Lewis Hursman died peacefully on February 13th, 2023, at Maple Manor Care Center in Langdon where he had resided for 3 years due to dementia.
Lewis John Hursman was born on November 3, 1935, in Newbre Township, Ramsey County, to John H. and Lucile (Schroeder) Hursman of rural Brocket, ND. Lewis was baptized on May 17th, 1936, in the Lutheran Faith and confirmed on May 25, 1952. He grew up on the family farm, attending grade school in Newbre Township and Central High School in Devils Lake, ND. Following high school, he attended the ND State School of Science in Wahpeton studying general mechanics. In July 1954, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. His basic training was in Fort Leonard, MO, and then Gary AFB at San Marcos, Texas, where he trained as a helicopter mechanic. Following training he was stationed in Stuttgart, Germany, until July 1956. He survived a helicopter crash, which he had been repairing with another mechanic. He was released from Active Duty and received an honorable discharge in 1962.
Lewis and Mavis Hietala were united in marriage on June 29, 1957, at Grace Lutheran Church in Lakota, ND. He worked for Nodak Electric, Devils Lake, and also for his uncle at Ft. Benton, MT. After their marriage, he worked on farms in the Devils Lake and Lakota area. They moved to Osnabrock in 1960 where he worked on the Carl Tollefson farm until he and Mavis started farming on their own in 1967. In 1979, Doug began farming alongside Lewis until he retired in 1998, upon which Doug continued the farming tradition. Lewis and Mavis moved to Osnabrock in 1989.
Lewis was a member of the North Dovre Lutheran Church until its closure and then of Dovre Lutheran of Osnabrock. While a member of North Dovre, he served as deacon and other church offices. He served on the city council and as mayor of Osnabrock, the Osnabrock Community Development Board and the Good Samaritan Center advisory board. He was a member of the American Legion Post 164 of Osnabrock and the Langdon Eagles Aerie #3454.
Lewis enjoyed camping and fishing trips with the family when the kids were young, most likely spending more time baiting their hooks than catching his own fish. Once the kids were grown, he continued his love of fishing without hearing, “Dad, help me…” ringing in his ears. After retirement, Lewis and Mavis did some traveling across the US, including a trip across the southern US with Mavis’ brother, Howard. He spent many days in his shop creating quilt racks, stools, desks, and smaller items and refurbishing antique furniture. He was lovingly teased about how he managed to keep all his fingers while farming, but upon retirement, the saw and planer shortened a couple!
As the grandchildren came along, he enjoyed their visits. We have photos of them yearly as they all piled onto grandpa’s lap. Even as they were too big to fit, they managed to still sit with him to the point of breaking the chair once! His eyes lit up with the birth of the great-grandchildren. He had a photo wall at the nursing home with their pictures and enjoyed each new one that was added. Their visits greatly brightened his days.
Lewis was a lover of animals. He was never without a dog at his side, including Doug’s dog, Harley, and a favorite “Shop Cat” who loved to sit in his lap. His days at the nursing home were brightened by the kids’ dogs - Lexie, Buddy, and Quigley. All had a special place in his lap getting head scratches.
Lewis enjoyed having an adult beverage or two with friends in retirement. His shop became a gathering place where he and his friends swapped many stories and lots of laughter. A fond memory is of his favorite “Hursman salute” in response to a greeting, joke, or good ribbing. One thing he will always be remembered for was his smile, laugh and good nature. He loved to tease and be teased in return. The staff at the nursing home shared fond memories of trying to find him in his wheelchair. Lewis was always out cruising looking for trouble. One resident usually knew where he was and would point the way. Lewis was always trying to find a way to “break out” and return to the farm. He brought joy to many despite his memory loss, and even at the end, he still remembered his family and said “I love you” with a smile.
Lewis finally broke free and regained his memory and use of his legs. We know he is in joyful reunion with family and friends who have gone before him.
Surviving family members include his wife, Mavis, of Osnabrock; children: Deb (Rick) Vivatson of Cavalier, Doug Hursman of Langdon, Dawn (Steve) Faught of Amenia, ND; grandchildren: Allison (Nathan) of Fargo, Devin (Megan) of Langdon, Kelsey of Grand Forks, Koree (Jo) of Fargo and Kyle (Loren) of Amenia; great-grandchildren: Parker, William, Henry, Bailey, Madelyn, Brody and Landry; and sister Anita Menth of Detroit, Michigan. He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Lucile, and sisters Beatrice and Loretta.
Services will be Saturday, February 18th at 2:oo p.m. at Brooks Funeral Home in Langdon, ND. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Military Honors will be provided by ND National Guard Funeral Honor Team.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Hospice of the Red River Valley or the North Dovre Cemetery Fund.