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Published December 09, 2012, 12:00 AM

Hilde Sandstrom

Longtime Fargo election inspector Hilde Sandstrom, 91, died December 7, 2012, at Bethany Nursing Home in Fargo.

Hilda (Hilde) Geneva Williams was born July 5, 1921, on the family farm near Fisher, Minn., to Peter Williams and Sella G. (Dahl) Williams. Through 8th grade she attended a one-room country school. She attended Fisher High School—traveling to school in the winter months by a school bus sleigh pulled by horses—graduating in 1939.

Hilde Sandstrom

Longtime Fargo election inspector Hilde Sandstrom, 91, died December 7, 2012, at Bethany Nursing Home in Fargo.

Hilda (Hilde) Geneva Williams was born July 5, 1921, on the family farm near Fisher, Minn., to Peter Williams and Sella G. (Dahl) Williams. Through 8th grade she attended a one-room country school. She attended Fisher High School—traveling to school in the winter months by a school bus sleigh pulled by horses—graduating in 1939.

She graduated from Union Commercial College in Grand Forks and went to work in the office of Farmers Cooperative Marketing Association in East Grand Forks. In 1947, she was the federal government’s key witness in its successful prosecution in the case of United States v. Francis Boushea.

On March 14, 1948, she married E. Vernon Sandstrom at United Lutheran Church in Grand Forks. Hilde, Vern, and their three sons moved to Fargo in 1955 when Butler Construction Company became Butler Machinery Company, the Caterpillar dealer in eastern North Dakota.

She served as president of the Fargo DeMolay Mothers’ Club in 1969. In 1971, she was named “North Dakota DeMolay Mother of the Year.” She served as treasurer of the Bethany Nursing Home Auxiliary for two terms, and was a member of the Fargo Fine Arts Club. She was a member of Olivet Lutheran Church for 57 years.

Hilde was a Republican precinct committeewoman, a frequent delegate to Republican State Conventions, and an active volunteer in her son Dale’s campaigns.

She first served as an election inspector at the November 6, 1962, general election. She served in that position in every election at every level for the next 40 years, with the sole exception of those elections in which her son Dale was on the statewide ballot. As the election inspector at Fargo’s Precinct 1 at Lincoln School, she was regularly featured on election day television live remote broadcasts as well as in newspaper reports. Her license plate, VOTE, promoted the duties and responsibilities of good citizenship. And she made sure she voted as recently as November’s election.

Hilde was devoted to her husband and children, and took great pride in her grandchildren.

Hilde’s husband of 49 years, Vern, died in 1997. Also preceding her in death were her parents, her sisters Mary and Inez Huber, and her brothers Selmer, Palmer, and Milton (Mikey). She is survived by her children Scott (Debra) of Fargo, Dale (Gail Hagerty) of Bismarck, and Craig (Julie) of Fargo; grandchildren John (Hanna), Joel, Jack Golden, Carrie, and Anne; step-grandchildren Justin and Lindsay Swanson; her sister Clarice Jones of Lodi, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at Olivet Lutheran Church, Fargo, N.D.

Visitation: Monday, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home and one hour prior to services at the church.

Memorials are preferred to the Olivet Lutheran Church Radio Fund or a charity of the donor’s choice.

Please feel free to sign the online guestbook at www.hansonrunsvold.com

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