FLAXTON Donald Benge, 84, of Flaxton, died Sunday, April 20, 2014, at a Minot nursing home.
Donald David Benge was born July 10, 1929, to Henry and Violet (Whitmore) Benge, at a hospital in Portal. He attended eight years of country school in Dale Township. He graduated from Flaxton High School in 1946 at the age of 16. As a young child and adult, Donald worked on the family farm.
Donald married LaVerne Pautz in Bowbells on June 6, 1954. During the winter months, he worked as a mechanic at a shop in Flaxton. During the 1960s, he started building kitchen cabinets for people in the area. In the early 1990s, Donald semi-retired from farming, but continued to help his son farm the land. A few years later, ill health forced him to retire. His son, Dennis and grandson, Dylan, continue farming the land today.
Donald was a very soft-spoken man who enjoyed spending quality time with his family. On several occasions, the children and grandchildren asked his advice on mechanical issues, electrical problems, and building projects. With a warm smile, Donald always offered a helpful reply that would satisfy all.
Donald was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Flaxton, where he was a Sunday school teacher for many years; served as Sunday school superintendent and was the church treasurer for more than 40 years. He also served on the Flaxton Fire District, Flaxton Cemetery Board, Flaxton Credit Union Board, Burke County Farmers Union, Flaxton School Board member and president, Dale Township supervisor, and Flaxton Community Development Board.
He is survived by: his wife of 59 years, LaVerne, of Flaxton; son, Dennis, (Jodi) of Bowbells; daughters, LaDonna, (Kim) Erdmann, of Goodrich, Laurel, (Terry) Wolkenhauer, of Flaxton. Grandchildren include Jeremy, (Casey) Ragle; Sara Esterby; Robin (Audrey) Erdmann; Teri, (Justin) Nelson; Dena, (Jerrod) Bergstrom; Daniel, (Kelli) Erdmann; Karissa Erdmann, (fiance, Carter Gahner); and Dylan Benge. Twelve great-grandchildren survive.
Also a sister-in-law, Della Soiseth and husband Roger of Williston.
Several nieces and nephews survive.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Henry and Walter Ortlip; and one sister, Viola Ortlip Monson; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, William and Gladys Pautz.
Funeral: Thursday, April 24, 2014, 2 p.m., at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Flaxton.
Interment: Flaxton Community Cemetery, Flaxton.
Visitation: Thursday, one hour prior to the service, at the church.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).
(Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Kenmare)