Lavern Linnell

A Funeral Mass for Lavern “Ole” Linnell, 78, of Killdeer, was held at 10:30 a.m. on May 18, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer with Father Casimir Paluck celebrating.

Lavern Linnell
Lavern Linnell

Posted May 24, 2013

A Funeral Mass for Lavern “Ole” Linnell, 78, of Killdeer, was held at 10:30 a.m. on May 18, 2013 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer with Father Casimir Paluck celebrating. Burial followed in the Killdeer Cemetery.

Visitation for Ole was at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 17, 2013 at Stevenson Funeral Home in Killdeer with a Rosary service held at 7 p.m.

Ole passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at his home in Killdeer.

Lavern Linnell was born Jan. 23, 1935 in Grand Forks, ND, the son of Tom and Eva (Johnson) Linnell. The family lived on a farm near Grand Forks, later moving to Petersburg, N.D., where Ole was raised and graduated from high school in 1953. During his early years he was active in 4-H. His most challenging project was raising 2000 turkeys. Ole attended NDSU, where he was active in the Little International Show. He won a grand championship award in dairy and agronomy. Ole graduated from NDSU in 1957.

Ole married Marian Mayer in Michigan, N.D. in 1957. The couple moved to Langdon where he was assistant county agent. Ole worked for Sundeen Elevator for a couple of months in Lakota. They moved to Killdeer in July 1959. He was assistant county agent for Dunn County and county agent for the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. After Dunn county agent Bill Cockburn retired, Ole took over in 1963. Early in his career, he had 4-H members exhibit beef cattle at the State Fair in Minot for many years. He also had members participate in land judging and took them to the National Land Judging contest in Oklahoma eighteen times. A highlight of his career came in 1982, when he was inducted into the National Land Judging Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, Okla. Ole had served on the 4-H Youth Professional Improvement and Extension Committee. He had been the county representative on the ND State Fair Committee and the 4-H Livestock superintendent at the Fair. He was the director of the ND Cattle Improvement Association. Ole also was on the soil conservation board and the ND Heritage Board and he was a member of the Lions Club in Killdeer for many years. Ole helped with the Killdeer Roundup Rodeo that was held every year on July 4th. Ole enjoyed living in Dunn County because he didn’t have to travel far and he could take his sons hunting and fishing. He would take his family and later his grandchildren on camping trips and boat rides on Lake Sakakawea. After Ole retired in 1993, he was hired as an agronomy agent for Farmers Union Oil Company and later for Southwest Grain in 2007. Ole and Marian celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2007. They had five children, three girls and two boys.

Lavern is survived by his wife Marian; three daughters, Karen Linnell of Deering, N.D., Marlene (fiancé Roger Mjolhus) Thompson of Dickinson, Sharon (Geoff) Ellazar of Edwards AFB, Calif.; six grandchildren, Kris Linnell, Kimberly Thompson, Shawn Thompson, Clarrissa, Ryan and Annamarie Ellazar; one great-grandchild, Alexander James; sister, Jean (Jack) Johnston of Grand Forks, N.D.; brothers, Paul (Norma) of Omaha, Neb., JayLee (Jill) of Cohasset, Minn., Curt of Petersburg, N.D.; sister-in-law, Marilyn Linnell; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his two sons, Jerry and Jim; his parents, Tom and Eva; two brothers, Dale and Larry; one sister-in-law, Shirley Linnell and one son-in-law, Keith Thompson.

Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at

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