Willard Strege Willard Strege, 81, Wahpeton, ND, died Tuesday, July 1, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center, Breckenridge, MN. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 5, at the United Church of Christ-Congregational, Wahpeton w...
Willard Strege, 81, Wahpeton, ND, died Tuesday, July 1, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center, Breckenridge, MN. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, July 5, at the United Church of Christ-Congregational, Wahpeton with Rev. Enno Limvere officiating. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 4, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. Prayer Service at the Vertin-Munson Funeral Home; also, visitation one hour prior to time of service at the church on Saturday. Interment will be held at the St. John's Evangelical and Reform Cemetery, Lidgerwood.
Willard was born on January 24, 1922, on the family farm homestead south of Lidgerwood, ND, to John W. and Hattie (Wallschlaeger) Strege. He married Helen Frolek on November 12, 1946, in Lidgerwood.
He graduated from Lidgerwood Public high school in 1939. He later attended classes at the North Dakota State School of Science in Wahpeton and numerous banking seminars and schools.
Willard began farming on the family farm near Lidgerwood in 1940. He owned and rented land in the Lidgerwood area, farming up to 1,000 acres of land and at time maintaining a milking and poultry operation. In 1966, he quit farming and became employed by the Production Credit Association of Fargo as an Assistant to the Branch Manager in Wahpeton. In 1968, he took the position of Agricultural Loan Officer with the Wahpeton National Bank. He held that position until his retirement from banking in 1986. He had served on the agriculture committee of the North Dakota Bankers' Association and the Wahpeton Chamber of Commerce.
Willard was very active socially and politically. He was a member of the 1955 and 1959 North Dakota House of Representatives. He was very proud of having been elected once as a Republican and once as a Democrat. He served on the Appropriations Committee and focused his efforts on farm, welfare reform and educational funding. He helped organize the western part of Richland County into a soil conservation district, and also helped organize a local farm cooperative in Lidgerwood. He was an ASCS Committeeman, a Soil Conservation Supervisor, and a very active Farmers Union member. He was the township treasurer, a director with the Co-op Oil Company at Lidgerwood and was a crew leader for the County Farm Census.
He was a member of the United Church of Christ-Congregational in Wahpeton and served as the president of the United Church of Christ in Lidgerwood before moving to Wahpeton. He served as a director and officer on his local Lidgerwood cemetery board.
Since his retirement, he has lived in Wahpeton, with his wife, Helen and across the street from his son, Fred.
Willard will be remembered for his love of motorcycles, farming and politics. He enjoyed instigating political arguments with not just friends and relatives, but strangers as well. He took numerous cross country motorcycle trips with friends and his son, Fred. He was often seen cycling across the countryside with this poodle, Trixie, sitting in a box behind him. He helped found the Roughrider Motorcycle Club in Wahpeton which now includes over 70 bikes and 125 members.
Willard is survived by his wife, Helen, his sister, Edith Strege, his son, Fred (Wanda) Strege, all of Wahpeton. He is also survived by his granddaughters, Sara (Jared) Helgeson, and Laura and Angela Strege, his niece Gail (Willis) Hanna, Harrisburg, SD; and his grandnieces, Barbara, and Karen; and grandnephew David.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Lolita Pace, Eleanor Strege, and Eva Strege; and one brother, Alexander, who died in infancy.