Rural 05

Joel Todd Pfliger

March 3, 1963 ~ June 13, 2020 (age 57)


Joel Todd Pfliger, 57, of Stanton, ND, He was born on March 3, 1963 to Clem and Betty Pfliger, joining his sister, Kari, to complete the family. His life came to an abrupt end on Saturday, June 13, 2020, when his plane crashed during routine take off. He died instantly. A celebration of Joel’s life will be held at the family farm near Stanton, ND at 2:00 PM on Saturday, June 20, 2020 with a time of sharing and comfort to follow. The address is 1252 46th Ave SW, Stanton. Fly ins welcome.  Directions from the south: seven miles north of Hannover, turn left on 14th St. SW. Head west for two miles and turn right. Head north 1.3 miles. Turn right into farm. From Crossroads: Go two miles south, then turn left, go one mile East, then turn right. Go 2.6 miles south to Pfliger mailbox. Turn left into farm. The farm is not visible from the mailbox. The runway is beside the road going into the yard. Call Steve for further assistance – 701 870-0381.

Joel always loved farming and spent many hours with his farm toys, making fields in the front yard. When he went off to college at UND, his most cherished picture was of Dad, the dog and the Versatile tractor. He was a member of the Phi Delta fraternity. Joel graduated as a mechanical engineer and worked at Dakota Gasification Company north of Beulah for 24 years until he retired in 2012. Besides his engineering career, Joel was a full time farmer and took the reins at the family farm in the 90’s. With all that work, Joel did not have a lot of time for socializing, but he followed his passion for planes and flying, getting his pilot’s license shortly after he started working at the gas plant. He was part owner of a couple different planes during that time. His first mission was to get recertified after retirement and buy his Cetabria. He flew constantly, taking great delight in giving rides and exploring the area from the sky.  Through flying, Joel made many new friends, attending fly-ins around the area and having coffee nearly every Saturday with his pilot friends at what he lovingly referred to as OGC – Old Guy Coffee.

Hunting was always a big part of Joel’s life, hunting with his dad, uncles and cousins as he grew up and then with his many friends. His lifelong love of wildlife and the outdoors led him to make many new friends and renew old friendships after he retired. His friend Stan urged him to embrace his new found freedom and Joel never looked back.One of Joel’s favorite activities was gathering with friends at Swanny’s shop, playing bags and making memories. Everyone knows you can’t hunt pheasants without a great dog, so along came Buddy, who was the best dog ever. Rocko came along last fall and gave Joel tremendous pleasure with his antics and bright personality.

Joel’s love of travel really kicked into high gear in the last ten years, taking him on numerous trips with his nephew Ross and Cousins Al and Peg Sutherland, and his nearly annual trip to Oshkosh with cousin Scott Sutherland. Travels included trips to Ireland, Scotland and Norway, as well as Canada and the US and a memorable trip to New Orleans with Steve, Kari and Ross. He had an ongoing list of places he planned to visit.

Family always came first for Joel and he seldom missed a chance to spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins, talking, laughing and frying fleishkuechle. Joel was well known for his warmth and caring and his ability to see a need and volunteer to help in any way he could, whether it be assisting an ailing neighbor with harvest or helping a young farmer get on his feet or blowing snow. He was honored to mentor young people and foster their own love of farming, hunting, or flying.

Joel left behind those who loved him best, his sister, Kari and her husband, Steve Huber; nephews, Scott, Ross and Trevor Huber; as well as, his Uncle Jim (Lee) Pfliger, Aunt Dorothy Lang; and numerous cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, three infant brothers, as well as, his grandparents and many other dear family members.

Memorials can be directed to the Dakota Territory Air Museum in Minot, ND or to the charity of your choice.

Arrangements conducted by Barbot Funeral Home, Beulah and Hazen.

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