Gilbertson Funeral Home: Obituaries

Gilbertson Funeral Home

(August 9, 1922 - April 24, 2011)

U.S. Veteran Howard W. Thacker, 88 of Devils Lake and formerly of Starkweather, ND was called to his heavenly home Sunday evening, April 24th at Heartland Care Center surrounded by loving family and under the loving care of Hospice and Heartland Staff.

Funeral Services for Howard will be held on Friday, April 29, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Church in Starkweather, ND with Reverend Rob Buechler officiating. Burial will be at Trinity-Bergen Lutheran Cemetery at a later date. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, ND on Thursday, April 28, 2011 from 2:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Visitation on Friday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service.

Serving as pallbearers will be Gordy Braathen, Kim Burt, DJ Dockter, Don Kukla, David Myklebust, Mark Ulrich. Honorary Bearers will be the members of the Starkweather Fire Department.

Music will be provided by Lance Quick, DJ Dockter and Carol Sue Pederson.

Military honors provided by John Larson Post #247, Petersburg, ND and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team.

Howard Wayne was born August 9, 1922 in Ervine Township, Benson County, Leeds, ND the son of Joseph Lester and Henrietta (Sebastian) Thacker. He lived most of his life in the Starkweather area. Howard attended the Congregational Church in Leeds and later the Methodist Church in Starkweather, where he was confirmed in the Christian faith. After his marriage he joined the Trinity Bergen Lutheran Church in Starkweather.

He attended Ervine Consolidated School in rural Ervine Township and Starkweather Public School graduating May 31, 1940.

After graduation, Howard began farming. He was united in marriage to Loraine Nellie Iverson on June 16, 1944 in a double wedding ceremony with Doris and Art Myklebust. They established their home on the Ole Erickstad land east of Starkweather. While farming, Howard also worked at Garske Elevator, trucked livestock to West Fargo, and did custom baling.

In December 1944, Howard was drafted into military service. He had basic training in Camp Wolters, Texas. He was then stationed in Fort Ord and shipped out of Richmond, California, destination Asiatic Pacific. Howard served in a Chemical Mortar Battalion and a trucking company in Tacloben, Leyte province, Philippines.

Once home, Howard, under the GI Bill, took farm school training and flying lessons at Lake Region Flying Service receiving his pilots license July 24, 1947.

Howard and Loraine moved to the Overboe farm where they lived and farmed until September 1960. In September 1960, they bought their home in Starkweather and fuel business from Sam Loehr. They retired in 1988.

Howard was a charter member of the Elmer Berg Post #275 Legion Club in Starkweather which was formed in 1946. He took on the responsibility of honoring his local veterans by putting flags in local cemeteries, which he continued doing for 64 years, accomplishing these past several years with the help of Vickie Erickstad and last May also assisted by his granddaughter and her family.

Howard was an active member of Trinity Bergen Lutheran Church, as well as being active in his community and surrounding area.

Howard enjoyed spending time with his family, boating, fishing, and woodworking. Many of his family and community people were the recipients of his projects, time, and talents. He and Loraine traveled throughout all 50 United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico.

Howard is survived by: Children, Ginger Thacker of Lake Chapala, Mexico; Judy (Ervy) Schmidt, Niagara, ND; Jim (Mary) Thacker, Haslet, TX; David (Kim)Thacker, Burlington, ND; 6 grandchildren Maria Schmidt of Grand Forks, Debi (Brad) Hoffarth of Minot, Patti (Waylon) Deaver of Berthold, Nikki (Jacob) Muzzy of St. Paul, MN, Paul (DeeDee) Alter also of Minot and Bernie (Maria) Alter of Fort Worth, Texas; 10 great grandchildren AJ, Abby and Averie Hoffarth, Gage, Gunnar, Gretchen and Gwen Deaver, Anabelle Muzzy, Tristan and Rafe Alter; sister Christine (Ed) Hirzy, De Soto, MO, as well as many loving nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents and his loving wife of 64 years, Loraine.

Howard’s life gave his children a broad base of love, strength, and ethics to grow on. He passed on his dedication to God, family, and country. He will be dearly missed.