1941 – 2023
Vernon Ellsworth Herfindahl was born in Tioga, ND on March 19, 1941 to parents, Telford & Helen (Esklund) Herfindahl. He joined his older brother, Ronald Herfindahl, and has a younger sister, Sandra (Richard) Shepherd. Vernon was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and has been a member of Tioga First Lutheran Church for many years.
Vernon was raised on a farm in South Meadow Township, attending Lincoln #71 School followed by Tioga High School. He helped on the family farm during his younger years. He also worked for the Williams County Highway Department and was employed in the oil field.
Vernon enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1960. He served aboard the vessels USS Kearsarge, USS Bennington and the USS Yorktown. He was a Vietnam era veteran who served off the Vietnamese Coast. Vernon often remarked his military service resulted in some of the best experiences of his life while traveling to various ports throughout the world.
Shortly after completing his military service, Vernon met a red-headed gal working at the Tioga Tastee Freez. This led to his marriage to Janice Klevenberg at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Powers Lake, ND on October 21, 1967. Throughout the past year Vernon would often boast about being married to the same woman for 55 years! Vernon and Jan were blessed with three children: Starla (Scott) Liedle of White Earth, ND, Sentha (Manuel) Figueroa of Belton, TX, and Slade Herfindahl of Tioga, ND. Their marriages led to Vernon’s greatest joys of six grandchildren: Dawson Liedle, Cheyenne (Bradley) Biwer, Janson Figueroa, Jaron Figueroa, Sawyer Herfindahl, and Slone Herfindahl. This pride was renewed with the birth of great-granddaughter, Jentry Biwer in 2021. Vernon was so looking forward to the arrival of another great-grandchild in March.
Throughout the years, Vernon’s employment included driving truck for several oil companies while always working on the farm. In 1980, Vernon began farming and ranching full time. He read meters for the rural electric cooperative for several years as well. After retirement, Vernon still craved truck driving and worked part time for Hexom/JMAC.
Vernon loved animals. He always carried dog treats in his pocket for any dog, never wanted to get rid of a cat, and enjoyed watching backyard squirrels, bunnies, and birds. During his ranching years, if neighbors had sick calves they had given up on, they would gift them to Vernon who many times nourished them back to health. (Jan would often say she was sure he spent more money on medicine than the animal was worth.) Recent years his grand dog Ruby always rode in the pickup with him, and house cat Jenny was his constant companion while at home.
Vernon continued his post Navy service as an active member of the Tioga American Legion Post #139 for 57 years. He served in the capacities of Vice Commander, Commander, Chaplain, and recently stepped down as Adjutant after holding that position for 12 years. For many years, Vernon carried the Legion flag in the Color Guard until neuropathy hindered his stability. Vernon also served on the First Lutheran Church Council, Upper Missouri Ministries board, and South Meadow Township board.
Vernon suffered a sudden heart attack on February 2, 2023. He left behind his wife; children; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; brother, Ronald; sister, Sandra; sisters-in-law, Gloria Grossman and Mary Weitzel Wilson; brothers-in-law, Richard Shepherd and Hollis Klevenberg; numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and many friends.
He was preceded in death by parents, Telford & Helen Herfindahl; father and mother-in-law, Joseph & Hazel Klevenberg; sisters-in-law, Marian Herfindahl & Arlene Klevenberg; brothers-in-law, LeRoy Klevenberg, Julian Klevenberg, Dale Weitzel, and Joseph Grossman.
Vernon’s Funeral Service will be held on Friday, February 10, 2023, at 11:00 AM at the First Lutheran Church in Tioga, ND with military honors to follow. Pastor Mike Burns will be officiating. Vernon will be laid to rest in the Spring of 2023 at the Trinity Cemetery in Tioga, ND. Visitation will be held at the Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home Chapel in Tioga, on Thursday, February 9, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM and an hour prior to the service time at the church. A Family & Friends Service will be held on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at 6:00 PM at the Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home Chapel in Tioga, ND.
The Funeral Service will be livestreamed, you can view Vernon’s service directly on his obituary page on our website www.fulkersons.com.
Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Tioga is assisting the family. Friends may sign the register and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com.
Published by The Minot Daily News, February 9, 2023.