Verlan Leigh Tagestad, 67, Towner, died Friday evening, July 26, 2013, doing what he loved to do riding his bicycle north of his residence north of Towner.
He was born at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Rugby on May 13, 1946, to Alf and Astrid Torgine (Odden) Tagestad. He was joined within minutes by his twin sister, Verna.
He grew up on the family ranch north of Towner, attended Red Cross rural school and graduated from Towner High School in 1964. He attended Minot State College for a short time. He grew up working on the ranch, taking on more responsibility in his teens when his father's health required it. He eventually took over the ranch when his father died in 1969 and it was his livelihood and life's work for most of his adult life.
He worked as a rural mail carrier out of Rugby for several years. He delivered propane for Ferrell Gas Co. and drove a truck on a seasonal basis for Wilbur-Ellis Co., delivering agricultural chemicals. Since the oil boom started, he had been employed by the Watco Transportation Co., based in Stanley, where he had been loading crude oil on railroad tanker cars.
He enjoyed living along the bank of the Mouse River north of Towner, an area known as the Yellow Banks. Here he enjoyed hunting, hiking and riding his bicycle on the paved road nearby. He enjoyed spending time with his family.
Verlan loved to travel, snapping photos everywhere he went. Florida was his favorite destination. An avid outdoorsman and nature buff, he liked to get out and hike anywhere he traveled. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the Towner community and especially of the high school football and basketball teams. He never missed a game if he could help it. He was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in Towner, where he was baptized May 22, 1946, and confirmed June 4, 1961.
He is survived by: his brother, Daryl, and his wife, Lynell (Grosz) Tagestad, Hazen; and his twin sister, Verna, and her husband, Paul Hederman, Hobe Sound, Fla. He also leaves several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Loren, in 1961, and Arden, in 1997; and a baby sister, Karen.
Funeral services: Will be held at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 11 a.m.
Visitation: Will be at Niewoehner Funeral Home in Rugby today, July 30, from 3 to 9 p.m.
Rev. Linda Wimmer and Wally Fretland will officiate. Martha Larson will be the organist and the reader will be Lori Brierley.
Pallbearers will be: Cliff Hanretty, David Odden, Scott Stutrud, Allen and Grant Tagestad, and Hal Thorson.
Burial: Will be at the Union Cemetery in Towner.