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H.D.“Duke” Samson saddled up for his final ride with his family by his side on Wednesday, July 4, 2018.
Duke was born in Britton, S.D., on May 30, 1930, to Henry and Nina (Lobben) Samson. He was raised on the family farm in Eden, S.D., until the age of 14 when his family moved to West Fargo. Duke attended school in West Fargo and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1948. He was stationed in Washington, D.C., assigned to the destroyer USS Hawkins in 1950, served in the Korean War and honorably discharged in 1952.
Duke worked in California for Alcoa Aluminum before returning to West Fargo to start his career with the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association as a livestock brand inspector. He retired in 1992.
Duke married Patricia Smith on May 28, 1955. They purchased land north of West Fargo in 1958 where they built their farmstead and raised three children.
Duke loved and owned many horses over the years and watched his children also become accomplished horsemen. In 1994 they sold the farm and moved to Harwood where he continued his hobbies of woodworking and golf. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate and excel in their various sporting events. They spent their winters in Lake Havasu, Ariz. for 19 years where they made many lasting friendships. Duke landed that elusive hole-in-one along with many pool tournament trophies during these winters.
Duke was named Horseman of the Year by the Red River Breeders Association in 2001 and recognized for his years of service and dedication to Cass County 4-H in 2004. He enjoyed participating in the WDAY Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with his son, David, in 2015, and moved to West Fargo in 2016.
Duke was a member of Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church, VFW Post 7564, Disabled American Veterans and the Harwood American Legion. He also served in leadership roles with the Cass County Cowboys 4-H Club and Sheyenne Red River Rodeo Club.
Duke was greeted in heaven by his daughter Cheryl, grandson Christopher, sisters Joyce Jerikovsky and Shirley Rued, niece Sheila Tschida, brothers-in-law Jack Jerikovsky, Gene Holmgren and James Smith, parents Henry and Nina Samson, and Pat’s parents Francis and Minnie Smith.
Holding his cherished memory are his wife Pat (of 63 years), son David (Andrea) Samson, daughter Lisa (Scott) Toenies, grandchildren Mikkaela and Shandon Toenies, brother Dick (DeVonne) Samson, sisters-in-law Jean Holmgren and Marie Smith and brother-in-law Daryll Rued, and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at 11:00 am at Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
The family wishes to thank the staff members at Sanford Palliative Care and Fargo VA Health Care for their compassion shown to Duke. Memorials may be given to a charity of your choice or Maple Sheyenne Lutheran Church.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center