OBIT: Eugene H. "Gene" LaMotte Sr.

Eugene H. “Gene” LaMotte Sr., 83, of Devils Lake, ND, formerly of the Woodlake/Tokio, ND, area passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at Essentia Health, Fargo, ND. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, Dec. 11 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Devils Lake with burial in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery. 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. The funeral Mass will be live-streamed on Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 5 until 7 p.m. with a Rosary at 7 p.m. Please keep your health and safety and that of others in mind when attending any of the services. Eugene Harlan, son of Lector and Caroline (Halvorson) LaMotte, was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 25, 1937, at McVille, ND. At a very young age, Gene moved with the family to the Felix LaMotte farm, southeast of Hamar, ND, where Lector worked as a farm laborer. Only a few years later, the family moved to the Eugene LaMotte Homestead (the house has been restored and still stands today) again in the Hamar area where Gene attended the Colvin No. 1 Township School. In 1945, another move brought them to the Breckheimer farm, and Gene attended Colvin No. 2 Township School and graduated from the 8th grade. Gene and his brothers walked 2-1/2 mi, to and from their one room schoolhouse or rode their pony. In 1951, another family move brought them to Hamar. As a young man, Gene worked for several area farmers and for Archie Cambell at the Crystal Springs Ranch near Warwick, ND. He spent time in the oil fields in Wyoming as a roustabout. He also drove gravel truck and worked road construction for Hulstrand Construction. Gene was drafted into the United States Army on Aug. 29, 1961, and proudly and honorably served his country during the Cuban Missile Crisis, ready at a moment’s notice to be deployed. He did serve in Germany for about 1-1/2 years. He was honorably discharged from active duty on Aug. 13, 1963, with the rank of PFC. He continued his service with the Reserve until Aug. 28, 1967. Gene was united in marriage to his sweetheart, Janelle DeVoogdt, on March 27, 1967. They established their home on the former Fredrick Farm, that Gene had purchased in 1965, south of Wood Lake. This is where they farmed, and established Wood Lake Dairy, and raised their family through the years. In 1979, they built a state-of-art dairy barn that brought them notoriety as being very progressive as dairy farmers. In 1986, they dispersed the dairy herd and began raising beef cattle. Janelle died on July 6, 1991. In 2001, Gene sold the farm and moved south of Fort Totten, ND. For ten plus years, Gene has called Devils Lake home. Gene was a hardworking, dedicated rancher and farmer, devoted husband, loving dad and grandpa. He took great pride in his work. He also worked on the farm of several Lake Region farmers and was working for Ed Brown until his death. Gene operated a manure hauling business, trucked cattle and hay for customers for many years and worked at Lake Region Livestock. Gene did also enjoy membership in the American Legion, VFW, the Elks Lodge, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and was instrumental in organizing the Fort Totten Trail Riders. First and foremost, Gene loved his family, took great pleasure in being a grandpa and great-grandpa and was a good friend to many. He faithfully served his country, took good care of the animals and loved the land he worked. His passion for horses started at a young age. He owned and rode many horses over the years, but his stallion, Frisky, was always remembered fondly. He also enjoyed trail riding and attending area rodeos. The cowboy in him was ever present in his love for Western movies, especially John Wayne movies and the TV show Bonanza. He was a loyal Wheel of Fortune watcher, whenever he was able. Gene really enjoyed dancing, having coffee with friends and playing cards especially Gin Rummy. He never missed a chance to travel to Medora to ride and take in the Home on the Range Champions Ride. He often had a mischievous smile that made you wonder what he was up too. We will be forever thankful for passing on his value of a hard day’s work. He will be forever missed. Gene’s loving family include; his daughter, Wanda and her husband, Brady Peterson of RockLake, ND; his son, Eugene LaMotte Jr. and his wife, Sally of Devils Lake; grandchildren, Tim Peterson and Randy Peterson, Loralee LaMotte (Matt) and Lukas LaMotte (Mychal); great-granddaughter, Alexis Hill; brothers, Robert LaMotte, Devils Lake and Tom (Mary) LaMotte, Warwick ND; mother-in-law Margaret DeVoogdt also of Devils Lake; in-laws JoAnn (Gary) Grad, Casa Grande AZ, Jim DeVoogdt, Tokio ND; numerous nieces, nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by; his parents; wife, Janelle; grandson, Clay James LaMotte; brother, Joseph in infancy; father-in-law, Joe DeVoogdt; and sisters-in-law, Mardell LaMotte and Linde Pare’. Casket Bearers will be: Brady Peterson, Tim Peterson, Randy Peterson, Gene LaMotte Jr., Todd LaMotte, Jim LaMotte and Paul Hanson. Reading the Scriptures will be Bob LaMotte and Wanda Peterson will be the Eucharistic Gift Bearer. Honorary Bearers: all of Gene’s many dear friends and neighbors. Masks and Social Distancing are required at all services. Please keep your health and safety and that of others in mind when attending services.

Posted online on December 10, 2020