Shirley Jean Klemetsrud, 88, a life-long resident of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away early Sunday morning, December 30, 2012 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake.
Shirley Jean Klemetsrud, 88, a life-long resident of Devils Lake, N.D., passed away early Sunday morning, December 30, 2012 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake. Funeral Services for Shirley Jean will be held on Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Devils Lake. Rev. David Birkeland will officiate and burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. with a time of remembrance at 5:30 p.m. Visitation on Thursday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. Shirley's 12 grandsons, Scott, Jeffrey, Eric, Paul and Luke Klemetsrud, Sean Leppert, Adrian Buringrud, Dillon Walter, and John, Neil, Isaac and Ivan Klemetsrud will serve as casket bearers. Music will be provided by Peggy Bingham and Katherine Swanepoel, vocalists. Shirley Jean, daughter of Earl A. and Lois Irene (Blankenship) Sibley was born on July 14, 1924 at Devils Lake and would make this her home her entire life. Shirley was reared on a small farm in Lakewood and attended Devils Lake Public School and graduated with the class of 1942 from Devils Lake Central High School. Shirley Jean was united in marriage to Neil A. Klemetsrud on April 19, 1945 at Florence, S.C. where Neil was stationed with the Army Air Corp. Shirley returned to Devils Lake and after Neil completed his military service, he also returned to Devils Lake and they would live here the rest of their lives, raise their family and take over the family business, Klemetsrud Plumbing and Heating. Shirley Jean’s first priority was to care for her husband and family. She began a working as a secretary in the Devils Lake School System after her children started school. She worked there for over 25 years and retired in 1993. Shirley was very active in her church and involved in the community and in the lives of her children and grandchildren. As a member of the First United Methodist Church she served as a Sunday School teacher for many years and was active in the UMW. She enjoyed membership with the Rebekah’s and Eastern Star and held several offices. She was also very active in 4-H when her children were young. Shirley Jean’s optimism was ever present throughout her life and this attribute was a part of the many pastimes she enjoyed. She was an avid reader, golfer and bowler. She believed in keeping active and healthy and did aerobics and walked daily. She fought and survived two battles with cancer and her faith kept her strong after the death of her beloved Neil on March 5, 2002. She may have been small in stature but had an incredible strength of mind and heart. Surviving Shirley Jean are her children, Jay (Jeanne) Klemetsrud, Devils Lake, Janie (Russ Friedrikis) Klemens, Bessemer, Ala., George (Helen) Klemetsrud, Cole Harbor, N.D., Michael (Kandace) Klemetsrud, also Devils Lake and David (Susan) Klemetsrud of Camas, Wash.; son-in-law and daughters-in-law, John Leppert, Regan, N.D., Connie Walter, Dickinson, N.D. and Ruth DeWald, Devils Lake; 22 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren; brother, Earl (Marion) Sibley Jr. of Ellensburg, Wash. and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Neil; children, Jill Ann Leppert, Mark Klemetsrud and Kirk Klemetsrud; grandson, Kyle Klemetsrud; brother, Frederick “Jack” Sibley and sisters, Eileen Way and Carol Pugh. Friends may sign the online register book at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.