Nature 14

Russell Tveit

April 28, 1945 ~ April 4, 2019 (age 73)


Russell (Russ) A. Tveit, 73, died on April 4, 2019 at Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck following a short illness. A celebration of his life will be held at Peace Lutheran Church, Hazen North Dakota at 1:30 PM, April 27, 2019. A time of fellowship with coffee will follow.

Russ was born in Jamestown, ND on April 28, 1945 to Pauline (Pat) (Tafelmeyer) Rawn, a WWII widow. He joined his brother David.

On August 18, 1946 his mother married Oliver Tveit who immediately adopted Russ and David and became their dad.

The family lived in Jamestown for a short time before moving to a farm at Forbes, ND near where his dad grew up. He was joined there by brothers Bill, Larry and Tom. In 1953 the family took the opportunity to take over the Tafelmeyer homestead near Northgate ND. Sisters Sue, Nancy and Sandy soon came along. Russ attended a country school near the farm at Forbes, in Northgate and in Flaxton where he graduated from high school in 1962.

At age 15 Russ suffered the loss of his brother David when they were swimming with friends at a local dam and David drowned.

Russ grew up scrappy, never backing down from a challenge or a bully. He loved all animals and always took charge of any horse that happened to be around whether it was being used for work or play.

Russ graduated from North Dakota State University in 1967.  While there, he learned the sport of rodeo. He entered all the rough stock events at least once, but specialized in bareback. He was a bull fighting clown. Countless cowboys were glad for his fearless stand between them and a bull and his strong hand to pull them from danger.

Russ learned quickly that he made a better boss than employee, even if he was the only member of the crew.  He built grain bins, steel buildings, pole barns and did carpentry all across the state of North Dakota and a few of the neighboring states. He taught many young men the virtue of hard work.

Russ married Linda Jacobson in August, 1969. They divorced in May 1985.  He never had kids of his own, but was special to all his nieces, nephews, younger cousins and any young person he met.  He was the keeper of the pickle and we all knew that he took special pleasure in feeding one to the newest baby in the family.

Russ lived his life on his terms and in his own way. He also struggled with his demons. It was obvious that he needed and had a guardian angel. That angel found a special deputy to help out. Her name is Judy Knoell. She has been his companion, friend and steady foundation for the past ten plus years.

Russ is survived by Judy, his brothers Bill (Laurel), Larry (Carol), Tom (Mary), sisters Sue (Scott) Gannaway, Nancy (Gary) Rader and Sandy (Kim) Klose, aunts Eunice Jacobson, Rose Robinson, uncle David Tafelmeyer, 12 nieces, 6 nephews and 45 first cousins. He is also remembered by the many friends he kept close for all of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother David and niece Katie Rader.

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

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