Delwin “Del” Leslie Bjork, 81, Minot, died Monday, October 17, 2011 in a Minot hospital.
Del was born June 18, 1930 in Minot, North Dakota, the son of Edward and Amanda (Knutson) Bjork. He was raised in Minot and graduated from Minot High School in 1948. Del attended Minot State College for three years, prior to entering into active duty service with the U.S. Air Force in 1951. He spent 30 months in the Korean war zone with the 483rd Troop Carrier Wing. Upon returning to the U.S. he was assigned to Headquarters 3640th Pilot Training Wing at Laredo Air Force Base. While stationed there he was united in marriage to Louise Herigstad on July 2, 1954.
After receiving his honorable discharge, he returned to Minot State, where he played basketball and was a member of the conference championship teams. The 1954-55 championship team was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame on September 24, 1968. Del graduated from MSU in 1956, and taught and coached at St. John and Rolla, ND. He coached the St. John Woodchucks to their first District Championship in 1957. He coached football, basketball, track and baseball at Rolla. In 1960, his football team went undefeated and his basketball team won the State Class B Championship.
Del then accepted a position in the Vocational Education Office at Minot High School in 1968. He was named assistant principal at Minot High School in 1969 and then appointed Director of the Adult and Vocational Education programs from 1971 until his retirement in 1993. Del had received his Masters degree in Education in 1971 from UND in Grand Forks. He was elected President of the ND Council of Vocational Administrators on three different occasions, during his 22 years as a Vocational director. He developed and initiated a multitude of training courses and classes for adults in evening programs. He was selected as the President of the North Dakota Adult Education Association in 1974 and 1975 and was named the ND Adult Educator of the Year in 1975.
Del was a member of Augustana Lutheran Church, Minot, where he served on the church council. He also served on the Council for Campus Lutheran Ministry. He was a member of the NEA, NDEA, ND Vocational Education Association, ND Council of School Administrators, National Council of School Administrators and the Minot Education Association. He was a former member of the Minot American Legion, Elks Lodge, Eagles Aerie and Moose Lodge. He served on the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, Minot Recreation Committee and the Governor’s Regional Employment Training Council.
Del participated in golfing, bowling and fishing for many years.
His loving family includes, children, Lori (James MacPherson) Curran, Red Deer Alberta, Canada, Mike (Cathy) Bjork, Ft. Collins, CO, Erik (Brenda Simonson) Bjork, Minot, Dana E. (Dana D.) Bjork, Burnsville, MN, Chad Bjork, Fargo, ND; son-in-law, Kerry Curran and daughter-in-law, Brenda Bjork; grandchildren, Garrett and Megan Curran, Nick, Kristen (Voegtle) and Katie Bjork; Hanna, Amanda, Rylee and Haylee Bjork; Rhett, Rachel and Julia Bjork; great-grandchild, Declan Voegtle; brother, Ed (Jackie) Bjork, Minot; nephews, Kevin and David Bjork and niece, Vicki Brantl and their families, also a special friend of Del and the family, Audrey Chole-Eidsness.
Del was preceded in death by his parents, wife of 51 years, Louise and son, Todd Dixon Bjork.
Funeral service: Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. in Bread of Life Lutheran Church, Minot.
Interment: Veterans Section at Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Friday from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
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