Cover photo for Marie M. Birkeland's Obituary
Marie M. Birkeland Profile Photo

Marie M. Birkeland

May 14, 1929 — August 3, 2022

Marie M. Birkeland

Marie Margaret Ann, daughter of Nicolai and Sophie (Ege) Royland was born on May 14, 1929 at St. John ND.  Marie was one of 11 children in the Royland family.

She grew up on a farm at rural St. John and attended school there.  As a young woman, she worked in many local restaurants in Rolette County, then moved to Devils Lake and worked as a waitress at Grandma’s Café and Colonial Café.  We would like to think that Marie met her future husband Leonard Birkeland at a café, because for 30 plus years, she and Leonard frequented the White House Café in Devils Lake. They were always there to greet and visit with the patrons and were so special to all of the crew at the restaurant. 

Marie was united in marriage to Leonard on July 12, 1953 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church. They established their home on the Birkeland farm where they lived, worked and raised their family through the years. As a couple they had cattle, milk cows, chickens and pigs to care for each day. Marie always had a huge garden which she tended to from planting to harvest. She canned everything she could get her hands on.  She was an excellent cook, outstanding baker and always made sure she made the family favorites at every holiday and special event. In her younger years she enjoyed knitting and was a talented seamstress. 

Our precious Marie was a devoted wife, loving mother, doting grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother.  Marie treasured each and every member of her family with unconditional love. She loved her family, the beauty of nature, flowers, and music.  She will be forever loved and greatly missed.

Special thanks to Kim, Patti, Amanda, Lindsey and Hospice for their care which allowed Marie to spend her last days at home.

Marie’s loving family include her children Kevin “Cowboy” Birkeland and his wife Kim, Kathy and her husband Tim Kraft all of Devils Lake; grandchildren Jill Vassen, Sara (Adam) Bachmeier; Cody Birkeland (Amanda), Blaine Rau (Brandi) and Lindsey Swanson (Jeremy); many great grandchildren; one great great grandson; brother Marvin Royland of Virginia; sister-in-law Florence Hoistad, many nieces, nephews and their families.

She was preceded in death by her husband Leonard on May 29, 2022, grandchild Jennifer Kraft Swanson, great grandson Coltan Swanson, siblings Olaf, Albert, Norman, Carsten, Joe and Benjamin Royland, Johanna Ness, Sally Frafford and Edith Jay. 

Casket Bearers will be Marie’s grandchildren Jill, Sara, Cody, Blaine and Lindsey. 

A Gathering of family and friends will be held on Monday, August 15th 2022 at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Funeral Services will be on Tuesday, August 16th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake with Reverend Trudy Dumont officiating. Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery. 


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