American Veteran 04

Fred Navratil

June 1, 1919 ~ February 6, 2023 (age 103) 103 Years Old

Fred Navratil Obituary

Fred Navratil, 103 years old, of Stanton, ND passed away Monday, February 6, 2023 at Elm Crest Manor, New Salem, ND. Services will be held at 10:00 AM CST on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Stanton with Pastor Dennis Ristvedt officiating. Burial will follow at 2:00 PM CST at the North Dakota Veteran’s Cemetery, Mandan, ND.

Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Fred was born in, formerly Dogden, ND, now Butte, ND on June 1, 1919 to Estella (Begordis) and Rudolph Navratil. He married Helen Knutson in Glascow, MT in 1940. Fred trucked for one year before entering the U.S. Army in April 1943 and served until April 1946. In the Army, Fred received training as a mechanic. He later became an MP Escort Guard where he escorted German prisoners by train, from Ft. Staten Island in New York to a point elsewhere, such as Oregon and Arizona. He was stationed in Battle Creek, MI and the unit he was part of consisted of only six men. Fred told the story of transporting German soldiers across the US and through dialog with them, learned they had plans to try and blow up points in the US, such as Seattle or St. Louis.

When Fred returned home from the service, he went to work in the coal mines. He started working for Truax Trayer Coal Company in Velva, ND in 1947. In 1967, he transferred to Glen Harold Mine in Stanton.  After spending 40 plus years as a coal miner he retired in September 1980.

After the death of his first wife, Helen, Fred was alone for a brief time until he met and married Winona Christen. This was a short lived relationship and he went on to marry Alva Knutson in 1970. Although he never had any biological children of his own, he certainly gained them with his marriage to Alva. He also gained many, many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He spent as much time as he could with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Fred was a Shriner for the last 30 years and spent time promoting the good works of that program. He was active in raising money for support of the circus and the local Shriner program of “Bikes for Kids”. He enjoyed driving the Shriner’s Spinners in many parades and events around the area and beyond.

Fred’s biggest thrill was feeding the “neighborhood”, as he called it. The local grandkids and their friends ended up eating many a “before school” breakfast or lunch at his house and although there was some grumbling, deep down he loved it.

He will be missed by his step-daughter, Trudy of Stanton and her family and numerous generations of grandchildren and their friends and families that lovingly referred to him as “Grandpa Fred”; he is also survived by numerous, wonderful nieces and nephews.

Fred was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen, and later, Alva; two stepsons, Kenny Knutson and Wilbert Knutson; two step-daughters, Leola Hystad and Darlene Westereng; his brothers, Muryl  (Shirley) and Lloyd (Margaret Jo), and their daughter, Dianne; two grandchildren, Brenda Blair and Wayne Lynn Knutson; and three great-grandsons, Craig Hystad, Cody Krebsbach and Lloyd Bergstad.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Stanton or the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 215 Radio Drive Suite 100, Woodbury, MN 55125.

Arrangements are conducted by Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah and Hazen.

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Funeral Service
February 14, 2023

10:00 AM
Our Savior Lutheran Church
1614 Arthur St.
Stanton, ND 58571

February 14, 2023

2:00 PM
ND Veterans Cemetery (Mandan)


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