G. Joan Bekkedahl, 86 of Williston, passed away at the Trinity Medical Center in Minot early Wednesday morning, February 27, 2019.
Her Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 PM on Monday, March 4, 2019 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Williston. Rev. David Maxfield will officiate. Interment in Riverview Cemetery will follow the funeral service.
Friends may call at Everson-Coughlin Funeral Home on Sunday, March 3, from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM, on Monday from 9:00 AM until noon and for the hour preceding the service at the church.
Gudrun Joan Bekkedahl was born January 8, 1933 in Williston, the youngest of five children of Orvin Sundby Sr. and Gudrun Haug. Two weeks after her birth, her Mother died from childbirth complications. She stayed with her grandparents, Edward and Alice Sundby until at the age of two, which was when her Grandma Alice passed away. It was the middle of the depression and since her Father had moved to Glasgow for work, she was taken in by her Aunts and Uncles, George and Ingeborg (Sundby) Iverson and Albert and Beulah Sundby until reuniting with her sister Shirle at age five with her Aunt and Uncle Walter and Christine (Sundby) Booke, where she was raised with her new little sister, Walt and Chris’s daughter Marilyn. She was Williston High School Homecoming Queen in 1950, followed by Jaycees’ Water Carnival Queen and Miss Williston. She thoroughly enjoyed representing Williston in parades and activities in the area, including one in Minneapolis. After High School, she worked at the Farmers Union Creamery. She met a tall, handsome Williston High School basketball player named Oliver Bekkedahl Jr, who had asked her on a first date at Irgens Drug Store for a milk shake. When he returned from the Korean War they were married on January 5, 1952. A year later, their first son Bruce was born, followed by Craig, Lana, Brad, and Lori. Growing up, we were so fortunate to have her as our stay at home Mom. She was a wonderful cook and loved baking, especially macaroni and cheese and brownies. She was a long time member of Beta Sigma Phi sorority and a charter member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, where she had served on Church Council, taught Sunday School and was in WELCA. In 1974, she took a full time job at the Williams County Register of Deeds office, retiring after 25 years. Before and after her retirement, she and Dad traveled to visit relatives, particularly enjoying winter visits to Dad’s sister Marian and brother Lenard in Lake Havasu City, AZ and summer visits to Dad’s sister Mildred in Beaverton, OR. After suffering a heart attack in 1985, she followed her Physician’s advice to drink 1 glass of wine a day. She was faithful to that advice and attributed her living longer than her siblings to that practice. When Dad’s health failed due to his 30 year battle with Parkinson’s, she spent time with him everyday during his 6 year stay at Bethel Home. The greatest joy of her life was being with and serving her family. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought her immense pride and joy these last few years. And she was so blessed to have her little sister Marilyn with her all along the way. They enjoyed many trips and activities together, to the delight of many who saw them at community events. Mom was also blessed with a second set of siblings when her Dad Orvin remarried and had four more children. She also had the best group of cousins, and enjoyed many trips with her Sundby first cousins to fun places. They were all more like sisters than cousins, and she was so fortunate to have had their love all these years.
Mom woke up on Friday, February 22nd suddenly weak and winded, and was taken by ambulance to Trinity Hospital in Minot where she went critically ill and passed peacefully on Wednesday, February 27th. All of her children and their spouses, sister, Marilyn, nephew Mark Bekkedahl, and most of her grandchildren were able to be there for her comfort during her short stay. She was the world’s greatest Mother, and we were so fortunate to have her. We will miss her smile, laugh, grace, and love, and her memory will be in our hearts forever. Wish we could see you hug your Mom for the first time. Rest well with Dad and Craig.
Joan is survived by children, Bruce (Donna) Bekkedahl of Billings MT, Lana (Tom) Schultz of Gillette WY, Brad (Mark) Bekkedahl and Lori (Mike) Erickson of Williston ND. Also survived by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Ross (Wendy) Bekkedahl and their children, Wade and Ruby, Evan (Salome) Bekkedahl and children, Cohen and Jude, Dane (Amanda) Bekkedahl and children, Aidan, Miles, and Rhett, Nick Erickson, Shawn (Amanda) Erickson and Kennet, Halee (Bryce) Dahl, Christopher (Brittney) Schultz, and Marissa (Landon) Horst. And sister, Marilyn Sandaker, half-sister, Myrna Bladder, half-brother, Lloyd (Linda) Sundby, sister-in-law, Irene Sundby Hillstead, brother-in-law, Lenard Bekkedahl, special niece, Linda Long, and traveling cousins, Joyce Carter, Janice Mayfield, Toni Jorgenson, Alice Kunick and her daughters, Jackie and Tammy.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Oliver; son, Craig; parents, Orvin Sr and Gudrun (Haug) Sundby; second parents, Walt and Chris Booke; sisters, Claire Lois Hermanson, Shirle Strom, Lorraine Spaulding, Darlene Monson, and brothers Elroy and Orvin Jr Sundby.
God has brought home the Angel he sent to us 86 years ago. We love you Mom.
Friends are welcome to visit www.eversoncoughlin.com to share memories of Joan or leave condolences for his family.