John Spina

john spina
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

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


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

  2. 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

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

  4. 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)

  5. 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 ❤️

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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!

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

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

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle