Gordon R. Solhjem, 84, Leonard, ND was born January 30, 1933 to Frederick and Alma (Leedahl) Solhjem. He died May 29, 2017 in the same house in which he was born, after a long struggle with cancer. Growing up on the ranch, he attended grade school at Sheyenne Central, graduated from Oak Grove High School, and attended Concordia for one year. After that he returned to the farm where he was a rancher until retirement. During this time, Gordon served several years on the Zion Lutheran Church Council, director on Sheyenne Valley Grazing Association, the Woods Elevator Board, Leonard Fire Board, and a member of Leonard Lions Club. For over 50 years he did snow removal for every occasion at the Zion Church parking lot. On August 7, 1965 he married Audrey Kemmer who joined him as a partner in the ranching business. In 1980, they adopted their daughter, Melissa Jean. After retiring from ranching, Gordon purchased a sawmill and spent years logging trees from the swamp and sawed lumber. This was an enjoyable hobby and a longtime dream. As a result, he met many interesting people dealing in lumber. From this lumber he began creating one-of-a-kind wood items which were all given away to charities, mostly church bazaars and Twist of Fate. A huge blessing for him was hosting the Twist of Fate. Survivors are his wife of 51 years, Audrey; daughter, Melissa; two grandsons, Craig and Chase; sisters, Carol Mason and Grace (Bruce) Stainbrook; brother, Allen (Karen) and Ralph (Carol); and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his parents; brother, Iver; and grandparents. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 PM with a prayer service following at 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at Fredrikson-Boulger Funeral Chapel, Kindred. Funeral at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 2, 2017 at Bethany Lutheran Church, McLeod, ND with a visitation one hour prior. Interment at Zion Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Hospice of the Red River Valley or Twist of Fate, www.twistoffatend.org. Arrangements entrusted to the care of Fredrikson-Boulger Funeral Chapel, Kindred. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.boulgerfuneralhome.com.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. I am so sorry to learn of Gordon’s death. My sympathies to the Solhjem family. My he certainly looks like his father, Fred.

  2. Our sympathy to you, Audrey, Allan and the rest of your family. Thinking of all of you


  4. I always enjoyed helping Gordon string the lights up in the big tent at the annual Twist of Fate down on their property. I will always remember that. My condolences to the Audrey and the family.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. My of Gorden go back to early memories of the Solhjem Quartet singing at Zion. Then in high school, Gordon and Audrey were our high school group leaders, and of course we had to form a singing group: Day is Done – was our best song. And of course when we needed to go on a trip – way to Fargo – we were hanging out at Iver’s place – those were the days of King Leo’s hamburgers.

    I always found Gordon to be a kind and gentle man with a friendly smile. If there was a disagreement on an issue Gordon would say “I hope we can still be friends.”

    Day is Done

  6. I am very sadden to here about Gordon’s passing, I would like to share some words of comfort with the family. Cancer is a terrible disease that robs precious lives. His life will not be forgotten and God has promised that very soon “No resident will say: ‘I am sick’… (Isaiah 33:24). I will include you in my prayers.

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook