Bismarck Calvary United Methodist
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
A United Methodist Congregation



BACKGROUNDS:  The Bales have deep North Dakota roots — between them they had four sets of grandparents who all homesteaded in this state.  In fact, Bea’s four grandparents traveled to the United States on the same ship.  Bea was born and raised in farming communities in the Grand Forks area and is of Germans from Russia descent.  Bob was born in Wahpeton with an eclectic mix in ethnicity that includes German, Scottish, Irish, English and Norwegian-Swede among others, but for most of his life has summed it up as Scandinavian. 

EdUCATIONS/VocationS:  Bea’s parents valued education and urged Bea to obtain a college degree upon graduating from Grand Forks Central High School in 1947.  Bea started college as a business major at the University of North Dakota and then during her sophomore year changed her major to social work.  Following her graduation from UND she worked for a year as the social worker for the Grafton State School (now named North Dakota Developmental Center).   

Bob’s family moved from Wahpeton to Velva where Bob graduated from high school in 1946.  His Dad was a salesman for a culvert company and later became the manager of the company.  Bob served in the US Army from 1946 to 1947 and spent military time in Japan.  Upon completion o   f his military service, Bob enrolled at the University of North Dakota majoring in commerce with an accounting discipline.  Bob started his career with Northwestern Bell in accounting in Fargo. 

Bob and Bea met while attending UND and were married August 8, 1952; their first home was in Fargo.  Bob was offered a job in 1956 as a government auditor in the Rural Electrification Administration.  Through the years, his work put him on the roads in North Dakota as telephone service became established and electricity companies formed cooperatives.  He also worked in loans and operations as well as construction contracts as cooperatives became established.   

Bea started piano lessons when she was about eight years of age.  She played piano at church as a very young teenager.  Later, she taught piano and organ lessons for many years.  Bea took organ lessons as an adult, which she enjoyed very much.  

Family:  Bob and Bea were blessed with two children:  Bruce and Kris (Winckler) and they have a granddaughter, Lauren.  Both of their children are musically gifted. 

Hobbies:  While both the Bales have individual interests, they share a number of hobbies.  Bea enjoys crossword puzzles and Sudoku while Bob is interested in hunting, fishing, and stamp and coin collecting.  When their children were young, the Bales enjoyed family camping and day trips with picnics.  Bea and Bob both love to read, they have a flower garden, feed and watch birds, and in the winter have pheasants feeding in their yard. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  Bea was raised in the Evangelical United Brethren church.  Sunday worship attendance was a ‘given’ in their household with preparations beginning on Saturday.  Bob was raised in the Congregational Church.   

The Bales advice for a contentED marriage: 

Bob traveled to do his work.  When he came home for weekends, the four of them did special activities together to make good memories.  Christmas was a special time and there was special baking, meal menus, and decorating — especially the living room, which is still true today.  The children still comment how ‘Christmasy’ it continues to be in their home.  This “makes all the extra work “worth doing”. 

Attending church was always an important activity for Bob and Bea.  As is true for many people as time goes on, the Bales are not able to attend as regularly as they would like.  But their faith in God is strong and continues to grow.  They share this faith with daily devotions.

The Calvary Church family wishes Bob and Bea a Blessed and Happy 60th Anniversary

Just like quite a number Calvary Church Family members do, Red Schmidt hails from the Elgin vicinity. Red was born in Elgin and lived the first six years of his life in Raleigh, North Dakota, before his family moved to Bismarck. Red is of German-Irish lineage; his Grandpa Schmidt was a German immigrant to this country. He remembers his mom’s homemade bread, buns, and vegetable soup were especially good-tasting
There were four children in his family of origin; he had three older sisters one of whom is now deceased. He has six nieces and nephews and four great-nieces and great-nephews. Red spends holidays with a niece and her family in Mandan. Red has always had a dog in his life; currently his dog companion is “Lucky”, a shelter dog that truly was ‘lucky’ when the folks at the Central Dakota Humane Society matched him up with Red. Lucky is pictured with Red at left. Red has had a number of different dog breeds and prefers mixed breeds
Although Red is now enjoying a much-deserved retirement, his work life was spent working as a service station attendant and mechanic. He worked for 30 years at Werner’s Standard, a service station located on Main Avenue here in Bismarck for many years before “urban development”. Then he worked at Kirkwood Standard for another 16 years before he retired. 
For many years, Red enjoyed camping and fishing in his free time. He also developed a fondness for woodworking, which is a hobby he continues to work in to this day. He builds just about anything one can imagine but specializes in bird, bat, and butterfly houses, as well as step-stools, decorative planters and wishing wells. Last summer, a woman who lives on a well-traveled corner lot in Bismarck requested he build a “doggie drinking station” which she placed on the corner of her lot and kept filled with cold water for the dogs being walked in the neighborhood.
Spiritual Background:
Red regularly attends worship here at Calvary and has been doing so for about the past ten years. During his working years, he most often had to work on the weekends. Calvary people ‘in the know’ indicated that Red was very generous with his woodworking skills during the years Calvary Kids was held here, as well as making table decorations for special church dinners.
Did You Know?
Red is a member of the Bismarck area Farmers’ Market Association and regularly exhibits the items he builds at the market held in the K-Mart lot twice a week during the summer? He has a variety of products for sale at this event – check it out sometime this summer when you’re at the Farmers Market.


Background:  Ginny was born in New Leipzig, ND, the oldest of nine children in a farm family.  Al was born east of Bismarck, and grew up in the vicinities of Sterling, Driscoll, and Moffit.  The two met here in Bismarck where Ginny worked as a nurses’ aide and Al had friends.

Family:  Al and Ginny are the parents of three sons, two of whom have served in the armed forces in the Middle East.  The Shermans have five grandchildren and  a sixth is on the way! 

Vocations:  Ginny worked for five years as a nurses’ aide, then when her children were grown, she became a Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) bus driver for nine years.  That service was taken over by the Bis-Man Transit Company and Ginny continued working under that ‘umbrella’ for another sixteen years. 

Al has worked in the body shop for what is now Kupper Chevrolet for 42 years and currently has the responsibility of assessing damages on a vehicle, obtaining all the parts required for the individual jobs, verifying that all items are in stock, then scheduling the job for completion. 

Hobbies:  Ginny enjoys playing cards as well as spending time over coffee with a circle of friends.  At one time, she and Al raised a large vegetable garden and did quite a bit of canning and pickling.  They no longer raise vegetables, but Ginny enjoys green plants (as is evidenced by the beautiful coleus in the church foyer) and flower beds in their yard.  Al likes to hunt – primarily game birds and coyotes.  He also enjoys fishing. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  Al’s first church home was at Amelia Bailey United Methodist Church in Moffit.  Ginny indicate that her father was musically inclined and sang in the church choir when she was a youngster.  She taught Sunday School while living in the New Leipzig area.  Both she and Al attend Bible Study here at Calvary and they both sing in the choir.  Al originally started singing in the choir at the urging of Marie Cissell. 

Other Interests:  Ginny was the secretary for the wrestling teams while their boys were in school and participated in wrestling.  She also was active in the housing association they lived in prior to the subdivision becoming annexed to the City of Mandan. 

Both Ginny and Al enjoy traveling a great deal.  When asked their favorite location to visit, they responded simultaneously “Hawaii”!  Their first visit there took place when one of their military sons was stationed in that state but they have made subsequent trips because they’ve enjoyed it so much.




On behalf of the Church Trustees, I would like to say “Thank You!” to Roland Ketterling for his many years of service as the custodian of Calvary United Methodist Church. Roland has taken care of our church home with tender loving care for years and has removed snow from the sidewalks during some very cold and windy North Dakota winters. Roland was very helpful as we updated the parsonage last year. Thank you, Roland, for your years of service, it is appreciated!
                                                                                                      Martha Holzer, Chairwoman
The building custodian is the person who creates the first impression of every facility. When we enter a facility, we unconsciously form an immediate opinion based on cleanliness, orderliness and even air quality (fresh scent, furniture polish, cleaning solutions). When the first impression is good, well then, everyone associated with the building benefits. And yet, when building maintenance is lacking, most of us judge – all be it unfairly, perhaps – the place needs a more attentive maintenance person. We are all stakeholders! Thank you, Roland, for making the church and everyone associated with it ‘look good’ for all these many years.
Roland ~You are wished much happiness and enjoyment as you continue to make many more Happy Trails, dear friend. Till next time. . .
All the pearls of wisdom gleaned from Roland through the years are too numerous to list. Here, a few favorites:
     In response to the number of years he and the lovely Lorraine had been married: “Yeah, I think       at least 90 years; 45 for her and 45 for me.”
     Upon contemplating a restaurant menu and placing an order: Roland stated to the server: “The first scoop of ice cream is priced at $1.29, and additional scoops are $.79. I don’t want the first scoop; I’d like to order the second scoop for $.79 and save myself a little money.”
     When working on an extremely tall step ladder changing light bulbs in the church entryway, Roland responded to an offer for assistance with a thoughtful, “Well, it would help if you could call 911 right after I fall off this thing.”
     And for those of us who know and appreciate German, Roland feels it is good for people to be interested in others and have contact with friends and acquaintances on a regular basis. A direct translation from German to English would be “It’s good to be under the people,” which is a favorite phrase of Roland.
     “My memory is good. It is just a little too short.”




Doris and Laurence met in Tuttle, North Dakota, Doris’ home town, when Laurence and a cousin would drive from Pettibone, a neighboring community on weekend evenings.  The relationship started with just looking, to greeting, to eventually speaking.  They were married at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Tuttle and shortly thereafter moved to Las Vegas so Laurence could attend telegraphy school.  Upon completion of classes, Laurence took a job with Union Pacific Railroad in Colorado/Wyoming and served as a relay agent.  Shortly thereafter, the telegraph was replaced by more modern technology and telegraphy jobs became obsolete.


The Gruebeles moved back to North Dakota, and primarily through employment circumstances have lived in a number of places through the years.  Laurence’s work experiences include grain elevator and road construction and in 1961 he entered the US Army.  He was stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, and with exception of basic training, he and Doris were able to be together in Kansas living in an apartment off-base.  During this time, their daughter was born.


Upon Laurence’s discharge from the army, the three of them moved back to North Dakota and Laurence worked for Clairmont Construction before hiring on with Wachter Ranch as the foreman for the ranch and sand and gravel business.  During this time, they had a home built in Bismarck by another Calvary Church member who had a construction business, Harold Ziegler.  The Gruebeles spoke highly of Harold’s skills and talents as a builder, in addition to which “he was so nice to work with.”


The Gruebeles also managed the 18K Grocery Store which operated just south of Main Avenue on 9th Street here in Bismarck.  They specialized in homemade sausage, a variety of ethnic delicacies, and fresh cut meats.  They also ran the Northbrook Mall snack bar for a while, initially to give their high-school-age daughter experience in the work world.


When the store closed, Laurence asked his then adult daughter if she would consider team trucking with her Dad; she said yes.  Laurence bought a semi-truck/trailer fitted with a “pup” trailer (a slightly smaller trailer attached to the regular sized trailer.  He and his daughter made daily trips to Rapid City hauling dry cement powder from there to Bismarck’s Beyer’s (now known as LaFarge Dakota Inc.) Concrete ready mix.  The usual pattern was that the daughter would drive to Rapid City while Dad slept in the cab; Dad would drive back to Bismarck while the daughter slept.  They would arrive back in Bismarck very late at night, shower, have a big breakfast prepared by Doris, and repeat the day into night pattern.  They did this for 11 years!!!


These days, Laurence hauls sand and gravel in the Pettibone-Robinson-Tuttle area every day and Doris holds down the fort at home.



Two children:  a daughter - Cindy, a son – Jay; 3 grands:  a boy – Mitchell, soon to graduate from optometry school in Oregon; two girls:  Kaitlyn in Las Vegas and Jayla, a Bismarck senior in high school.



Doris:  Birding and feeding birds year-round.  While living in Pettibone, she once observed 23 species in one year.  She is also fascinated by butterflies and collects Monarch chrysalides which she places in an indoor net enclosure and watches them morph into butterflies before releasing them outdoors.  She is on the mailing list for hundreds (or maybe thousands?) of catalogs so if you need a hard to find item, check with Doris!

Laurence:  Fishing; he fairly recently had an opportunity to ocean fish with his grandson which was quite exciting and very successful!.  He also loves everything about horses.  He no longer rides but he likes working with horses and just being around them.


Mel & Doris Lauer

Background:  Mel and Doris both were born in the McClusky, ND area.  They both put down deep roots and made this area their long-time home.  They met as school children in McClusky and “puppy love” (Mel’s words) flourished.  Then the unthinkable happened – Doris’ family moved to Regan, ND when she was 13.  Mel started corresponding with Doris by mail.  In June of 1945 at age 18, Mel was drafted into the army (more on that a little later).  The letter writing continued and upon Mel’s discharge from the service in 1947, he returned to North Dakota and he and Doris were married in June of that year.


Family:  The Lauer’s have five grown children; two daughters and three sons (two of the boys are twins).  One daughter lives on the farm established by Mel and Doris, one daughter lives in California, one son lives in Missouri, and two sons live in Bismarck.  The Lauers have 15 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.  In early June they attended a family gathering in Glen Ullin that included other in-laws.  They were one of two sets of great-great grandparents resulting in two five-generation photographs.


Vocation:  Following their marriage, Mel and Doris moved to a farm near the small community known as Pickardsville, about six miles west of McClusky.  It was a grain and beef cattle operation that they worked and lived on until May, 1996.  Mel stated that their chosen way of life was not an easy life, but he always enjoyed it and wasn’t anxious to leave it even when he knew it was time.  Doris was a stay-at-home Mom and homemaker which was more than a full-time job but she agreed with Mel that it was a good way to live.


Hobbies:  The Lauers were long-time bowlers:  Doris bowled for 41 years and Mel bowled for 42 years.  This hobby took them to many communities in North Dakota.  Mel and Doris indicated they felt they bowled long enough and didn’t miss the actual bowling but missed their bowling pals.  These days, Mel meets with a group of gentlemen daily for conversation and a light lunch; Doris enjoys a daily lengthy walk.


Spiritual Background:

Mel was raised in the EUB church and Doris was a Baptist before her marriage to Mel.  They both indicated that they always had been rooted in faith, but had not always been dutiful about worship attendance.  At Mel’s parents 50th anniversary celebration, his parents reflected on their life together and Mel’s mother stated, “The only thing I wish for is that all my children would attend church regularly.”  That simple statement influenced Mel and Doris into becoming more regular worshipers.


Do You Know Mel’s military history?  In a brief discussion about his military service early in our conversation, Mel mentioned that following basic training in Fort Knox, Kentucky, he was shipped to post-World War II Germany.  The country was in ruins – the devastation Mel witnessed was something he said he’ll never forget.  He casually mentioned that the army’s accommodations at the underground Hitler Youth School were beautiful and comfortable.  What an interesting lifetime experience for a very young man all the way from North Dakota!


And Do You Know how much food Doris’ has preserved in her lifetime?  When they lived on the farm and she was raising her family, she made time to tend a vegetable garden and, additionally, purchased a variety of fruits to preserve.  Many of those years she canned between two and three thousand jars of food product!  She said it really helped the grocery bill and they ate well all winter!


LaDawn Eisenbeis

Background:  LaDawn was born in Hazen, North Dakota, and grew up on a farm near Beulah.  She graduated from Beulah high school in 1994 and then moved to Bismarck to attend the University of Mary where she majored in business.  After graduating from the University of Mary, she took time off from school and work to take care of her grandmother, Rosina Martin.  Rosina and Walter Martin were members of Calvary Church.   

Family:  LaDawn in an only child, as is her father.  Her mother has one sibling.   

Vocations:  After her Grandma Rosina passed away, LaDawn took a job position with Farmers Insurance Group.  Following a stint in the insurance industry, she took a part-time position with the Motor Vehicle Division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (DOT) which evolved into several positions over a one and a half year period of time.  Eventually, LaDawn accepted a full-time position with the DOT and worked there for nine years.  Recently, she accepted a position with the ND Department of Public Instruction. 

Hobbies:  Growing up in near-western North Dakota, LaDawn developed a fondness for rodeos and bullriding – happily as a fan and not as an active participant!  She also enjoys scrapbooking and has made and given scrapbooks as gifts.  She’s also part of a bowling league and plays sand volleyball in the summer. 

Spiritual Backgrounds:  During her young years, LaDawn attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Zap, North Dakota and was baptized and confirmed there.  After living in Bismarck and attending church with her Grandpa Walter, LaDawn transferred her membership to Calvary. 

Did You Know. . .  LaDawn has a special interest in the 1950’s era.  She enjoys learning about that period of time and is quite fascinated with it.  She also is a devoted television follower of the Nascar circuit.


Oscar Ebel was born during the time his family lived on a farm south of Medina, North Dakota.  Helena was born to parents that lived in Tappen, North Dakota.  Their spiritual backgrounds is what brought the two together.  They met in their early 20’s when Oscar, whose family attended a Congregational Church, attended a spring cantata being presented at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Tappen.  It turns out that Helena (who, by the way, still sings in Calvary’s Adult Choir) was singing in the choir at a spring cantata.  The Ebels will be celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary in May.  As a young couple, they lived in Jamestown and then job opportunities eventually had them relocating to Bismarck.


Helena and Oscar have three children, two sons and one daughter, and 7 grandchildren.  One son lives in Minneapolis and is a general manager for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad.  The Ebel’s daughter lives in Colorado Springs and is home-schooling three teen-aged sons.  The Ebel’s other son lives in Jamestown and is a machinist for Champ, a Canadian manufacturing firm. 


Oscar worked for the railroad for many years of his adult life.  He started as a depot agent in Jamestown and then as times changed, he took the training required to become a train engineer.  He retired as an engineer after 20 years of service.

Helena worked for insurance adjusters, both in Jamestown and then in Bismarck. 


Helena loves to read; her favorite books are Christian novels.  She also does embroidery work, and taught herself to crochet and knit.  Her mother stressed to her daughters the importance of learning to read crocheting and knitting patterns, and not learning only by seeing and doing.  Helena’s mom felt the ability to read patterns would greatly expand the capabilities for her daughters’ handwork.  For a woman of her generation, that was commendable insight.

Oscar is a genealogy buff and is currently researching his father’s side of the family.  Anyone with experience will tell you that genealogy is interesting, time consuming, and addictive.

Did You Know. . .

Oscar’s mother was 108 years of age when she passed from this life.  Born in 1895 and dying in 2003, her life touched three centuries.  She was the mother of 11 children, Oscar is the second youngest.


Marian Barbie


Marian was born at Bismarck Hospital on November 14, 1927.  She recently celebrated her 83 birthday and stated she doesn’t mind if her age is known.  What a refreshing attitude!  Marian is youthful in many ways (more on that a little later).  Marian’s family lived in Menoken.  She graduated from Bismarck High School and Bismarck Junior College (now BSC).  Her husband, Don Barbie, was a returning veteran of World War II and they met while students at BJC.  Don and Marian were married in Grand Forks where Don graduated from UND with an engineering degree.  Married student housing was not as readily available at the time and Marian and Don lived in an 18-foot mobile home with no running water (except for a garden hose in the summer!), and no refrigeration, but they had an ice box.  Don’s work eventually took them to Kansas and to Pennsylvania.  They returned to Bismarck where Don worked as a bridge engineer with the ND Department of Transportation until his retirement. 


The Barbies had two daughters.  Dana is an hydrologist with a geological survey company in Austin, Texas.  Daughter Donna in Florida is a professor and program chair at Riddle Embry, a highly respected private flying institution in Daytona Beach.  Marian also has a granddaughter, Katrina Marie, who lives in Las Vegas. 


Marian, who is now retired, had an interesting employment history.  She worked for 6 years at what was then known as the Workers’ Compensation Bureau.  In 1965 she became Clerk of Court for the Burleigh County Court System.  Among other duties, Marian was responsible for issuing marriage licenses and functioning in the court room when accused persons made their pleas before a judge, impaneled jurors, and conducted court probate functions.  The job she held was an elected position and she ran for the position 3 times, winning all 3 times.  At some point, the court system underwent structural changes and district courts were formed from counties in specific areas.  This changed some of Marian’s job functions and she saw “the other side” as she became involved in mental health hearings, divorce proceedings, and child support collections.  Work for her was always interesting and challenging. 


At one point in her life, Marian played bridge quite regularly.  Her favorite hobbies were gardening – especially flowers.  It would seem that someone of Marian’s style would have had a lovely, manicured yard and gardens.  Marian has a canine companion known by the name “Miss Daisy” who came to her via granddaughter Katrina.  Miss Daisy is a basset hound and has beautiful dark brown eyes. 

Spiritual Background:

In her youth in Menoken, church services were held at school.  Regular church attendance has been a part of Marian’s life. 

Did You Know. . .

Marian started bowling many, many years ago and at one time was involved in league bowling 3 plus nights a week.  She currently bowls in the senior league twice each week.