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John R. Beckstrand

John R. Beckstrand

John R. Beckstrand, a life-long resident, farmer and rancher of Warwick, ND and beloved Dad, Grandpa, Brother and Uncle passed away on Monday evening, August 11, 2014 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake with family at his side. He was 94.

Funeral Services for John will be held at the River of Life Church, Devils Lake, ND on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Paul Young officiating. Burial will be in the Warwick Cemetery.

Friends may call at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Friday from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. and on Saturday at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.

John Raymond, son of Gust and Selma (Magnuson) Beckstrand was born on May 22, 1920 on the family farm at rural Warwick. He would grow up, be educated, live and work his entire life in the Warwick area. He attended the Free Peoples Township School and graduated from Warwick High School. He also served his country in the United States Naval Reserve.

John worked for Herman Anderson and later at the ASCS office as a field man. John was persuaded to attend a basket social and here he met and later married his beloved Inez Milde on December 26, 1942 in Grand Forks, ND. They established their home at Wood Lake, later moved into Warwick for a few years, then purchased the farm north of Warwick where they made their home the rest of their lives. One day before their 68th wedding anniversary, Inez passed away that Christmas Day, December 25, 2010.

Along with farming and raising purebred Hereford cattle, John and Inez were involved in many entrepreneurial adventures and just to name a few, Sioux Builders in the early 1950s, Two Spot Caf "Greasy Spoon", in partnership with others in a Texaco Station, instrumental in opening Lake Region Livestock and later the establishment of a Veterinary Clinic in Devils Lake. This is just the tip of the Johns adventuresome spirit and progressive, forward thinking attitude. He was a true steward of the land, he worked hard to solve the numerous water issues of the Lake Region and was concerned about the environment and conservation of our natural resources and animals.

John faithfully served on the Soil Conservation Board from 1952 to 1986 and began his service to the Devils Lake Basin Water Board in May of 1995 and continued in that capacity until his death. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Young American Farmer of the Year Award in 1956. He successfully completed the North American Grand Slam and the Big 10 in his lifetime.

Those left behind who are so thankful to have shared in Johns life include his son William Jack Beckstrand, Santa Rosa, CA; daughter Julie Beckstrand, Warwick and daughter-in-law Cynthia Beckstrand; six grandchildren; grandchildren Jeremiah C. "Geronimo" White, Elisha (Chance) Miller; Justin Beckstrand, Jon (Natalie) Beckstrand, Sandra (Charles) Schantz and JoAnna Beckstrand; eleven great grandchildren; siblings Melvin Beckstrand, Devils Lake and Gladys (Robert) Jacobson, Warwick; many nieces and nephews and their families.

John was preceded in death by his parents; wife Inez; son James R. Beckstrand; brothers Bernard and Floyd Beckstrand and sister Thelma Loven.

Friends may sign the online register book at