Birger Skistad, 88, of rural Tioga, N.D., died peacefully at his home on Friday evening, October 30, 2009, surrounded by loving family. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, November 3, 2009, at Zion Lutheran Church in Tioga. Pastors Rodger Olson and Aaron Olson will officiate. Cremation will follow the service. Friends may sign the online register book and give their condolences at (www.fulkersons.com).
Birger Melvin Skistad was born December 26, 1920, to Olaf (Nagelhus) and Laura (Ellstad) Skistad at Ray, North Dakota. He was baptized in Temple, North Dakota, and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Tioga. He was raised and educated in the Tioga area, graduating from Tioga High School in 1940. Upon graduation he worked on a sheep ranch in Shelby, Montana, with his brother Oscar. In the winter of 1941, Birger went to San Diego, California, where he worked at an aircraft factory commissary. He returned to the Tioga area and worked on several area farms. He attended the School for Radio and Electricity in Chicago, Illinois, and in 1945 Birger began farming on his own in the Tioga area, raising small grains.
On October 17, 1965, Birger married Donna Rahlfs-Jones at Williston, North Dakota. The couple lived in Williston and Wheelock before moving to Tioga in 1970.
He loved all animals, especially his cat Dusty. Birger was proud of his children and loved and adored each of them along with all of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Birger was a member of Zion Lutheran Church and the Sons of Norway. He enjoyed music, traveling, and was happiest fixing things around the farm. He loved spending time with his family.
He is survived by: his wife, Donna, of Tioga, N.D.; sons, Dale (Toni) Jones of Tioga, N.D., Kyle (Sally) Skistad of Apple Valley, Minn., and Kory (Veronica) Skistad of Farmington, Minn.; daughters, Stormie (Butch) Remus of Villard, Minn., Pattie (David) Biwer of Osakis, Minn., and Lori Rowen of Hopkins, Minn.; eleven grandchildren, Chad Jones, Ric Wagner, Kim Severance, Kema Messenger, Kelly Skistad, Misty Skistad, Donavon Skistad, Danika Longshore, Kailey Longshore, Kristian Skistad, and Bergen Skistad; eleven great-grandchildren, Dakota, Cassidy and Sydney Jones, Laurel, Mason and Montana Wagner, Jacob, Jordan and Jesse Severance, Timmy and Nick Messenger; and special friends Linda and Scott Fifer.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Oscar and Kjerulf.
Friends may call at the Fulkerson Funeral Home in Tioga on Monday from noon to 6 p.m. and an hour prior to services at the church on Tuesday.