Siegfried Johannes Schaper
Siegfried (Sig) Johannes Schaper, age 92, of Halliday ND passed away October 14, 2021 at Hilltop Home of Comfort in Killdeer. Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 18, 2021 at the High Plains Cultural Center in Killdeer, at 10:00 AM MDT with Pastor Gideon Johnson officiating. Burial will follow at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Halliday at 1:00 PM. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 PM, CDT, Sunday, at Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah with a prayer service beginning at 4:00 PM.
Siegfried Johannes Schaper was born on the family farm in rural Dunn County north of Halliday ND on June 10, 1929. It was here Sig spent most of his life farming the land and ranching. Sig was the middle child of 13 children born to Henry and Katherina Schaper.
Sig’s life as a farmer/rancher was exceptional due to all of the changes he saw over his lifetime. In his younger years he remembered horse drawn equipment for haying and thrashing machines for harvesting. He grew up with no indoor plumbing, TV, electricity or modern-day conveniences. He lived through the effects of the dirty thirties and WWII. Sig enjoyed riding horse and covered many miles on horseback during his lifetime as this was his main mode of transportation as a young person. He grew up in a household where German was often the spoken language during his early years. Sig enjoyed the ranching part of his life and stated spring when all the new animals arrived was a favorite time of year. His least favorite chore was milking cows. He had the unique ability to water witch.
Sig’s formal education included attending grades one through eight at Goodman #1, a rural school approximately one mile from the family farm. He did not attend high school as help was needed on the farm.
While swimming at the Halliday Dam one day, Sig asked seventeen-year-old Luella Wolf to the movies. They later married on October 23, 1953. After marriage they lived for a short time with Sig’s folks, and then rented the former John and Helen Grinnell ranch just north of the family farmstead. After Henry’s retirement, they made the Schaper family farm their permanent home when they purchased it in 1956. It was here they raised their family of seven children providing each with plenty of chores, character-building life experiences, and daily examples of how to live life. Sig and Luella were blessed to share 63 years of marriage before Luella passed away in 2016.
Sig semi-retired in 1992 when Sig and Luella moved into Halliday. He continued to help out on the ranch during the busy seasons. For several years, Sig worked part time at Halliday Custom Meats as a meat cutter and filled in occasionally at the Halliday Cenex Service Station when needed. He fully retired in 2014 at the age of 84. He passed along his knowledge of meat cutting to his sons.
Sig was musically inclined. While growing up he played banjo and sang with his brother and sisters in a family band. They carried this talent into their adult years when they formed the Schaper Family Singers recording two albums. Sig sang soprano and also had a wonderful bass voice. He had the ability to play the harmonica and ukulele. Sig was also part of several men’s quartets during his lifetime.
Sig continued sharing his singing talent when he and Luella became involved with square dance. This led to Sig becoming a square dance caller. Sig’s square dance calling enabled them to meet many new friends and took them to communities in North Dakota, Montana, South Dakota and even a few trips to Minnesota, Wyoming, and Canada. Sig and Luella were on the organizing committee that founded the Sagebrush Jamboree in Medora in 1964. Sig served as vice president and then president of the ND State Callers Association. He also taught round dance and social dance.
Other community involvements included serving on the Halliday School Board of Education for 12 years, the Halliday Grain Elevator Board, and on the church council at St John’s Lutheran Church and later Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. On July 28, 1929, Sig was the first baby baptized at St. John’s, and in 1959 his first-born son, Timothy, was the last baby baptized at St. John’s. Sig later became a member of the Prince of Peace Church in Beulah ND. He also enjoyed church services at Marshall Lutheran Church and most recently joined the newly formed Hope Free Lutheran Church in Killdeer. Sig served on the election board and helped with the school FFA program, receiving an Honorary Chapter Farmer award for his support. Sig and Luella were also members of the Halliday Saddle Club. Sig enjoyed roping and for several years co-owned roping steers which they hauled to various roping events.
Sig enjoyed reading and often stated he learned most of what he knew through reading. He especially liked Louis L’Amour western books and playing cards, particularly pinochle. He hunted in his younger years remembering when gopher tails were worth two cents and a pair of magpie wings twelve cents during the depression years. He also enjoyed being on a bowling and pool team for several years.
During his retirement years Sig liked watching the news, particularly political views. Sig remained a farmer and rancher at heart. He continued to be interested in what was happening in agriculture – the cattle and the farm reports. You could often find him out driving and checking the fields or the cattle.
He enjoyed gardening, canning, reading scripture in the Bible, and visiting with friends and family.
Sig and Luella were blessed with 22 grandchildren (soon to be 23) and 15 great grandchildren (soon to be 18). He attended many of the grandchildren’s basketball games, rodeos, PBR events, school and church programs. Sig leaves his family with a legacy of love, character, and work ethic.
Grateful for having shared his life are his seven children and families: daughter Deborah (Jim) Allmendinger of Hazen, with grandkids Chad, Will (Kayla), and Elizabeth; daughter Barbara (Marc) Fridley of Taylor, with grandkids Marcia and Marcus; son Tim (Julie) of Grassy Butte, with grandkids Nathan (Kelsea), Hailey (Rusty) Christophersen, Leighton (Sydni), and Codi; son Jim (Lynn) of Halliday, with grandkids Zanna (Karter) Kleeman , Ashley, Skye (Tate) Harris, and Logan (Afton); son Mark (Melanie) of Halliday, with grandkids Shannea (fiancé Zachary Reeder), Emelie, Sarah, Matthew, Samantha, Isabella, and soon to be baby boy; son Paul (Tami) Schaper of Taylor, with grandkids Kaci (Jordan) Hjelle and Dylan (Stevie), son John Schaper (Teri) of Halliday with granddaughter Brittany Storm (fiancé Hunter Voss) Sig’s great grandchildren; Sisters Mae Teske, Vera (Bob) Barfield, Clara Goetz, Sister-in-laws Orlene Schaper and Darlene Schaper; Brother Willie Schaper and numerous nieces and nephews.
Sig was preceded in death by his wife Luella, parents, Henry and Katherina (Stohler) Schaper; Sisters Irene (Art) Mittelstadt, Lillian (Martin) Bergstedt, Dell (Bob) Thompson, Gertie (Dave) Retzer; Brothers Henry Schaper, Edwin (Regina) Schaper, Dave Schaper, Marvin Schaper; Brothers-in-law Elmer Goetz and Bernie Teske; Sister-in-law Della Schaper; Mother and Father-in-law Leo and Pauline (Oster) Wolf, Sister-in-law Leona (Edwin Weidner, LeRoy Jacobson); and several nieces and nephews. Until we meet again, happy trails beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.
Arrangements conducted by Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Siegfried (Sig) J. Schaper, please visit our floral store.