Gene Engraf, 84

Gene Engraf

Gene Engraf, 84, lifelong Wolf Butte area farmer/rancher passed away suddenly on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at the West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, N.D.

Service of Remembrance for Gene was Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at the Centennial Chapel of Evanson Jensen Funeral Homes in Hettinger.  Rev. Deb Molbert and Rev. Richard Wyman will officiate.  Following a time of fellowship and lunch burial will take place at the Wolf Butte Cemetery north of Bucyrus, N.D.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Friday morning.

Gene Edward Engraf was born Feb. 24, 1933, the only child of Edwin and Myrtle Engraf.  Gene grew up on the farm by the Cedar Creek in Darlings Springs Township in Adams County.  He spent his young years working alongside his mom and dad on the farm. He loved to fish, ride horse and work on machinery.  He could take a tractor apart, rebuild a motor, or “re-engineer” just about anything.

He graduated from New England High School in 1950 where he met his future wife Marilyn Hjemvik.  Gene and Marilyn were married on Sept. 27, 1953 in Hettinger.  They moved to the Jorgen and Kari Engraf farm (Gene’s grandparents) where they spent the next several years farming, raising cattle and three girls.

Gene loved airplanes. Whenever a plane flew over, he would stop whatever he was doing, gaze into the sky and tell anyone around the type, model and year of the airplane.  In the early 1960s Gene took flying lessons and once licensed he flew whenever he could.   Fields and roads were used for takeoffs and landings and his girls were the only kids at Darling Springs School whose dad took them to school in a Cessna.

The Gene and his family suffered a setback when in 1969, their farmhouse burned to the ground.  The Reeder rural volunteer Fire Department and neighbors from miles around came to help, but it was a total loss.  The community rallied –  helping them put their lives back together and celebrating the fact that no one got hurt. The family moved to a farmstead previously owned by the Harold Braaten family and then to Edwin and Myrtle’s farmstead where Gene resided until the time of his death.

Gene was a voracious reader and a life-long learner. He taught himself how to play piano and no one enjoyed a good polka like Gene.  Farming was his passion and he was blessed to have lived out that passion until the day he died.  Grateful to have shared his life … his wife Marilyn, daughters Shari, Gail and Jill, and many friends and relatives.

Gene is survived by his daughters, Shari (Tracy) Doe, Bismarck, ND, Gail (Warren) Doe, New England, N.D. and Jill Gardiner, Greely, CO, his grandchildren, Cristal Doe (Barb), Denver, Colo., Kory (Sara) Doe, New England, N.D., Ariann Doe (Don), New England, N.D. and Skip Gardiner.  Gene is also survived by his great grandchildren, Kelsey, Sophia, Olivia and Westin Doe, all of New England, N.D.  Gene was preceded in death by his parents and his wife Marilyn Engraf.

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