Leonard Oliver Pietsch

June 2, 1921-Jan. 20, 2017

Leonard Oliver Pietsch,

95, longtime South Prairie

area resident died on Fri-

day, January 20, 2017 in a

Minot nursing home.

Leonard was born June

2, 1921 to Gustav and

Thea (Carlson) Pietsch on

the family farm south of

Minot in Freedom Town-

ship of Ward County. He

was raised on the family

farm and educated at a

rural school. As a young

adult, he assisted his fam-

ily on the farm.

Leonard married Thel-

ma Bjelland on October

15, 1941 at the courthouse

in Watford City. Their

wedding shower was held

on December 7, 1941, “A

Date Which Will Live in

Infamy.” Leonard and

Thelma made their home

on their ranch for three

years before Leonard was

drafted into the US Army

at Fort Snelling, MN. He

was discharged shortly

after due to a pre-existing

health issue, the loss of

his thumb. After returning

to Minot, he was em-

ployed by the Minot Fire

Department as a fire-

fighter. He then went on

to own and operate

Pietsch Construction,

Northern Marble and

Pietsch Sign Company. In

1972, Leonard and Thel-

ma moved to Salida, CO

where they owned and

operated the Highlander

Motel and Lamplighter

Restaurant and Lounge. In

the mid-1980’s, Leonard

made a trip to Libya, in

northern Africa to help in

the construction of a cul-

tural runway. He owned

and leased out several

buildings in the Minot

area. He and Thelma

spent many winters in

Mesa, AZ before she

passed away on January

23, 2005.

Leonard was a longtime

member of Saron Luth-

eran Church and also a

member of the Elk’s

Lodge, the Eagle’s Aerie

and the Moose Lodge. For

many years, he was one of

the volunteer caretakers

of Saron Cemetery. He

especially enjoyed travel-

ing, hunting, fishing, car-

pentry, and light con-

struction. He thoroughly

enjoyed shooting trap and

won many awards over

the years. Playing cards

was a favorite. There was

always time for a game of


Family: Leonard’s lov-

ing family includes his

children: Christine (Jim)

Graves of Seattle, WA and

Dale (Brenda) Pietsch of

Minot; daughter-in-law:

Nancy Pietsch of Minot;

four Grandchildren: John

(Karen) Pietsch of Lake-

wood, CO, Amynda

“Amy” (Jason) Behm of

Minot, Carrie (Marty)

Powell of Gardiner, MT,

and Richard (Beth)

Pietsch of Minot;


Ethan and Alaina Powell,

Karl and Jameson Behm,

and Evelyn and Eli

Pietsch; Brother Gerhardt

Pietsch of Melbourne, FL

and several nieces,

nephews and cousins.

Leonard was preceded

in death by his parents,

Gustav and Thea Pietsch;

wife, Thelma; son Vernon

Pietsch; sister, Clara and

brothers Carl, Clifford, Er-

nest, Herman, Elvin, and


Celebration of the life

of Leonard Pietsch:

Wednesday, January 25th,

2017 at 11:00 am at Saron

Lutheran Church, rural


Interment: Saron Luth-

eran Church Cemetery,

rural Minot. A graveside

service will take place at a

later date.

Visitation: Tuesday,

January 24th from 3 pm-6

pm at Thomas Family

Funeral Home, Minot.

Memorials are preferred

to the Saron Lutheran

Church Cemetery Fund.

Those wishing to sign

the online memorial regis-

ter or share memories and

condolences are invited to

use the expressions of

sympathy section at