Arthur "Art" Ervin Linrud, 91, Minot, and formerly of rural Velva, died peacefully in his home on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, with his loving family by his side.
Art was born in North Prairie Township of McHenry County, near Velva, to Olai and Sena Linrud on Nov. 23, 1920. He was educated in North Prairie rural schools and graduated from Velva High School in 1939. As a young adult he worked in the construction of Shasta Dam in California until his induction into the Army Air Corps at Fort Snelling, Minn., on Oct. 8, 1942.
After base training at St. Petersburg, Fla., he was assigned to Air Force Mechanic School in Keesler Field, Miss., in November 1942. He graduated from advanced training in aircraft maintenance on B-17 Boeing Aircraft at Lockheed-Vega Aircraft Corp., Burbank, Calif., on May 4, 1943. He was sent to air gunnery training at Army Aerial Gunnery School in Las Vegas, Nev. He also had additional training at Johnson Field in Goldsboro, N.C., and from there was sent to Camp Kilmer, N.J., for an overseas assignment on July 28, 1943.
Arthur was assigned to the 305th Bomb Group 364th Squadron, 8th Air Force, Chelveston, North Hampton County, England. He took part in bombing missions during World War II over Europe as a flight engineer top turret gunner on a B-17 bomber until the plane was destroyed by enemy aircraft on Oct. 14, 1943 (Black Thursday-Schweinfurt Mission). After parachuting to the ground, he was taken prisoner, interrogated at Dulag Luft, and transferred to Stalag XVII B, Krems, Austria, where he spent 18 months as a prisoner of war. He was liberated by the U.S. Army on May 3, 1945, at Brunau, Austria, after a 100-mile forced march. He was discharged as a technical sergeant in November 1945.
Art returned to the Velva area and began farming in Brillian Township of McHenry County. He married Adela Gliege on Sept. 25, 1946. Four daughters were born to this union.
In addition to his farming operation, Art was active in civic duties. He served on the Brillian Township Board for many years and was instrumental in establishing the Rural Velva Fire Department, serving on the board for 22 years. He was chairman of the board of both organizations.
While the chapter was active in Velva, he belonged to the Velva Masonic Lodge, and was a member of the Velva Lions Club, American Legion in Velva, and the Minot Elks Lodge. He was active in the Dakota North Chapter of the American Ex-Prisoners of War. As a member of Oak Valley Lutheran Church of Velva, he served on the church council, including two terms as president. He participated in PTA activities, and served on the Velva School Board and the Concordia College (Moorhead, Minn.) Board of Regents.
After 40 years of farming, he retired in 1985. He and Adela moved to Minot in 1996 and became members of St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Fair play was always a big part of his philosophy, and a lifetime goal included providing a loving home and security for his family in an honest manner. He enjoyed spending time with his family, reading, hunting, fishing, travel (China, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Canada, and throughout the U.S.), and playing and watching sports.
His loving family includes: his wife of 65 years, Adela; children, Lynette (Thomas) Kyasky, and their children, Aaron, Zara (Kelsey), Morgan, and Adam Kyasky; Peggy Linrud and children, Theodore Stern and Erica Adele Stern; JoAnn Linrud; and Donna (Michael) Madsen; and great-granddaughter, Adela Morgan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Lawrence and Orlin; sisters, Mildred Sullivan and Ethel Hendrickson; and nephews, Jerry and Richard Sullivan.
Funeral service: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Sept. 4, from 2 to 7 p.m., in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to Dakota Territory Air Museum, Velva Public Library, and St. Paul's Lutheran Church.
Those wishing to sign the online memorial register or share memories are invited to use the expressions of sympathy section at (www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com).