Vernald Dale Stotts (Duke), 85, of Devils Lake, formerly of the Starkweather/Hampden area passed away early Wednesday morning, February 20, 2013 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake.
Funeral services for Vernald will be held on Saturday, February 23 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Devils Lake. Rev. David Birkeland will officiate and burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery. Military Honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Friday, February 22 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Saturday at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.
Serving as casket bearers for Vernald will be Jon Myhro, Roger Peters, Orville Stinkeoway, Gregg Eidsness, Curtis Logie and Harold Halvorson. Special Music will be provided by Mary Oehkle, vocalist and Joyce Carter, pianist.
Vernald, son of Claud and Elizabeth (Goodwill) Stotts was born on May 18, 1927 at Lakota, N.D. Vernald grew up in the Starkweather area, attending elementary school there and graduating from Devils Lake High School with the class of 1945.
He entered the United States Navy and served his country during World War II. He served aboard the USS Boxer and was stationed briefly in Hawaii before being honorably discharged on August 2, 1946 with the rank of Machinist’s Mate, third class. After his discharge he returned to North Dakota and attended NDSU at Fargo. Vernald married Mildred Stroh on March 29, 1964 and they were the proud parents of two sons, Jon and Jeff.
Vernald worked for farmers in the Starkweather area for a time, then began a 30 year career as a rural mail carrier for the United States Postal Service. Most of his years were as the mail carrier for the Starkweather route. He also was the carrier in Walhalla for a time.
Vernald was united in marriage to Marilyn Peters in 1997. They established their home in Hampden and in the early 2000's moved to Devils Lake. He was a faithful member of the Methodist Church in Starkweather and Devils Lake. He also enjoyed membership in the Eagles Lodge and the VFW. He also gave generously to numerous charitable organizations and causes.
After retiring, he and Marilyn enjoyed traveling in the Tri-State area and visitingwith family and friends. Vernald had a bit of the wild side in him and enjoyed the thrill of the draw of the card when playing Pinochle and Black Jack. When his boys were younger, he loved to watch them participating in sports and was a pretty vocal fan.
Vernald could be very vocal about many things, but not everything. He truly had a deep faith, a deep love for his family and his country. Vernald, you will be so very missed.
Page 2 of 2 - He is survived by his wife, Marilyn Stotts of East Grand Forks, Minn.; sons, Jon Stotts and Jeff Stotts and his wife Melissa all of Devils Lake; grandchildren, Matt Lyons, Devils Lake, Lexie Koterwas, Houston, TX, Quincy Stotts and Ian Stotts both of Devils Lake; great grandson, Jace Vilandre; sisters, Dorothy Moore of Wilcox, Ariz. and Mary Jane Eidsness of Devils Lake; brother, Robert Stotts also of Devils Lake; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mildred Stotts in May of 2008; long time companion, Dorothy Wright.
Friends may sign the online register book and share memories of Vernald (Duke) at www.gilbertsonfuneralhome.com
Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.