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John Spina

July 15, 1933 - January 10, 2022

Visitation - Friday

January 14, 2022
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Memorial Service - Friday

January 14, 2022
11:00 AM -

St. Joseph's Catholic Church


Boulger Funeral Home

John Spina

July 15, 1933 - January 10, 2022


A livestream of John’s service will be viewable below starting at 10:45 AM Friday, January 14, 2022:

John Lawrence Spina was born July 15, 1933, in Faunce Township, Williams, Minnesota, and passed away at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND, due to complications following surgery, on January 10, 2022, at the age of 88 years.

Left to mourn his passing are his wife of 66 years, Betty, and his children Greg (Julie), Jean (Jerry) Delorme, Gary, and Kari (Blake) Dunn. He is also survived by his nephew Dennis (Eloise) Sobtzak, of Barnesville, MN, and his niece Eileen (Ted) Friedrich, brother-in-law, Raymond Olson, and all his beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews. He was predeceased by his son, Geoffrey; his parents, James and Sophia; and his siblings, James (Delores) Spina, Catherine (Ally) Sobtzak, Emil (Genevieve) Spina, and Jeanette (Lester) Halvorson.

The Spina family resided in Faunce until John was six years old. In 1939, his family relocated to Mickinock Township. He attended school in Pencer as a young child and then graduated from Roseau High School in 1952. He married Betty Lou Olson in 1956 and together they farmed their entire life. In addition to farming, in the early years, John logged every winter and had heavy equipment building roads, ditching, and clearing land. For many years, especially once he retired, he enjoyed snowplowing for many of the neighbors. He was a Roseau County Commissioner for 16 years and an active member of St. Phillip’s Catholic Church in Falun.

In the early 2000‘s, John retired from farming and he and Betty enjoyed life in a new retirement home that they built together a couple of miles from the home place. One of his great joys was seeing the farm, his life’s work, transition to the next generations. He marvelled at the changes he had seen in his lifetime when it came to farming. He had been raised with horse drawn plows and work horses and was so proud that his son and grandson had all the latest John Deere equipment.

Mom and Dad enjoyed many nice trips and had travelled around much of the U.S. as well as the Bahamas. But Dad was always happiest near the land. He was a gentle giant and will be remembered for his contagious laughter that came deep from within. He always said his greatest gift was being blessed with five healthy children. His greatest joy was family, and he was most content when we were all gathered together. We always joked that if he could have had his way, he’d still have us all living at home!

In June of 2021 Mom and Dad sold their retirement home and relocated to an independent living facility in Moorhead, Minnesota, where they resided together at the time of his passing. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew and loved him.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 11:00 AM, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead, MN, located at 218 10th St S, Moorhead, MN 56560. Internment to follow later this spring at Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Roseau, Minnesota.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo, North Dakota. To sign the online guestbook, and to view a livestream of the service, please visit www.boulgerfuneralhome.com


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25 responses to “John Spina”

  1. Marion Moe says:

    John and Betty have been our neighbors all the years past. My sincere sympathy to all of you.

  2. Jean Karlstad Kjear says:

    So very sorry for your loss

  3. Stan Spina says:

    So sorry to hear about Uncle John. He was the last of a great generation. He will be greatly missed.

  4. Stab Spina says:

    So long uncle John. The last of a generation. Rip

  5. Kim Settel says:

    Kari, Betty and Family, sending our heartfelt sympathies. John was such a nice man and absolutely a gentle giant. *hugs to you all*

  6. Page Hunter says:

    Uncle John will always be remembered as a loving husband, father and grandfather. His calm demeanor contrasted with his large (huge?) stature, being at once intimidating to those didn’t know him and a teddy bear to anyone who did know him. Tom and I look forward to celebrating his 88 years on this earth this Friday. My sincerest condolences to Aunt Betty. Love, Page and Tom Hunter

  7. Chris Freeman says:

    Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing Kari. Sending prayers for peace and comfort during this time and the days ahead.

  8. Myrna Gislason says:

    Sincere Sympathy to the Spina Family from Luverne /Marian Gislason🙏🙏

  9. Jennifer Smith says:

    I got to know John and Betty when they moved into the Villa independent living. John always had a smile on and we always talk about the Williams area. Will miss his smile and stories at the Villa. (Jennifer Smith)

  10. Edell Spina says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  11. Bob and carol lien says:

    Your father must have been a huge inspiration to you kids, I know Geoff was a great person to be around and a great friend. May your father Rest In Peace ❤️

  12. Tom and Avis Dolan says:

    Greg and Julia,
    We send our sympathy and prayers during this time of loss. Greg you are a complete image of your dad. Please know we send you love.

  13. Sjodin Iven says:


  14. John & Dora Olson-Sharpe says:

    Aunt Betty & Spina Family,
    We want to send our love and condolences to all.

  15. Mary Jo Olson says:

    We are so sorry for your loss. As a little girl I spent many nights at their home with Jean. I always remember him being so kind. May God bless him and all of you.

  16. Bob and Carmen Przekwas says:

    Our sincere sympathy to the Spina Family! Know we keep you all in our thoughts and prayers.

  17. Andrew Larson says:

    Greg and Julie. I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

  18. David and Katharine Grahn says:

    Sorry for your loss. John will be missed by all!!

  19. Steven Spina says:

    Rest in peace uncle John.
    I remember him for his sense of humor, positive attitude, and of course that famous hearty laugh.
    He was a people person, and always made others feel welcome. A one of a kind gentle, kind
    man who will be missed!

  20. Diane Gregerson says:

    Sending sympathies to your family! John was such a nice man, I always enjoyed visiting with him! He was such a kind neighbor!

  21. Jean Michal Kroll says:

    The RHS Class of 78 sends it’s condolences to Jean and her family.

  22. Jean Michal Kroll says:

    Hugs for Jean and family.

  23. DiAnne Severin says:

    John was a wonderful man. He will be missed. So sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  24. Chester Alan Smeby says:

    Betty and Families Our thoughts and prayers

  25. Shelli Wood Spina says:

    My sympathies to you all. John was such a nice man. Hugs!

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