John Dunham Strand, 82, Fargo, N.D., formerly of Williston, died Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Sanford Health in Fargo.
John was born August 9, 1937, to Elmer and Helen (Dunham) Strand in Rolette, North Dakota. He grew up on a farm near Perth, and was valedictorian of his high school class in 1955. He then attended the School of Forestry in Bottineau while serving in the National Guard. Upon graduation in 1957, he transferred to UND where he received his Bachelors in Social Studies and English. While at UND he was a member of SAE Fraternity. John received his Master’s in Education (Guidance and Counseling) at NDSU in 1980.
His first teaching job was in Terry, Montana where he taught English and Journalism. He coached the JV basketball team and also directed high school plays. While in Terry he met his future wife, Elaine. In 1961 they moved to Williston, ND. John taught English at the Junior High school and then taught at WHS for 17 years. He was a member of the Williston Education Association, North Dakota Education Association and National Education Association, and was on many committees. Starting in the late 70’s John served for over a decade as Area Guidance Counselor for area schools, including Trenton, Grenora, Alamo, Wildrose, Alexander and Ray, ND. He also taught at the South Central Alternative High School Bismarck.
Besides teaching, John was on the startup administration for the Minot Job Corps, and worked in Administration at Fort Peck Community College. Following retirement in 1999, John and Elaine moved to Fargo, where he embarked on a retirement career at the Adult Learning Center working primarily with GED testing and ESL students. John also enjoyed working as Event Staff for special events at the Fargo Dome.
John was a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Williston and was on the Church Council where he served as President for two years. He was also a member of the BPOE (Elks) and Lions club. John enjoyed playing church league softball and was the manager of several slow pitch softball teams. John loved sports and attended all his children’s and grandchildren’s games, and coached his grandchildren’s teams. John was a member of Atonement Lutheran Church in Fargo. John was a big coffee drinker, and frequented his bank and other establishments to visit and enjoy a cup of coffee.
John is survived by his wife Elaine, children Christie, Scott and Holly (Trevor) Rysgaard, grandchildren Jocci (Joe) Rice, Kaden, Kamryn, Brynlee and Hadlee, great-grandchildren Karter and Charlee, his sister Mary (Neil) Hillesland, nieces Michelle and Susan (Chris) Ess, nephew Michael, cousins Carol (Eldred) Oakland, Roberta Hoper and Donna (James) Bucher, and his aunt Ingrid Strand. He was preceded in death by his parents, his parents in-law, grandmother Marie Strand, and uncles Edmund and Orville (Dorthea) Strand, and aunt Alice Dittmer.
A virtual memorial service will be held October 3, 2020 at 11:00 am at Atonement Lutheran Church in Fargo. In lieu of flowers, a memorial of your choice is preferred.