Esther Rufsvold

Esther (Schock) Rufsvold, 89, of Grand Forks, North Dakota (formally of Lisbon, ND) died Tuesday, March 24, 2020. She was born on January 1, 1931 in Burnstad, ND, the daughter of Willie and Caroline (Raille) Schock. She grew up in the Verona, ND area. On January 1, 1952 she married Orville Rufsvold. The couple lived on the Rufsvold farm for 37 years in Fort Ransom, ND. You could find Esther alongside Orville stacking hay, hauling grain, milking cows, raising cattle and farrowing pigs.

Esther will be long remembered for what she called “painting, staining, varnishing, wallpapering, woodworking, and the cabinetry business”. She loved working alongside local contractors, builders, electricians and plumbers. She was well-known for her skill set in many areas and would continue to problem solve and practice until she got it “just right”. She was innovative and could do almost anything from designing and sewing clothes to getting the perfect stain color to match the woodwork in your home. She was a self-starter and if she saw something that needed to be done, she would just do it. She was a hard-working, strong, determined and independent German woman to the end.

Esther is survived by three daughters: Ginny (Mike) Blake, Debbie (Kevin) Dawley of Munich, and Sharon Ives of Scottsdale, Arizona; a brother-in-law: Irving (Judy) Rufsvold, of Anoka, Minnesota; two sisters: Ruth Gyldenvand of Fargo, ND and Gladys Shockman of Oakes, ND; grandchildren: Kyle (Teresa) Dawley, Courtney Dawley Gaines, Brittney Blake (Tony Meyer), Gretchen Dawley (Yves Muya), and Drew Blake; and five great-grandchildren.

Esther was preceded in death by her husband, Orville (1989), her parents, two brothers (Fred and Marvin Schock) and two sisters (Irene Hempler and Florence Gemar).

A memorial service will be held later in Fort Ransom, North Dakota. You may sign the on-line guestbook at Please check this website for future memorial updates.

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