CJ Bloomquist

CJ Bloomquist, 68, of Devils Lake  passed away on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at Bethany on University in Fargo. 

Funeral Services for CJ will be held on Saturday, June 19, 2021 at 10 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake with Rev. Jim Paulson officiating. Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery. The funeral service will be live-streamed at Facebook.com/stolaflutheranchurch.  Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake on Friday, June 18 from 6 until 7 p.m. with a time of prayer and sharing at 7 p.m. Visitation on Saturday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. 

There is an old saying: “Live like someone left the gate open!” That is exactly the way CJ lived his life. Full of energy and kicking his heels up for the majority of his years.  He loved life, his family, his friends, his life partner and especially, his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Curtis James Bloomquist, known as CJ to all of his friends, was born on November 2, 1952 to Jim and Betty (Ryan) Bloomquist in Devils Lake. A graduate of Crary High School in 1970, he attended Lake Region Junior College and complete his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from UND. After graduating he was employed with the Trust Account Department of Ramsey National Bank. In 1977, he joined Don Daniels working as a business and personal tax accountant. At the same time, he established a business doing masonry and concrete work in the Lake Region, working evenings and weekends. Following the death of his father, CJ then returned to the family farm east of Devils Lake working with his mom raising small grains, hay and Hereford cattle. When extra help was needed, his uncle, Dale (Blondie) Bloomquist was always ready to lend a hand. 

CJ loved being a farmer. He lived for planting and harvest season, operating on little sleep. He loved farm animals and once said that he could never hunt anything because as a rancher, he worked so hard at times to keep young calves alive. Taking the life of a buck, a doe, a goose or a duck was unconscionable to him.

CJ participated in many activities in high school that included choir, band and basketball. His deep bass voice was compared to actor Sam Elliot and he always told people that Sam Elliot had his voice, not the other way around. On numerous ski trips to Montana, people would come up to him and ask him to autograph a piece of paper as Sam Elliot, but he never did. The stories of his ski trips with lifelong friends are legendary. 

It was on April Fool’s Day in 2004 a mutual friend introduced CJ to Vonda Markestad. Their farm and ranch backgrounds were a perfect match as they both had grown up participating in 4-H, raising Hereford cattle, riding good quality Quarter horses and both had been born with a love for animals of all kinds. Their “kids” were of the 4-legged kind. CJ’s were Chesapeake Bay retreivers Ginger and Maggy, cats Barton and Red. He came to absolutely adore Vonda’s Shiba Inu, Taz. That dog had CJ wrapped around his little paw, to the point when winter temps dipped well below zero, Taz was chauffeured to a spot to take care of business. CJ would load him up in his pickup, carry Taz to his favorite spot, kick snow away down to the grass where Taz could complete his business and then drive him back home. CJ’s diesel F-350 pickup was lovingly called the Latrine Limousine! After Taz passed away, another Shiba Inu was adopted by them both and Callie O’Malley is still going strong.

CJ and Vonda were also drawn together because of their involvement with politics. CJ became active in the Young Republican organization at Lake Region State College and participated for many years at the State Republican Convention as a delegate. One of his best college buddies is currently the North Dakota Attorney General.  And when parade season hit, CJ assisted Brian Kalk with rides in his Mustang Shelby convertible. 

All of CJ’s friends can attest that he never quit learning, always reading up on the latest farm equipment, tax laws and codes that related to agriculture and reading mystery or action novels. If someone told him they were looking for a good used tractor, CJ would scour the internet to find exactly what they wanted. It was his mission in life to help others in any way possible. Assisting with farm or ranch work if one of the neighbors wasn’t able to do it. 

Good country music was a huge interest for CJ. He had CDs of many Texas Hill country artists that most of us will never hear about. His friends would get text messages sometimes in the wee morning hours telling them to check out a particular country artist that just released a new single or album.  His favorite artists included Earl Thomas Conley, Marty Stuart, Chris Hillman and the Time Jumpers.

 CJ is survived by the love of his life, soulmate Vonda Markestad of Devils Lake; sister, Caryl (Robert) Rutten of Bismarck.; nephew, Logan (Heather) Rutten of State College, Pa.; nephew, Lucas Rutten of Fargo. He is survived by aunts, uncles and cousins throughout the country and by his work family: Don and Colleen Daniels and their daughters, Jody Daniels Fisher and Sarah Daniels Burdick, all of Devils Lake. He truly loved the Daniels family and thought of himself as a big brother to Jody and Sarah. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Jim and Betty Bloomquist. Praise be to God for the precious years we were privileged to spend with CJ.

Posted online on June 17, 2021