Earl Setterlund, a maverick of handiwork, gentleman songbird, and caring “Papa,” left this world peacefully on Sunday - May 3, 2020 at Edgewood Assisted Living Care Center in Mandan. He was 90 years young, smart as a whip, and blessed that his last days on this earth were spent with doting family and lifelong friends, who took much joy in reminiscing about his many adventures, stories, wise humor, and love of music.
Earl was born to Mauritz and Helen (Johnson) Setterlund on June 23, 1929 on their family farmstead a half-mile south of Battleview, ND. He received his elementary education in his home town and traveled to Fargo, ND, where he graduated in 1948 from Oak Grove High School. After graduation, Earl continued working on the family farm with his parents until his patriotic heart called him to service in the United States Navy during the Korean conflict from 1951-1954. After he was married and started his family in Mandan, he continued his education and earned his Associates Degree at Bismarck Junior College in 1960.
While still on active Navy duty, Earl met his Southern Belle and beautiful wife, Yvonne Bray, of St. Augustine, Florida and after a short courtship were married on December 26, 1953. After spending their first few years of marriage on the farm, they relocated to Mandan in 1955 where they raised six healthy children. Earl and Yvonne made a lifetime of happy memories before she passed away in 2008. They enjoyed many cruises with friends and traveled the country with family, most notably packing the whole gang of kids in their Plymouth station wagon and later camping with grandkids in their RV. Earl valued family time so much that, as his kids grew up, he and Yvonne added a swimming pool to their back yard in 1977, where endless family get togethers took place for the next 43 years, until selling the family home in July 2019.
Earl began his career with MDU, followed by a 33-year career at Mandan Oil Refinery, eight of those years as supervisor in the Mechanical Department. Earl was also co-founder of the Dakota Caulking Company.
Earl’s giving nature called him to serve his community, holding various positions on the First Lutheran Church Council, Boy Scout Council, Morton County Thrivent Group and Mandan Refinery Retirees. He was a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Horseshoe Association and ultimately was inducted into the ND Horseshoe Pitchers Hall of Fame. Earl was a proud member of the Bismarck-Mandan Elks Chorus and Senior Bowling League as well as the Elks Lodge, American Legion, VFW, Mandan Eagles and Moose Lodge. He also served countless Meals on Wheels for a number of years.
One of Earl’s favorite pastimes was wood-turning and he was a member of the Dakota Wood Turners for many years and loved sharing his beautiful creations with family and friends. Earl ‘the Pearl’ loved fishing and boating, which he happily passed on to his sons and grandsons and they in turn shared their passion of golf with him. Earl looked forward to feeding the backyard Blue Jays each morning and watching his sailboat whirly-gigs spinning in the wind. He built many bird houses throughout the years and loved tending his flower beds and vegetable garden.
Earl was a loyal man of great honor, integrity and respect for his family, friends, community and church. He made the best of every day by lending a helping hand whenever he was called upon. He was an entertainer on many levels, playing his guitar, telling jokes, and singing for local senior centers and nursing homes. It was only natural that he continued this talent after he moved to Edgewood Assisted Living Center. Earl could keep everyone smiling with his keen humor, cowboy poetry, uplifting attitude, and patriotic song collection. He never hesitated to go off script in front of large gatherings to speak from the heart about people he loved.
During his later years, Earl had the good fortune of finding the ideal partner, his dear friend Alice, who shared his love for dancing, music, gardening and many other pastimes.
Earl will be deeply missed by those who survive him, including his very special friend, Alice Arnts; daughters, Linda (Leore) Thomas of Bismarck and Lori (James) Snider of Brainerd, Minnesota; sons, Richard (Kathy), Mark (Val), all of Mandan, Mikel and Carl (Tammy), of Bismarck; grandchildren, Mandie (Kyle) Haman, Brian (Kristi) Setterlund, Kevin Setterlund, Lindsay (Ryan) Masset, Allison Snider, Landon (Laura) Snider, Tyler and Jaden Setterlund, and Elizabeth, Seraphina, and Serenity Setterlund; step grandsons, Joseph (Cody) Thomas, Conan Radspinner, and Drayton Boehler; great-grandchildren, Rayne, Rhyan, Reeve, Corinne, Dylan, Olivia, Lorelei, Imogene, Drake, Kaida, Justice, DeMae, and Jada; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Yvonne; his sisters Grace Moberg and Millie Skredsvig; and his brother, Robert Setterlund.
The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to all of the nurses and staff at Edgewood Assisted Living and Memory Care in Mandan.
The family will greet friends from 10 AM to 11 AM on Friday, June 5, 2020 at Buehler-Larson Funeral Home, Mandan while observing social distancing guidelines. A private family memorial service and burial at the ND Veterans Cemetery will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials go to First Lutheran Church of Mandan, the ND Veteran’s Cemetery, or the Bismarck-Mandan Elks Chorus.