John P. Severson, 91, Mandan, formerly of Minot, passed away Monday, July 9, 2012, at the Mandan Living Center.
John Phalan Severson was born in Sorkness Township, Mountrail County, on Sept. 23, 1920, the son of John and Alethea (Haines) Severson. He was raised in the Tagus area and graduated from Tagus High School in 1938.
Following his high school graduation, he worked at various jobs and attended Minot Teachers College.
In 1941, John was hired as a brakeman on the Great Northern Railway. He enlisted in the Navy on July 14, 1942. He attended the Naval Air Station Free Gunnery School in Corpus Christi, Texas, and served with the Hedron Fleet Air Wing Six, and the Carrier Aircraft Service Units 50, 17, and 33, as an aviation radioman and aerial gunner. He was honorably discharged Feb. 16, 1946, and returned to his job as a brakeman with the Great Northern Railway.
John married Neva Cuddigan on Sept. 3, 1946, in Sidney, Mont. He continued to work for the Great Northern Railway, and in 1951, he was promoted to conductor. He later resigned from Great Northern Railway to accept a temporary assignment as acting postmaster in Minot in 1967. In 1968, he received a presidential commission signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson as permanent postmaster after the reorganization of the post office. He was named sectional center manager over all post offices in the Minot, Devils Lake and Williston areas. He also served on the Chicago regional office postmaster selection board and the indirect administration team.
John also had farming interests in the Tagus-Blaisdell area of Mountrail County. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot, the Masonic Lodge, Minot American Legion Post No. 26, the Disabled American Veterans, World War II Last Man's Club, National Association of Postmasters of the U.S., National Association of Retired Federal Employees, Farmers Union and the North Dakota Stockmen's Association.
John is survived by: his daughters, Susan (Larry) Moore, Kasilof, Alaska, and Shirlee (Don) Grosulak, Mandan; son, Richard (Marian) Severson, Minot; daughter-in-law, Mary Severson, Minot; brother, Floyd (Ann) Severson, Missoula, Mont.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and several nephews, nieces and cousins.
John's wife, Neva, passed away Dec. 1, 2000. He was also preceded in death by his parents; son, Thomas; and son-in-law, Thomas Dougherty.
Funeral: Saturday, July 14, 2012, at 11 a.m., at Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Friday, July 13, from 3 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to Bethany Lutheran Church, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).