Alvin Harold Nygard was born on a farm in Edinburg, ND on November 12, 1923 to Amund and Helen Pauline (Thorpe) Nygard. As a premature baby, he was placed in a shoe box on the oven door to keep warm. At age 14 he lost his mother tragically in a car/train accident. Within a year his dad married Solveig Kvelstad who would become his stepmother and Gramma to Al and Ruby’s children. At 4:15 pm on July 31, 2020 he left us for Glory to be reunited with his mom and dad, sister Arlett (2016) and (Ole) Nordsletten, his brothers Kenneth Nygard (2015), Stanford Nygard (2020), and Everett (1928), Baby Nygard (infant), stepmother Solveig Nygard (1986) and brother-in-law Stan Williamsen. He is survived by his wife, Ruby; daughters, Karla, April, and Teresa Nygard, and Debbie (Ryan) Ulstad and son, Peter (Lisa) Nygard; grandson, Matthew (Abbie) Ulstad and great-grandson Oslo, and granddaughters Rachel Ulstad, Rebekah, Ruth, and Hannah Nygard, and grand-dogs Java and Lexi, and many first, second and third cousins. He is also survived by his sisters, Rosalie Williamsen (Medical Lake, WA), and Helen (Dale) Bakke (Ft. Mohave, AZ), brother Donald Nygard (Midvale, UT), and sisters-in-law Annette Nygard (Fullerton, CA) and Judy Nygard (Canby, OR). He grew up on the home farm in Edinburg, ND, which was the homestead of Grandfather Andrew Nygard, who had been born in Norway and settled in Edinburg. Alvin was baptized and confirmed at Odalen Lutheran Church in rural Edinburg and attended country school at Tiber Township. He often went to school in the winter either skiing behind their draft horses or in a sleigh. As a young man he enjoyed trapping, skiing, carpentry, singing, and playing the sousaphone in the Edinburg high school band. He attended school in Edinburg till 11th grade when the family moved to Seattle, WA, and he graduated from Roosevelt HS in Seattle in 1941. He returned home to the farm to help his dad during WWII. Although he wasn’t able to serve in the military because of his home obligations, he had a great love for his country, and always proudly displayed the flag at his home. He attended North Dakota State University taking agricultural classes. During that time he and his sisters, Rosalie and Arlett, and Ole Nordsletten had a quartet and sang at evangelical tent meetings and churches around the area. With the shortage of rubber for tires, they often prayed before they left on a trip that their tires would hold up as there were no replacements available. Alvin said the tires always made it. As a child Alvin had struggled with a speech impediment, but later when he attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis, he successfully overcame the stuttering. Alvin also started the first ski (rope)tow in Theodore Wirth Park in Minneapolis, MN which he operated with his brother-in-law, Stan Williamsen, for a few winters. He then moved to Fort Atkinson, WI, where his sister Arlett directed a church choir where her husband was pastor. Arlett wanted him to meet a lovely young woman, Ruby Otterson, who sang in the choir. The two met, and Ruby finally let Al catch her and they were married on January 30, 1954. After their first daughter, Karla, was born, they moved to Seattle, WA where April, Teresa, and Debbie were born. Alvin worked at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle as an inspector, and also designed and sold Kiddie Rite Picnic Tables, did carpentry and sold Fuller Brushes and Watkins. In 1963, the family moved back to the home farm in Edinburg where the youngest, Peter, was born. They attended Odalen Lutheran Church in Edinburg where he and Ruby sang many duets, which also influenced their children to become singers. While farming, he sold sweet corn for several years to many neighbors and stores both in Edinburg and Thief River Falls and always gave a baker’s dozen. Alvin also worked at the missile base silos in Nekoma, ND. After the farm was sold, he and his family moved to Thief River Falls, MN in 1973, and owned a small farm west of town. They were active members of Our Saviors Free Lutheran for over 40 years. He also helped build tractors at Hydra-Mac, and started a custom engraving business and did all of the engraving for Digi-Key in Thief River Falls till he sold the business in 2016. They had an auction on the farm in September 2016, and moved to Fargo to be closer to family. They initially lived in an apartment in North Fargo, then moved to assisted living in Moorhead, MN, before transitioning to Bethany. Alvin passed away under the care of Hospice at Bethany on University of natural causes. He was 96. In lieu of flowers may give to Our Saviors Free Lutheran Church of Thief River Falls,MN or Minnesota Adult &Teen Challenge, Minneapolis MN Masks are required for attending the Funeral

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  1. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Our sympathies to you and yours. Dennis and Joan Ness

  2. Rest well Uncle Al!

    My heartfelt prayers and hugs for Aunt Ruby, my cousins and their families.

  3. I had the pleasure of working with Alvin when he was at Assisted Living. He was a favorite resident who had great love for his wife and daughters I met. I am sorry to hear of his passing and you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Dear Aunt Ruby and family, I was so glad to be there at Uncle Al’s 90th birthday party. It was fun to see the same twinkle in Uncle Al’s eye that my mom had when they laughed together. I really enjoyed it when he came to stay at my house with Teresa and Aunt Ruby for my moms 90th in Seattle. I’m thinking of you all during these difficult days. Sending love from Arlett’s daughter, Heidi

  5. Dear family of Al, I am sorry for your loss. Both Arlyn and I had the pleasure of knowing your folks when they lived at the Trollwood here in Fargo! Al rolled a Lefse in our apartment and surprised us with his perfect expertise! We enjoyed knowing Al who is now secure in his eternal home with Jesus! Gods blessings to you all during this difficult time! In Christ, Verna Anfinrud

  6. Uncle Al and Godfather
    I know you are at rest in heaven. My prayers and thoughts and hugs are with you, Ruby and the family.
    As mom says, Ah Heaven, how wonderful!

  7. Praying for you and your family and all the emotions you must be feeling. I’m online today, but right there in my heart. Love and hugs.

  8. Ruby & family,

    Just want you to know that my thoughts & prayers are with you! I have great memories of our time together in ND! I just viewed the video – it was a beautiful tribute to Alvin! Take care! Hugs!!

    Becky Thurn

  9. Praying for comfort for all of your family and joy for Al in his new life.
    Love and many hugs,

  10. May your memories and God’s peace be yours in full as you celebrate Alvin’s life and grieve your loss. It was good to be with you online today.

  11. Dear Nygard family,

    Our sincerest sympathies to you all. We are thinking of you and praying for you as you walk through this season of grief and loss. We rejoice with you that this is not the end of the story and the separation is not permanent. May the love of God enfold you in these days.

    With love,
    Mark, Kristi, and Joy Hanson

  12. Rest in peace Uncle Al. I am blessed that you were a part of my life and I will miss you. Will see you again someday with our father in heaven. Love you.

  13. I love dear Uncle Alvin. I miss your phone calls and writing letters to you. My fondest memory of you is when you hand made a John 3:16 pen set for my high school Graduation. Yes the verse was carved by hand. Well, I still have it and I cherish it.
    I love you Aunt Ruby, I wish I could be there with you and family. I love your yodeling with!

  14. Dear Nygard Family,

    SO SORRY for your loss of Alvin. I am praying that the Lord’s comfort and peace will embrace each of you in His special way at this time. Love you.

  15. Aunt Ruby and Family,

    Hans and I are keeping all of you in our hearts and prayers during this difficult time. We hope your fond memories of life with Al bring you comfort in the days to come.

    I have many wonderful memories of Uncle Al and all of you when you lived in Seattle many years ago and also when visiting the farm and your visits here. One particular joy is remembering Ruby and Al singing hymns with their beautiful voices that blended so well together. I also remember what a talented craftsman he was; I am sure Heidi still has the picnic table that he built for Arlett and Ole so many years ago.

    Much love to all of you. We will keep you in our prayers.

    Kathy and Hans

  16. Dear aunt Ruby and kids

    Our hearts go out to you bless uncle Alvin and May he Rest In Peace…❤️

    love to all of you Anita and Brian

  17. Thoughts and prayers for Al’s friends and family! I was a neighbor on the farm but had little contact with him because of our age difference but remember his musical talent over the years! I was a close friend of his brothers Stan and Ken! Now Stan is gone to so am sad about that! The Nygard’s were great neighbors to us during my youth years!

  18. I am so sorry that I didn’t know this before, but was just sitting here today and trying to find some of the Family that I haven’t heard from in a long time. Alvin was a nephew to my Father, Percy Thorpe. Your Grandma, Helen, was my Dad’s Sister… father used to tell me that I reminded him of her! Also…Sally was a cousin of my Mother Irene Kvelstad Thorpe. I am so sorry to learn of cousin Alvin’s passing….he and my Mom used to have so many long and interesting chats on the phone. The last time I saw him was when he and some of your family came back to our Thorpe farm for my father’s funeral…He and your Mom meant a lot to my parents. Alvin was a very respected and interesting man! I learned later from cousin Rosalie that Alvin and Ruby had moved to Fargo….and hadn’t heard anything since. Except for this last year during the pandemic, I have been to Fargo often, as that is where my children live. Thinking of you all…..God Less each and everyone of you!

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