Gerald M. Folstrom

Gerald Manley Folstrom, 80, of Moorhead, MN, passed away after a three-year battle with cancer on Saturday, September 19, 2020, at home surrounded by his loving family.

Gerald was born July 8, 1940, to Manley and Gladys (Larson) Folstrom in Cass Lake, MN. He grew up in Mahnomen and later moved to Moorhead where he graduated from Moorhead High School in 1958. After high school, Gerald attended Moorhead State University graduating in 1962 with a business degree. College was followed by a life-long career in education, beginning with him teaching business and office education in Wheaton, MN until 1976. Gerald then moved into a director role at the Clay County Vocational Center in Moorhead, MN. In 1984, he was appointed to the position of President of the East Grand Forks Technical Center which eventually joined with five other schools to form the Northwest Technical College system. In 1995 with the merger of the technical colleges and the Minnesota State College and Universities system, he was then promoted to Vice President of Operations.

Gerald retired in 1996 to enjoy fishing, hunting, and to spend more time with his friends and family; the people he loved most. You could always count on Gerald to show up with a big smile and a helping hand. Never one to splurge on himself, he was always making certain others were taken care of. Gerald measured his value in life not by what he could acquire for himself, but by what he could do for others. He will be greatly missed for his generous and giving heart.

As a member of the White Earth Tribe, Gerald was very proud of his family and Ojibwe heritage. His connection with Ojibwe culture goes back to the early 1800s when his ancestor, the first Swedish settler in Minnesota, Jacob Fahlstrom was lost in the wilderness and adopted into the Ojibwe tribe as a young boy, later marrying an Ojibwe woman near the shores of Lake Superior. Almost daily, Gerald could be seen around Moorhead wearing his native pride hat.

Gerald is survived by his loving wife, Jean Folstrom; children, Geri Lynn (Brian) Nelson and Brenda (Jason) Bergeron; grandchildren, Dustin (Marja) Nelson, Braden (Kaylie) Nelson, Logan Bergeron, Alexandra Bergeron, Jordan Olson, Jacie Folstrom, and Callie Folstrom; great-grandchildren, Cayden Nelson, Ridley Nelson, Kinley Nelson, and Rayne Folstrom; sister, Marlene Thatcher; and many other loving relatives and friends.

Gerald was preceded in death by his parents, Manley and Gladys, and his son Richard.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 17 at 11:00 a.m. with a visitation one hour before the service at Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN. Online guestbook and video tribute at

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