Levon Grinde

levon grinde

Levon Grinde was born on March 20, 1927, the son of John R. and Selma (Koppang) Grinde in Mayville, ND. He was raised on the family farm south of Portland, ND, and attended a country school in Roseville Township. Levon graduated from Mayville High School in 1944. In 1949 he and Jean Nelson were united in marriage in Mayville. They continued to farm until 1963 when he became a ND State Game Warden. While living near Portland he served on the Roseville Church Council, the school board, the Golden Lake organizational board, and was a 4-H leader.

In 1963 he moved to Cando, ND where he spent the next 33 years. He loved his job as a Game Warden and often said he was on vacation every day of the year. He was a member of the Cando Lutheran Church where he served as a deacon. As an Explorer Scout leader he loved organizing camping trips and became a surrogate father for many young men. Other youth development activities that he was involved with included Hunter Safety, the Cando Gun Club, and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He received the first annual Shikar Safari International Award for Wildlife Officer of the Year. He was honored to have a Wildlife Development Area north of Cando dedicated in his name. Levon was a member of the ND Peace Officers Association and was widely recognized across the state for his collaboration with other law enforcement agencies. He was instrumental in developing the International Game Warden Museum at the ND Peace Gardens. He was a Master Gardener and loved to share his knowledge as well as his zucchini.

Levon retired in 1991 and in 1996 relocated to Kindred, ND where he and his wife lived until 2007. During their retirement they spent several winters at Parker Dam, AZ. He spent many hours in his boat, fishing both at Parker and Spiritwood Lake, ND. While in Kindred, he was actively involved in his granddaughters varied activities and interests. In 2007, they moved to Fargo's Edgewood Village. Levon died peacefully at home on Sunday, January 29, 2012 under the care of his loving wife and Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Levon is survived by his wife of 62 years, Jean and three children: Karen (John) Holien of Las Vegas, NV, David (Linda) Grinde of Eagle River, AK, and JoAnn (Edward) Jameson of Kindred, ND. He also leaves five grandchildren: Bradley Holien of Fargo, Jennifer Holien (Donald Prischak) of Erie, PA and Fort Meyers, FL, Brooke Jameson of Kindred, ND, Lindsey Jameson of Edgerton, MN and Mairin Jameson of Moscow, ID, his two step grandchildren: Carlee Lindquist and Therin Ferrin of Anchorage.  Also surviving are two great grandchildren Joseph and Michael Prischak, four step great grandchildren, Trever Ferrin, Conner Ferrin, Kelcee Lennon, and Cord Lindquist, and one nephew, Steven Reinhardt of Jamestown, ND. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Ruth Reinhardt, brother-in-law Walter Reinhardt, and nephew Mark Reinhardt

Memorials are preferred to the International Game Warden Museum or Great Plains Food Bank.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Cando ND
    Jean & family: I was so saddened to read Levon’s obit in the Cando Paper.

    I have such fond memories of Levon sitting in the Sheriff’s Office reminising about “work” stories with Howard. Those two were always so much fun to listen to. Talk about the “good ole days!”

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Judy Bulie and family

  2. Northwood North Dakota
    Many very very pleasant memories of Levon. You had many talents, cooking and wine making were awesome, you will be missed. Our prayers are with his family.
    Mike and Ginger Voglewede

  3. Bismarck ND
    Jean & the Grinde Family –

    It is with the fondest of memories that I recall my time in game law enforcement under Levon’s guidance. I held other positions in the Game and Fish Department, both before and after my time working for Levon, but none provided more joy or a greater sense of accomplishment. Levon was always of good humor, kind and caring to his staff and to the public. He was a mentor and a father figure to more than one young warden. After all these years I recall vividly long days and nights of work, staying at the Wakopa cabin, and combing the surrounding hills for morel mushrooms on some fine spring mornings. Levon knew how to work hard, and he knew how to enjoy life. Game and Fish has always been more like a family than an organization, due to wonderful people like Levon Grinde. While Levon retired in 1991 and I left Game and Fish in 1998 to pursue another conservation opportunity, the family feeling remains. To this day I have a Game and Fish magnetic door emblem on my shop refrigerator, and it reminds me often of people like Levon and the work we did together. Levon was a wonderful man who left a lasting legacy. He made a difference in so many ways, and you should all be very proud of the way he will be remembered. My very best to each of you during this difficult time.

  4. Crookston Minnesota
    I just want to express my deepest sympathy in the passing of Levon. I know that he has been ill for awhile and I pray that his passing has brought him peace. The love and memories that your family has shared, will be with you always. I know my parents always valued the friendship you shared. I was also fortunate to have David as classmate and friend. You should be proud of your wonderful family. My heartfelt sympathy. Gloria

  5. Devils Lake ND
    Levon was a Great Man,I am proud to have Him in my life He will always be remembered by many My Heart and prayers go out to You…


  6. Kindred ND
    Levon was one of the first people I met when my wife and I moved to Kindred. We shared a love of the outdoors, hunting, gardening and a host of other things. His kindness, sincerity and common sense approach to life in general was always inspiring to me. My condolences to Jean and all the family.
    God Bless.

  7. Cando, ND
    JoAnn and family,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. I remember his infectious smile and sense of humor. Levon was a great man. God Bless you.


  8. Kenai AKI first met Levon in 1970. At the time I was Chef at the Durum House in Cando. We became good friends and enjoyed each others company. He helped me locate my prize hunting dog that went missing for several days after chasing a jack rabbit. He, also gave me a couple of gentle warnings about shooting jack rabbits on the way home, late at night. He had a secret location on the East side of Lake Alice overlooking the refuge–all the way to Maza. He was a good and wise man, husband, father and a long remembered friend–and the life of a Julabakking party! Roger Long

  9. Fergus Falls MN
    I had the privilege of working with Levon (and his dog Happy) from 1978-1982 when I worked for the US Fish and Wildlife Service in north central ND
    . Levon was always a professional – courteous, fair and could handle any law enforcement situation. He was a a wonderful mentor to me as well as to many other young officers. He had a great sense of humor and on a number of occasions disarmed an otherwise tense situation with a joke, his hearty laugh and great big smile. He was one of those special folks you always looked forward to working with!!

    You have my sympathies and Levon is in our thoughts and prayers.

  10. A great man, giving me a lot of good memories. Remember well when we first met in 1978, and then many times after that.
    Blessings from Norway.

  11. You have always been special to me. Levon has always been so good-natured. It’s been a joy living next door to you. I wish I could have been there to support you during this difficult time.

  12. Fargo ND
    My thoughts and prayers to all of you. I have such great memories of gun club and stopping by the Game Warden office at Lake Upsilon along with my dad to check on Levon. A wonderful person that gave so much to the kids of Cando. His lessons were invaluable and he was a mentor to so many of us. God Bless and rest in peace!

  13. West Fargo ND
    Grinde Family,
    Just wanted to let you know the Henegar thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. Rest assured that Levon is in a better place with all of those good old Game & Fish boys! I can picture the fun they will have!
    My wife and I got to meet Levon & Jean as we were driving through Edgewood and noticed the nice game mounts he had in his garage!! Invited us is and found out he actually worked at the Game & Fish and new my dad!! Small world! Made a lasting impression on me!! Russ Henegar son of Dale Henegar

  14. Rugby ndGoing to miss you Levon, I will never forget your’s and Jean’s hospitality. From one Game Warden to another! Jean my prayers are with you.

  15. Fargo ND
    Jean and Family,

    I have many fond memories of Levon, he was a father figure to many including myself. It is an honor to call Levon my friend and Mentor.

    Rest in Peace,

    Jerry and Gail Gores

  16. Lindstrom MN
    I am a retired Minnesota
    Conservation Officer. I first met Levon in 1982 while hunting in the Egeland area. He provided a wealth of information on the area. He would frequently stop in for a visit and a cup of coffee ( ok, several ) at the garage we stayed in. We would swap stories and grumble about the current state of affairs for our respective agencies. The rest of the guys looked forward to his visits as much as I did. Levon was a true gentleman and my condolences go out to his family.

  17. Bottineau ND
    Earl Sanderson and Levon hired me as a Game Wardenin 1968. Where I spent 1969-1995 being a Game Warden. Levon was my supervisor at that time. Greetings from Harold Jones also.(he was a Game Warden from Kenmare and is 91 years old last week. Sorry for your loss. From an old gardener of 82 years. We had many good years of working together as Game Wardens and made many great memories together. I was always nice to get together and visit over the last years.

    Sympathy from all of us,
    Gerald Geisen and Family
    (Sheila , Francis and Allan)

  18. Bottineau ND
    Sorry for your loss. I have fond memory’s of Levon and all the years he worked with my Dad(Gerald Geisen) as a Game Warden. I remember making many trips to Cando visiting him on offical business and the many trips he made to Bottineau for work also. You are all in our prayers during this time of loss.

  19. Bottineau ND
    I enjoyed working with Levon while we were living in Cando. Levon had a great sense of humor and was fun to be around. He is a good man and a good friend. We lost track of him and his family after we left Cando. His friends and family will miss him but our Lord Jesus will enjoy him in Paradise. I hope to meet him again when I too shall pass from this earth.

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