- About Us
Ella GebhardApril 28, 1928 ~ December 26, 2017 (age 89)
Ella Edna (Widiger) Gebhard, daughter of Paul and Pauline (Bender) Widiger, was born April 28, 1928 at Bowdon, ND. Ella attended country schools near Chasley and Bowdon and graduated from high school in Fessenden, ND. After high school, Ella attended Interstate Business College in Fargo and worked at the Northern Pacific Freight Depot and the Red River Valley Boy Scout Council.
While attending a dance at the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, Ella met the love of her life, Arlo Gebhard. They were married July 16, 1950 at First Lutheran Church in Fessenden, ND. After their marriage, they farmed in the Embden area. Their children, Paul (1951) and Marla (1952) were born while they lived on the farm.
In 1956, Arlo and Ella left the farm and moved to Fessenden where they both were employed with the Wells County ASCS office in various positions. In May 1959, Arlo was hired as Executive Director for the Ramsey County ASCS office, and the family then moved to Devils Lake.
While living in Devils Lake, Ella worked for the Credit Bureau and the ND Employment Bureau. In 1963, their daughter, Marcie was born. Shortly thereafter, Ella became employed with Federal Crop Insurance. In 1981, FCIC was privatized. At this time, Ella became a contract agent for Federal Crop Insurance, and began her business, All Risk Crop Insurance. Arlo joined her in this endeavor when he retired from ASCS in 1986. After Arlo's death in 1998, Ella continued to operate her business until she retired in 2003 at the age of 75.
Throughout these years, Ella and Arlo worked as partners on many different building projects. They remodeled or built every home in which the family lived. Together they would dream and imagine, then Arlo would begin to make the dreams come true, while Ella made sure the projects stayed on schedule and were completed on time.
Ella was very active in the Devils Lake community. Ella and Arlo were members of the Elks, the Eagles, and the Rotary Club. Ella volunteered and supported the local youth in Devils Lake especially through the Boys and Girl Scout programs and many Church functions. Through her business she sponsored 4-H participants and scholarships for students enrolled in the agriculture program at the Lake Region College.
In 2011, Ella moved to Maple Grove, MN, where she lived within the Arbor Lakes Senior community, close to her daughter, Marla. Ella always enjoyed her visits with family and friends from North Dakota. Ella died December 26, 2017 at her home in Maple Grove.
Ella is survived by her children: 1 son, Paul (Karen Helten), Rapid City, SD; 2 daughters: Marla (Tom) Tangen, St. Michael, MN and Marcie (Rick) Beauchamp, Marriottsville, MD; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren; 1 brother, Leonard (Beverly) Widiger, Mesa, AZ.
Ella is preceded in death by her husband, Arlo; her parents; her brother, Carl Widiger and her sister-in-law, LaVonne Widiger Schaefer.
Funeral Service 11AM Wednesday, Jan. 3rd at West Funeral Home, 31 6th Ave N., Casselton, ND. Visitation at 10AM Wednesday at the funeral home. Interment at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery, Embden, ND.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center