Gwendolyn Skarstad

April 7, 1924-Sept. 6, 2019

Gwendolyn ‘Gwen’ El-

izabeth Skarstad, 95,

Minot, died on Friday,

September 6, 2019 in a

Minot nursing home from

complications related to

dementia. She was sur-

rounded by her loving

family when she entered

eternal life.

Gwen was born April 7,

1924 in Egg Creek Town-

ship of McHenry County,

North Dakota, the eldest

child of Stener and Anna

(Johnson) Hillerud. She

was raised and educated

near Granville and attend-ed the Kottke Valley

School. She graduated

from Granville High

School in 1943.

Being the eldest of 5 si-

blings, Gwen learned at a

young age how to care for

others and work hard.

Days were spent on the

family farm cooking,

cleaning, attending to her

siblings, and helping her

Dad with the many chores

that come with farming.

Gwen was united in

marriage to Donald Skar-

stad on September 22,

1943 in Towner, North

Dakota. From this loving

union, two beautiful

daughters were born, Mar-

lene Ann and Lynnette

Kay. The family made

their home near Deering

before moving to Gran-

ville in 1947. Together,

they farmed in Kottke Val-

ley Township from

1949-1961. In 1961, they

returned to Granville and

purchased the Standard

Oil Station and bulk

plant, where Gwen assist-ed with the bookkeeping.

They moved to Minot in

1968. After Donny’s

health declined, Gwen’s

nurturing instincts and

unconditional love for her

husband was unwavering

as she became both head

of household and caretak-er. It was at this time that

Gwen gained full-time

employment at St.

Joseph’s Hospital and

remained there until her

retirement in 1987.

Donald died on December

29, 1994. Her life contin-

ued in Minot and eventu-

ally she was a resident of

Edgewood Vista, Souris

Valley Care Center in Vel-

va and finally at Trinity

Homes in Minot.

Gwen will always be

remembered for immense

artistic talent. She would

excel at anything crafty or

creative. She loved paint-

ing ceramics, sewing, cro-

cheting, decorating, and

anything colored

lavender! Gwen was an

amazing cook and baker.

The family could always

rely on her home-made

goodies, from lefse to her

famous potet klub. She

enjoyed keeping Norwegi-an traditions alive and in-

troducing her grandkids

to their heritage. Many

family meals were

prepared and served

around her loving table.

She enjoyed music and

spent many hours playing

her prized organ and

listening to the tunes of

an accordion. She spoke

fondly of her younger

years dancing with Donny

and would share

numerous stories to her

grandchildren of the good

old days. She was a form-

er member of First Luth-

eran in Granville, where

she was active with the

Women’s Circle groups,

Order of the Eastern Star,

Rising Homemakers Club

and Granville Senior Ci-

tizens group. She was a

current member of

Bethany Lutheran

Church, Minot.

Her nurturing,

out-going and indepen-

dent personality will be

missed by all who had the

pleasure of knowing her.

Gwen is survived by:

her loving family:

daughters, Marlene (Leo-

nard) Larsen, Granville,

ND and Lynnette (Car-

men) Olson, Minot, ND;

grandchildren, Kim (Jeff)

Nehring, Kris (Bryan) Van

Grinsven, Curt (Genelle)

Olson, Candy (Paul)

Brekke and Kyle (Kendra)

Larsen; 11

great-grandchildren; si-

blings: Stan Hillerud, Vel-

va, Doris Hiller of DeSoto,

TX and Shirley (Harold)

Harmon, Minot, ND;

sister-in-law: Ardelle Hil-

lerud, Towner, ND;

several nieces, nephews

and cousins.

Gwen was preceded in

death by: her parents,

husband of 51 years,

Donald; brother, Stener

Hillerud, Jr.;

brother-in-law, Homer

Hiller and sister-in-law,

Katheryn Hillerud. Also,

all of Donald’s siblings

and spouses.

Funeral service: Satur-

day, September 14, 2019

at 2:00 p.m. in Bethany

Lutheran Church, Minot.

Interment: Norwich

Lutheran Cemetery, Rural


Visitation: Friday, Sep-

tember 13, 2019 from 3:00

p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Tho-

mas Family Funeral

Home, Minot.

Memorials are preferred

Bethany Lutheran

Church, Minot, First Luth-

eran Church, Granville or

Norwich Lutheran


Memories and con-

dolences can be shared at