David John Birkholz, 88, passed away Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck.
David was born Sept. 23, 1924, in Garrison to Christ and Rosella (Hach) Birkholz. He attended school in Garrison through the eighth grade and then went to work for his dad in the family blacksmith shop. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in June 1943 and served for 2-1/2 years. His engagements included Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe. He received numerous medals during his services.
Following his honorable discharge from the Army in December 1945, David worked for Wretling Machine Shop in Garrison and then at the Garrison Dam as a welder. He then became an iron worker, traveling to various places, including Thule, Greenland; Montana; Minnesota; South Dakota; and North Dakota. He was a member of the International Association of Iron Workers for 55 years.
David married Shirley Ostby on July 13, 1947, and they made their lifelong home in Garrison.
He served on the Garrison City Council and the Benedictine Living Center Advisory Council. He was an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church. He was a member of the Elks Club and Moose Lodge. He volunteered for the Fort Stevenson Foundation, Norsk Hostfest, Camp of the Cross, Lutheran Brotherhood, and the ND Governor's Cup Fishing Tournament. David was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 49 for 67 years and of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
David enjoyed woodworking, dancing, playing the accordion, baking, gardening, traveling, and was a jack-of-all-trades. Every morning David could be found at the local coffee shop. In his memory and spirit, enjoy a cup of coffee with friends.
David is survived by: his wife of 65 years, Shirley; sister, Lorraine (Roy) Lucas, New Rockford; brothers, Edwin and Melvin (Pat), all of Garrison; nieces, Bethany (Bill) Blansfield, S.D., Doreen (Bill) Hockley, Wyo., Karen (David) Anderson, New Rockford, Kim (Daryl) Lies, of Douglas, Hollie Birkholz, of Colorado; nephews, Carl Birkholz, of Minnesota, Terry (Kim) Birkholz, of Alaska; and numerous great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his parents, Christ and Rosella (Hach) Birkholz; and sister-in-law, Adeline Birkholz.
A celebration of David's life will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Garrison with Rev. Dick Hendrickson officiating.
Burial will be held Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan.
Visitation will be today, Feb. 25, from 3 to 7 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home in Garrison.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be sent to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery or "Wreaths Across America."