Melvin Jerstad, 88, of Fargo, N.D., died Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, in Fargo.
Mel was born and grew up in Finley, N.D., where he graduated from high school in 1941. His family consisted of brothers, Odean, Lincoln, and Floyd, and sister, Evelyn.
He attended NDSU for one term and then returned to take over the family farm. In December 1944 he married Jeanne Jacobson of Finley and in January 1945 he entered the U.S. Maritime Service until March 1946.
Upon returning home he began work for Great Plains Lumber Company which continued until 1982 when he took early retirement after being a superintendent for 27 years. His love of building continued and he began private contracting with building homes, appraising and remodeling. He was very proud to have supervised the building of Peace Lutheran Church and two Habitat for Humanity Homes while living in Devils Lake. He also enlisted the help of his children and grandchildren to build their home on Pelican Lake so they would all feel it was theirs, too. Mel was active in church activities and also SCORE, serving as state president and working with local chapters.
Mel was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather of eight, and great-grandfather of 14.
He was preceded in death by his wife of almost 57 years, Jeanne; and his brothers, Odean, Lincoln, and Floyd.
He is survived by: his children, Jacqueline Rutten (Richard), of Minot, and his son, Monte Jerstad (Maryanne), of Reiles Acres; grandchildren, Elizabeth Heese, Richard Rutten II, Jacques Rutten, William Rutten, Alexia Sidener, Nathan Jerstad, Peder Jerstad and Lance Jerstad; and his great-grandchildren whom he dearly loved. He is also survived by his sister, Evelyn Brovold, of New England, N.D.
Visitation: Today, Aug. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m., at Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Fargo, followed by a prayer service tonight at 6 p.m.
Funeral: Friday, Aug. 10, at 1 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in West Fargo.
Final resting place will be at Riverside Cemetery, Fargo, beside his wife.
Please feel free to sign the online guestbook at (www.hansonrunsvold.com).