Cover photo for Shirley Hovdeness's Obituary
Shirley Hovdeness Profile Photo

Shirley Hovdeness

February 3, 1946 — April 1, 2024

Devils Lake

Shirley Hovdeness

Shirley Kay Hovdeness, 78 of Devils Lake ND passed away on Monday, April 1, 2024, at Sanford on Broadway in Fargo ND after a short but brave battle with cancer. 

Shirley, daughter of William and Alta (Marlenee) Boldenow was born on February 3, 1946, in Rugby, ND.

She grew up in Leeds, ND, attended Leeds Public School, and graduated from Leeds High School with the class of 1964. In her younger years, Shirley was a member of the Leeds American Legion Auxiliary in honor of her dad’s service to our country.  After high school, she went to work in Devils Lake at the Ben Franklin Store.

Shirley was united in marriage to her beloved Gayle Hovdeness on February 5, 1977, at the United Methodist Church in Devils Lake. They lived, worked, raised their precious daughters here through the years.  

When K-Mart came to town, Shirley joined the team to head Human Resources. She was a major part of the store in every area, from the Backroom to the Front Desk, and was there from the day the store opened in 1977 until the day it closed in 2018.  But retirement was not in Shirley’s vocabulary.   She then began to care for her friend, Joyce Janssen, until joining Prairie View School as a Special Education Paraprofessional. She was a valued, well-loved employee and co-worker and a friend to so many. Her love for people and desire to help others has created so many connections and relationships over the years, but the connections she made with “her kids” was beyond compare.

Shirley always put work ahead of hobbies, but when she did take a break, she enjoyed working on crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, reading, and watching game shows. She was awesome at Wheel of Fortune and was an avid collector of angels. Shirley’s most treasured time was spent with her family.  Her grandchildren were her absolute pride and joy. Shirley loved unconditionally and with her whole heart. Though she may no longer walk beside us, her bright and loving spirit will be with us always.

Shirley’s loving family include her husband Gayle of 47 years; daughters Kristi Strinden and Tammi (Jeremy) Beck all of Devils Lake; grandchildren Kyle Strinden (Stephany) and Kevin Strinden, Kali (Brady) Moen, Kamden, Karsen, Kayleigh and Kaicen Beck; great-grandchildren Jayleigh, Addisyn and Jaxsyn Strinden, Briella and Beckett Moen; siblings Vernon (Judy) Lund, Big Stone City, SD, Sharon Vetter, Grand Forks, ND, Marge Boldenow, Fargo ND, Glenn (Jane) Boldenow, Denver, CO, Jeff Hett, Fargo, ND; sisters-in-law Bonnie Boldenow, Rosemont, MN and Helen (Lloyd) Bremer, St. Peter, MN; many nieces, nephews, cousins and their families.

She was welcomed Home by her parents, William and Alta Boldenow (Hett), father-in-law and mother-in-law, Julius and Jonette Hovdeness; brother, Ralph Boldenow; brothers-in-law, Herman Vetter, Ronald “Bummy” Djoseland and Paul Funiaole; sisters-in-law, Jeniva Djoseland and Jo Ann Funiaole; along with other members of her beloved extended family.

There will be a gathering of family and friends on Friday, April 5, 2024, at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
 Funeral Services for Shirley will be on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake followed by a time of fellowship in the church dining hall.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Shirley Hovdeness, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Gathering of Family and Friends

Friday, April 5, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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