Jerome Blessum

Oct. 30, 1943-June 7, 2021

Jerome Alan Blessum,

77, died June 7, 2021, in

Mandan, North Dakota,

from complications of

multiple myeloma. Fun-

eral services will be held

on Saturday, June 12,

2021 at 11:00 AM at St.

Therese the Little Flower

Catholic Church in Rug-


Jerry was born Oct. 30,

1943, to Lester and Bar-

bara (Miller) Blessum in

Rugby, North Dakota. He

graduated from Rugby

High School in 1961. He

attended school in Min-

neapolis to become a John

Deere certified mechanic

and worked at the imple-

ment dealership in Rugby.

He also worked as an ap-

prentice electrician for Al


He married Kathleen

Fritel on April 23, 1966, at

Little Flower Catholic

Church. In 1971, they be-

came the fourth genera-

tion to farm on the Bles-

sum family farm north of

Rugby. They raised small

grains and had cattle and

horses. Jerry was a talent-

ed mechanic who could

fix anything and often

repaired his neighbors’

machinery, trading labor

for hay hauling and other

tasks. He loved raising

cattle and enjoyed watch-

ing the calves run around

the yard in the spring-


Jerry loved riding horse,

hunting and shooting

pool. He looked forward

to finding the first cro-

cuses blooming in the

pasture and often came

home with orange pollen

on his nose from smelling

the wild tiger lilies he had

picked. He was known to

stand on a wooden ladder

atop a plywood saucer to

water ski across Lake

Metigoshe. He had an in-

satiable sweet tooth and

later in life learned how to

bake cakes and make his

favorite treat: lefse.

He served on the Cenex

board of directors for 17

years and the Torgerson

Township board for 49

years. He also served as a

4-H leader for a time.

Jerry was diagnosed

with multiple myeloma in

the fall of 2009 and un-

derwent a stem cell tran-

splant in February 2010,

after which the Blessums

retired from farming and

ranching. They enjoyed

several winters in South

Texas, a few doors down

from two of Kathy’s broth-

ers and their wives who

also spent winters there.

Jerry is survived by: his

wife of 55 years, Kathy, of

Rugby; son Jay (Suzanne)

Blessum of Minot;

daughters Julie (Dustin)

Voeller of Minot; Andrea

Blessum of Bismarck; and

Pamela Blessum of Maui;

grandchildren Samantha,

Tabitha, Forest, Connor,

Dane, Brody and Reed;

and his twin sister, Joan

Orvik of Bismarck.

He was preceded in

death by: his parents and

his brother, Harlan.

Special thanks to every-

one at Maple View in

Bismarck for the excep-

tional care they provided.

Memorial contributions

may be made to the Gift of

Life Transplant House,

705 2nd St. SW, Roches-

ter, MN 55902.

Friends may call at the

Niewoehner Funeral

Home in Rugby on Friday

from 5-7 and on Saturday

from 8-10 AM. There will

be a prayer service on Fri-

day at 7 PM. There will

be no reviewal at the