Obit: James Ole Sampson

Staff Writer
Devils Lake Journal
James Ole Sampson

James Ole Sampson, 91, of West Fargo, N.D.,  passed away on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013 at the Sheyenne Crossing Care Center.

Funeral service will be Saturday, March 2 at 11 a.m. at West Funeral Home Chapel, West Fargo with visitation one hour prior and reception to follow. A graveside service for Ole will be held later in the spring in Edmore, where he was a member of Living Word Lutheran Church.

Visitation will be Friday, March 1 from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.  A prayer service with sharing at 7 p.m. at West Funeral Home, West Fargo.

Ole was born on a farm near Edmore, N.D. in 1922 to Chester Sampson and Thelma Lowe Sampson. He was baptized and confirmed in Concordia Lutheran Church in Edmore, and graduated from Edmore High School.

He briefly attended Interstate Business College in Grand Forks, N.D., but left there to help his parents on their family farm.  In 1944, Ole married Delores LaVonne Erickson from Starkweather, N.D.  After serving in the U.S. Army, he and Delores farmed for 33 years south of Edmore.

Always active in community life---locally, regionally, and nationally, Ole was president of the local school board; president of the church council and board of trustees; director and later president of the North Dakota State Wheat Commission, on which he served for 24 years; and vice president and president of Great Plains Wheat, Inc.  He was especially committed to the establishment of U.S. Wheat Associates, a thirteen-state foreign market development organization, and served as their first Chairman of the Board.

Some of Ole’s favorite pastimes in his adult years were playing for the Lawton baseball team, curling in Edmore, golfing with his friends in Arizona.  He also was known in the Edmore community for his public speaking, whether he was giving a Memorial Day program address, substituting for the minister in church, or announcing the local horse shows and 4th of July celebrations.

When Ole retired from farming, he and Delores divided their time between their homes on Red Willow Lake, Binford, N.D., and in Apache Wells, Mesa, Ariz. They enjoyed the friends and activities of those communities for many years. In 2007, they moved to West Fargo to be nearer to their children.

Thankful for having shared his life are his wife of 68 years, Delores; his daughters and sons-in-law, SuEllen and Richard Shaw, Fargo, N.D., Cindy and Wayne Balliet, Bismarck, N.D., Sheila and Arnold Link, Washburn, N.D., and Karen and Ronald Berget, Alexandria, Minn.; nine grandchildren; 10 great grandchildren; his sister, Carol Sampson, Edmore; and his brother, Oliver Sampson Edmore.

Ole was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Thelma Sampson; his brother, Lowe; his sisters, Alda Sobak, Constance Voss, and Ada Eliot; his infant daughters, Sandra and Sara; and his granddaughter, Kora Link Penitani.

West funeral Home, West Fargo, is in charge of arrangements.