and tailor, a working mother and homemaker.

Ardel married her love and best friend, the late Paul E. Ingwalson. Together they worked and traveled for Ingwalson Motors, a Ford Dealership and finance company based in Crosby.

They flew their Beechcraft Bonanza airplane to dealership events all over the country, stopping in to see family and friends along the way. They liked to go to the air shows in Vegas and Reno.

During Ardel’s term as a Legion Auxiliary Officer, the plane sported a big American Legion Auxiliary logo and Paul joked that he was her official chauffeur. Ardel once suited up in full pilot’s gear to take the controls of an F-111, with coaxing from the pilot, she taxied it back to the hanger. Ardel and Paul enjoyed every minute they spent with each other. They opened their home in Crosby to family and friends from near and far, hosting dinners for the pilots from the Airforce Thunderbirds, close friends from airbases in North Dakota and all over the country. Their humor was legendary and between the two of them, they were chefs as good as any 5-star restaurant. They treasured their relationships with their friends in Crosby and Arizona.

Ardel will be missed by so many but especially missed by her 3 children, Becky Thornhill of Lake Isabella, MI, Danny J. Hansen of Crosby, ND, and Debby (Ron) Brandner of Wishek, ND; her grandchildren Chad (Kristy) Benson, Mitch (Jennifer) Benson, Marlo (Travis) Tiffany, Carolyn Wacker (Troy Angst), Elizabeth (Burton) Schoder, Hayley Brandner (Blair Fjoiland); great-grandchildren Paige, Kellen, Dylan, Cale, and Crosby Benson. Lauren, Ethan, and Aidan Tiffany. Shay, Kya, and Quinn Benson. Hunter Kalka. Medora Brandner and Nash Fjoiland. All the many Brandner grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Proceeding her in death are her parents, Arthur and Viola Johnson, her brother Cecil Johnson and his wife Beverly, her sister-in-law Helen Johnson and her beloved husband Paul E. Ingwalson.

Stakston-Martin Funeral Home of Crosby, ND is in charge of arrangements.

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