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John Elstad

August 30, 1949 - February 23, 2021


March 01, 2021
1:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M.

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center

Memorial Service

March 01, 2021
- 2:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center


Boulger Funeral Home

John Elstad

August 30, 1949 - February 23, 2021


John’s service will be livestreamed below at 2:00 PM Monday, March 1, 2021.

John Melvin Elstad, 71, of Fargo, passed away Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at the Sanford Broadway Hospital, Fargo, following a short, courageous battle with lymphoma.

John was born August 30, 1949, in St. Paul, MN, to John and Florence (Carlson) Elstad. He grew up in Jamestown, ND, where he graduated from high school in 1967. He briefly attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, after which he worked for an auto parts store in Jamestown and began his illustrious career in firefighting as a volunteer firefighter. John married Linda Rethemeier on August 31, 1991, in Jamestown, subsequently living in Bismarck and Fargo. He was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church and the Choralaire’s men’s singing group in Jamestown.

John loved his career as a fire fighter in Jamestown and Bismarck and served as a North Dakota state deputy fire marshal for 30 years until his retirement in 2014. He had a special interest in collecting fire-fighting memorabilia. John loved traveling with his wife, enjoying a cruise to Alaska and trips around the country from California to New York. They particularly liked their trips to Florida and Hawaii. John and Linda loved getting together with friends.

John is survived by Linda, his wife of almost 30 years, at their Fargo home; his brother, Donald (Nancy) of Jamestown; his sisters, Cathy (Bruce) of Colfax, WA, Pam Peek of Jamestown, and Jane Hess of Jamestown; 5 nephews, 1 niece, 3 great nephews, and 3 great nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife’s parents. He will be greatly missed by the many friends with whom he shared many cups of coffee and adventures across the country.


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13 responses to “John Elstad”

  1. Randy and Henrietta Hagen says:

    Don, Nancy and everyone in Johns family; we are so sorry for your loss. We feel your pain and are thinking of you. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Keep his memories close to and he we live on with you and watch over you.

  2. Susan Dauwen says:

    Linda, I’m so sorry for the loss of John. Sending prayers.

  3. Gene Heinrich says:

    Linda sorry for your loss. I got to know John when I was a volunteer firefighter at Medina. Then started a brotherly bond as Brothers in Song with the Jamestown Choralaires. He sure loved his passion for the fire service.

  4. Kathy Warberg says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and John’s family. We are so sorry for your loss.
    John and Kathy Warberg

  5. Tom Thompson says:

    Linda, I’m so sorry to hear of Johns passing. I will never forget the great times we had on our bus trip to the east coast. John wanted to have a hot dog from a stand at Times Square and New York pizza which he did. Good memories also Statue of Liberty 911 Memorial and many other memories. John was a special friend.

  6. Michele Kramlich says:

    Linda, I am SO sorry to read about John’s passing in the Jamestown Sun. Although I’ve not seen the two of you in quite some time, my memories of out times together are extremely special. John’s support of your involvement with Woman of Today & our conversations about singing will always be what i remember most about John. He was a keeper for sure!!!!!

  7. Mary and Dave Sandve says:

    Don, Nancy and the family of John,
    So sorry for your loss. Sincere sympathy and prayers to you all. Beautiful video tribute.
    God be with you at this difficult time.

  8. Aloha Kercher says:

    Linda, I am sure you will treasure those wonderful memories of John,..I am so sorry for your loss.

  9. Angie Kerbaugh says:

    Linda…thinking of you today. I enjoyed our conversations at Sanford. So sorry for your loss.

  10. Brian P Elstad says:

    Dear Linda and family.

    We are sorry to hear about John’s passing. We are praying for you, and that you may find strength in God and the memories of John. John will be missed. Sincerely, cousin, Brian Elstad.

  11. Sonja Ledin says:

    Linda, I loved your and John’s visits to Florida. John was always our chauffeur. He was not always happy with the other drivers out on the road lol. We go back before your wedding, when Linda brought John up to my grandparents cabin in Northern Minnesota. We always had fun. I am so happy you got to travel. I will miss him!!!

  12. Dave Snyder says:

    Linda and all, I just watched John’s celebration of life. The image and audio were so clear. This is a nice service that Boulger provides. The pastor’s words were touching, and Don’s words were funny and poignant. I love the humor, “It’ll all be your fault.” You are blessed to have had almost 30 years with this man. I am so sorry for you that it isn’t longer. I enjoyed the music, especially the piano solo at the end – “It is well with my soul.”

    I’m glad I stopped by your home to meet John back in 2018. A big hug to you today. I hope to see you later this year. I love you. Your cousin (Jean’s son) in Maryland.

  13. Sonja Ledin says:

    Linda, I enjoyed your and John’s trips to Florida. John was the chauffeur. He was not always happy with the other drivers on the road lol. We had fun. We go back before the wedding. Linda and John would come up to my grandparents cabin in Northern Minnesota. There are alot of good memories. I am so happy you got to travel!! John will be missed. We will see him again some day

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