Elvina (Brager) Mickelson

September 15, 1924 ~ February 10, 2021 (age 96)

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Elvina A. (Brager) Mickelson, 96, of West Fargo, ND, passed away on Feb 10th at her daughter’s home in Grand Forks.

Elvina was born on September 15, 1924 in Steele County, ND to John O. and Betsy (Sampson) Gleason.  The oldest of 8 children, she grew up and attended school for 3 years in Pickert, ND, before transferring to Sherbrooke Township through 8th grade.  On December 31, 1942, she married Marvin Brager in Finley, ND.  They lived in Waukegan, IL. for a couple of years while Marvin served in the Navy.  Together they welcomed 7 children and were together until Marvin's death on January 7, 1991.  She married her second husband Orvid Mickelson June 12, 1994, in Finley, and they remained together until his passing on November 24, 2000.  Following Orvid's death she moved to West Fargo, ND. 

Elvina enjoyed sewing, knitting, crocheting, cooking, baking, bowling, and playing cards.  She was a member of the Finley Ladies’ Aide and a Lifetime Member of the American Legion Auxiliary.   She was extremely proud to be a grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great grandmother.  She knitted each child a unique afghan.  Several varieties of cookies were always  ready in ice cream buckets for the impromptu visits which she enjoyed immensely.   During her time in West Fargo, she enjoyed her community by sharing meals, and playing bingo and cards.   She often shared how important work ethic is; she left home to go to work at age 15 in order to care for 7 children between the ages of 10 months and 11 years.  Her pastor brought her to Portland, ND, to care for these children while their parents left for a week upon her arrival.  She was proud of how hard she worked, and her diligent saving habits allowed her to build several successful businesses.  Those include a mechanic shop, the Standard Station in Finley, ND, and Brager Garbage Disposal (with Marvin).  She leaves behind a long and proud legacy.

Elvina is survived by her children, Faye Conzo of Grand Forks, ND, Keary (Sandie) Brager of Fargo, ND, Myron (Karn) Brager of Finley, ND, David (Lorna) Brager of West Fargo, ND, and daughter-in-law Trish Brager of Cooperstown, ND; her grandchildren, William (Edith) Conzo, Sandi (Mike) Harris, Gayle (Scott) Dahlke, Christopher (Sheila) Conzo, Betsy (Blaise) Vicari, Kimberly Bader, Andrea (Kenneth) Wygant, Julie (David) Jansen, Jenessa Brager, Amber (Dustin) Eslinger, Mallory (Joe) Everson, Christian (Renee) Gebeke, Adam (Shannon) Brager, Micah Brager, Traci Brager, and Erick (Joslin) Brager; her 32 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; and 5 siblings, Betty Sweere, Donna (Tom) Cole, Ruth Gullicks, Darlene Saxerud, and Marjorie Gylten.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Betsy Gleason; husbands, Marvin Brager and Orvid Mickelson; sons, Jerry, Gene and Ernest; son-in-law Joseph Conzo; sister Gladys Thul, and brother John “Buddy” Gleason Jr.

Private Service:    Will be held for her family in West Funeral Home Chapel,  West Fargo

Public Graveside Service:     Finley (ND) Cemetery    Spring, 2021    (Day and Time will be posted when set)


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