Funeral services for Elsworth Hovden, 99, of Killdeer, will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Killdeer, with Pastor Ellery Dykeman officiating.
Burial took place in the Killdeer Cemetery.
Visitation for Elsworth will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Killdeer.
Elsworth passed away Tuesday, May 24, 2016 at Hill Top Home of Comfort.
Elsworth Hovden was born March 3, 1917 on the family farm to Martin K. and Emma (Holstad) Hovden. He attended rural school in the Badlands School District and graduated from the Killdeer High School in 1935. After his graduation there was no money to further his education so he stayed at the ranch. He raised turkeys, worked some for neighbors earning money to buy a few cows. From 1937 to 1938 he topped sugar beets at Sidney, MT and saved enough money to buy a heifer calf each year. It was his dream to get a good herd of Hereford cattle, which he did.
He bought his first quarter section of land in 1941. His dad passed away in 1942 and he and his oldest brother, Sumner, along with his mother, operated the ranch; all three accumulating more land. In 1951 his mother passed away and he and Sumner operated the ranch. Sumner passed away in 1958 and after his death; his brothers, Edgar, Marion and Morris bought his sisters’ (Myrtle and Clara) interest and split the ranch up. Elsworth got the Homestead quarter and all the buildings, plus other land.
On June 20, 1964 he married Philomina Fettig at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer. He then built a new house and they lived on the ranch.
During the oil boom of 1980 hired help was hard to find and having back trouble, he sold his cows and leased his land to neighbors, except the home quarter. In 1990, he leased the ranch to his nephew, Morris K. Hovden, Jr. and in 1992 bought a house in Killdeer.
Elsworth did some traveling; visiting Hawaii, Canada, Alaska, the Colorado Rockies, where he went to the rodeo and the chuck wagon races, which he always wanted to see. He also traveled to the New England states to see all the beautiful colors. He spent 14 winters in Mesa, AZ and attended the NFR in Las Vegas many times, but due to the amount of traffic and his age, he stayed in Killdeer the last few winters.
In December 2011, Elsworth and Philomina moved to the Evergreen Inn in Dickinson, and very much enjoyed meeting the staff and residents. Playing Cribbage and Bingo was almost a daily activity.
He liked to play cards, especially pinochle. He was an avid Chicago Cubs baseball fan but he didn’t have much to brag about because they lost more than they won. He attended all the Killdeer High School home basketball and football games and followed them out of town some too, as well as going to tournament games. He was proud of his nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He played with them, teased them and enjoyed watching them grow up.
When the Killdeer School District consolidated with 10 rural districts he was elected to the school board and served for 10 years. He was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church and served as a councilman in the early forties. He was also a member of the Dunn County Farm Bureau and the Killdeer Lions Club, where members voted him the Outstanding Lion in 2008.
Elsworth is survived by his stepchildren, Angie Stalma, Las Vegas, NV, Gerald (MaryAnn) Fettig, Dickinson, Janet (Ralph) Gornick, Cottage Grove, MN, and Lenore Hale, Tucson AZ; numerous nieces and nephews; and grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Philomina; brothers, Sumner, Edgar, Marion, Morris; sisters, Myrtle Newcomb and Clara Monroe; stepchildren, Arlene Brosky, Evie Fettig, Don Fettig and Kathy Fettig.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.stevensonfuneralhome.com.
Stevenson Funeral Home– Killdeer, ND