Daniel "Dan" J. O'Day


Dan O’Day, 98, passed away August 16, 2022 with his family at his side. Dan was born February 16, 1924 in Fargo to Leo and Elizabeth (Hopkins) O’Day. Dan grew up in the St. Anthony church neighborhood of south Fargo and graduated from Central High School. Dan attended NDAC (now NDSU) until he enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1942. The Marine Corps sent him to Purdue University in Indiana to study engineering and then to the Marine Corps training base at Parris Island SC in 1944. After Japan surrendered, he was discharged from the Marine Corps and he returned to Purdue to complete his education.

After graduating from Purdue with a degree in Structural Engineering, Dan moved to Philadelphia where he worked at United Engineers and Constructors building the Werner Power Station.

While at Purdue he met Levon (Kitten) Merchant of Springfield, IL. They were married and moved to Fargo in 1948 to start a family. Dan started the O’Day Steel Building Co. constructing commercial and agricultural buildings in ND, MN, SD and MT. He later joined his father Leo O’Day and brothers at O’Day Equipment and purchased the business from his family in 1960. Dan did outside service on the Bank of ND Advisory Board, president of the Fargo Chamber of Commerce & Petroleum Equipment Institute and chairman of the Fargo National Bank Board. He retired from business in 1985.
Dan was proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren; he loved spending time with them and watching them grow. He had a passion for sailing, motorcycling, aviation, traveling in his motorhome, engineering and history. Dan spent his winters at his home in Scottsdale AZ and summers at his home on Lake Melissa with family. He moved to Touchmark at Harwood Groves in 2016.

Dan was preceded in death by Kitten (Levon), his parents Leo and Elizabeth, his brothers John and Pat O’Day and sister Betts Gallagher. He is survived by his children Susan O’Day, Peggy Heglie-Kilbane, Jim O’Day, Jean Gottenborg, Anne Paton and Tiffany Johnson, 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

Dan’s family is appreciative of the care given by the Touchmark & Pembroke care team, his Griswold Caregivers and Hospice of the RRV.

Memorials are preferred to Hospice of the Red River Valley.


Private family services are being held.:

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Memories Timeline


  1. Daniel “Joe” Gallagher. My Uncle Dan was a gracious and kind man. Loved by all and greatly missed. I’m so grateful for the times I got to be with him. God bless all my O’Day cousins. I love you all.

  2. You will remain in our hearts forever. I loved your stories, your loving heart and your O’Day laugh”. You kept Mom alive for us for many years after her passing.

    Thank you Uncle Dan. May you Rest In Peace.

  3. Uncle Dan was special. He was a joy to be with and around. Great stories and memories abound. The last of our Greatest Generation. Fair winds and following seas Uncle

  4. Dan was a friend of my Dad and Jack Cosgriff’s among many others . Always enjoyed seeing him (except when I was 16 in Bernie’s Package store trying to buy liquor for me Annie and who knows who else …It looked like comedic scene out of a silent movie. ) He was down to earth , funny and always was quick to bring that smile to his face . He is the end of an era and a classic guy . The light in the window of his cabin may be off forever, but his light has never shone brighter on the lake and in many hearts. Godspeed Dan
    say hello to our friends .

  5. I first met Dan as a rookie computer salesman back in 1964. He was my first customer and didn’t make it easy, but he sure taught me a lot. I have never forgotten him. R.I.P, Dan. You’re the best.

  6. So Sorry for your loss. He helped make Fargo What it is today. What an excellent Family he also has.

  7. I’ll always be grateful for the time Uncle Dan came up to Grants Pass, Oregon in his Porsche and visited us. Fun times around the dinner table, meaningful conversation and lots of laughter. Another trip was when he came through Vacaville in his RV. What I remember most was that he was a kind man, energetic and a gentle soul. Prayers to the O’Day family.

  8. Jim,so sorry for your loss!
    I was just on line looking at Fargo news and came across your dads obituary,
    You were very fortunate to have a man like your dad in your life, he was truly a gentleman,
    I had the most respect for your dad, he left a lasting impression on me.
    Every time I saw him at the plant or at your office, he always would come up to me and ask how I was doing, made me feel like a part of his team.
    You meet a lot of people in your life’s journey but very few stay with you and Dan was the type you couldn’t forget…peace to your family….

  9. I am just now learning of Dan’s passing. As Internal Auditor, I reported to the Bank of North Dakota Advisory Board during the time when Dan was chair. He was such a kind man. When I first started reporting to the board, I wanted to make sure I could address all the members by name. I had a picture of the Board members in my file with their names. Herb Thorndahl, bank president, saw me referring to my notes and laughing grabbed my file and said, “This is how she’s remembering all your names!” Dan so kindly said to me, “I think that is a very smart thing to do. You will go far in life.” I will never forget that.

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