John Olderbak, 93, of Devils Lake formerly of Lawton, ND, passed away Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at Eventide Heartland Care Center, Devils Lake surrounded by his loving family, while under the care of Altru Hospice.
John Olderbak, 93, of Devils Lake formerly of Lawton, ND, passed away Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, at Eventide Heartland Care Center, Devils Lake surrounded by his loving family, while under the care of Altru Hospice. The celebration of life for John will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 at Eventide Heartland Care Chapel at 2 p.m. Visitation, fellowship and lunch will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and continue throughout the afternoon. Military Honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post No. 756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team-Army. John was born on Dec. 1, 1923, in rural Lawton, the son of John and Emma (Araas) Olderbak. He grew up and attended school in Lawton, graduating as Valedictorian of the class of 1942. He served in the Army during World War II, stationed in Okinawa and Korea. After the war, he returned to the family farm in Lawton. It was there that he met his future wife, Frances Santavy. They were married on Nov. 8, 1948, at Lomice, ND. For the next 45 years, they farmed near Lawton, raising small grains and livestock. During this time, the family grew to include four children. In addition to farming, John also worked at the ABM Missile Site in Nekoma, ND, in the early 1970’s, ultimately being promoted to First Lieutenant, where he was in charge of security for five different bases. In 1985, John and Frances rented out their farmland. John then pursued a career with the Federal Crop Insurance Program, starting out as an adjuster and working his way through the ranks, retiring in 1995. John and Frances moved to Devils Lake, ND, in 1988. During his retirement years, John enjoyed ice fishing, gardening, following the Minnesota Twins and especially making trips to the casino where he usually ended up winning. Up until the end of his life, John’s quick wit and humor was appreciated by all that knew him. John was a lifetime member of the VFW and was also a member of the American Legion for many years. John is survived by his children, Judy (David) Danielson, rural Devils Lake, Michael (Peggy) Olderbak, Rockford, Illinois, Barbara (Mark) Dordahl, Bismarck and Susan (Troy) Nelsen, Las Vegas, Nevada; eight granddaughters; 14 great-grandchildren; sisters, Ella Fisher, Arkansas, and Lolly Shirek, California; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 67 years, Frances; two sisters and four brothers.