Nathaniel “Nate” Michael Haaland

nathaniel “nate” michael haaland

Nathaniel (“Nate”) Michael Haaland passed away peacefully in his home on Monday, January 25th, 2021 at the age of 33.

At a young age, Nate had excellent spatial orientation skills and a strategic mind, which fueled a joy for navigation in unfamiliar places and games such as chess and Risk. He had an affinity for sports and music, juggling baseball, football, soccer, hockey, and playing the string bass. His favorite of all was soccer and his Red River traveling team. During his school years, Nate went to Boy Scout Camp, hockey and football camps, International Music Camp, and tech camps at the U of M. He earned many trophies and awards in both sports and orchestra, all the while maintaining his status as an honor student.

As he moved into his teenage years, Nate’s favorite pastimes became gaming with his friends, pwning n00bs, anime, and watching the premiere flash cartoons of the day. With excellent mentorship, he gained an aptitude for scavenging for spare computer parts to build computers from scratch, affectionately referring to himself as a “dumpster diver.”

After working at various restaurants and convenience stores, Nate found his work home delivering Asian food for Giant Panda. There was no shortcut in the entire two-county metro that Nate didn’t know. Sue will continue to use these routes and think of him whenever she drives in Fargo. His co-workers taught him tolerance, customer service, how to have fun at work, and how to transition when new owners took over from the amazing Nguyen family. Frank and Simon worried for his welfare and were instrumental in contacting Nate’s family when they couldn’t find him the week he passed away. They were devastated to learn he was gone.

Throughout his life, Nate loved playing in the ocean, starting with annual trips to Maine with Uncle Bill, Aunt Judy, and cousin Spencer. He enjoyed road trips and visiting National Parks with his family, as well as attending the weddings of his cousins. He read a lot and particularly appreciated Norse and Greek mythology, fantasy hero series, history of war, epic battles, and the evolution of weaponry.

While Nate was known by many and for many things, his most prevailing quality noted by all was his kindness. He had strong caregiving and protective instincts, exhibited by looking out for his loved ones, as well as helping strangers in difficult or perilous situations. His sense of humor was uniquely his own, much like his bear hugs.

Nate went to Lewis and Clark, Hawthorne, and Clara Barton Elementaries in Fargo, middle school at Agassiz, junior high at Discovery, high school at Fargo South, and attended MSUM.

Nate was preceded in death by his father Daniel J. Haaland (2011) and his uncle Doug Haaland (2020). Nate was born after the passing of his maternal grandparents, William and Mary Jane Klubben. His maternal great grandmother, Frances Cady, joined Sue almost immediately postpartum because she wanted Sue to have a maternal figure around (and she was amazingly helpful!), and Nate was the last grandchild held by Gramma Cady before she died. Thankfully, there’s a picture of the two of them in the wooden rocking chair at the Haaland condo.

On his maternal line, Nate is survived by his mother Susan Petry and step-father Charles Petry, sisters Nicole Haaland (fiancé Jeremiah Matthews), Amy Haaland-Dean (Mark), Anna Petry (S.O. Aaron Knutson), and brother James Petry (Bryana); his aunts and uncles Fred Klubben (Margaret), Paula Kiefer (Donald), William Spencer Klubben, Jr. (Judy), Kieran Klubben (S.O. Digna Caulfield), Eric Klubben (Ronda), and many amazing cousins, nieces and nephews, and great aunts and uncles Donnie Cady (d.Vera), Joan Colby (Doc), Jean Cady (d. Agnes), and Ruby Kersting (d. Doran). On his paternal line, Nate is survived by his grandmother Evelyn Vasend (d. Rubin), and aunt Carolyn Soliman (Hagag).
Among many others, Nate leaves dear friends Diane and Nate Garske, Joyce and John Howard, and colleagues Frank and Simon.

A memorial gathering to celebrate Nate’s life is on Sunday, July 11, 2021 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Lindenwood Park Rotary Shelter. Program at 4 p.m. Food served in late afternoon.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo. To view the obituary and video tribute, and/or to sign the online guest book, please visit the website at

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  1. Sue and Family,

    Such sad news to hear. I have many great memories of Nate as a student at Hawthorne. Such a kind young boy. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you comfort in your many wonderful memories of a man gone way too soon.

    Sending love and prayers to each of you,

    Tricia (Henrickson) Erickson

  2. Oh, it is so difficult to write this, and impossible to express in words. Sir Haaland of the deep brown eyes and the irreverent smirk, sardonic humor, and protective spirit… I will miss you. You were strong in a way that most do not achieve in double or triple your lifespan. The struggles you endured stayed behind your carefully thought out responses and your quiet humor. My favorite mental image is of you and my Nate sauntering casually away from the football field, swinging your helmets and laughing over a shared joke. I hope you knew how much you were and are loved. Be at peace my young friend.

  3. Losing you Nate has cut another deep hole in my heart. As much as it hurts me now, and will for a long time to come, I can’t fathom the pain being felt by your mom and sister Nicole, as well as Amy, Charlie, James, Anna, and your remaining gramma. I’ll cherish every moment I had with you, while I mourn all the moments I will never get. You will be remembered for your boundless, gentle kindness with undying love. Eventually the memories that bring tears to my eyes will morph into a dear warm spot in my heart. I wish comfort to everyone whose life you touched.

  4. Sue he was obviously very loved and very loving. No mother should lose her child. Grandma Cady and your mother will be holding him now. I’m so sorry

  5. What a loving tribute in words and video! We never met Nate but feel his spirit through his infectious smile. You have our deepest sympathy and prayers.

  6. Dear Sue, Nicole, Haaland and Petry families. Please accept our heartfelt condolences on your great loss. Nate sounds like he is as an amazing person. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers. Steve and Jan Sell

  7. Nate was a great guy with a cleaver mind suited for strategy. Game nights will never be the same and I will greatly miss our solo nights of video games and chess. Gone but never forgotten my friend.

  8. My heart goes out to you all. This is crushing to learn of. Nathanial has been frozen in time in my mind for many years as the world’s sweetest boy, and I adored his expressions of childlike wonder and joy in his tween years when I spent the most time with him. From tributes, I sense that he held tight to that beautiful way of being, and continued to find joy in the simple things, like his family. Your brother and son will be with you in this life, and may you feel him undeniably here until you are together again in Heaven. A great soul never dies (Maya Angelou). May your journey to peace, healing, and breathing once again be swift.

  9. Sue and family, So sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers. The memorial video is a great tribute to his life. My deepest sympathy🙏🏻

  10. Nate was always a joy to see and be around. I remember him in his hockey days and supporting his sister in her hockey. He was always a delight to be around his smile was always great to see as he seemed to enjoy all around him in his adventure. Condolences to all family and friends.

  11. Very deeply saddened to learn of Nate’s passing. My heart goes out to all of his immediate family, extended family, and friends. His obituary was a lovely tribute and the video was so touching as it brought back so many memories. He was a beautiful boy with a mischievous smile and many activities and talents, who is gone too soon. I know he will be forever loved and missed by all who knew him. Deepest sympathy for this loss and the sorrow of grieving his absence in the days ahead. May faith and love comfort each of you.

  12. I’m sorry for your loss. Nate will be missed by so many. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

  13. Thank you so much for sharing that video. Clearly Nate had such a beautiful family and life. I am sending prayers and so much love to you all. And to you Susan, my heart is with my wonderful older “super cool” cousin. Such a beautiful pic of Grandma Cady holding Nate, thank you for that.
    My love to all of you.
    Mary Cady

  14. So sorry to hear the sad news, Sue. My deepest sympathies for you and your family. You are all in my prayers.
    Rose-Mary S.

  15. Thank you everyone for your comments. It is impossible to quantify that value of your support. I am especially grateful to see Joseph McCaskell and Erick Degenstein comments here because Nate often reflected about his time spent with you and how much he enjoyed and looked forward to your friendship.

    We will share more as we continue on our journey and will continue to need your support and kindness.

    Sincerely, Sue Petry

  16. So very sorry to hear of Nate’s passing away. Sending many comforting and healing thoughts to the family and friends.

  17. What a wonderful tribute. From first meeting Nate at Clara Barton and playing soccer together and being in scouts, I always remember how funny and kind he was, and smart as a whip. He was such an easy person to be around and a wonderful teammate. We lost touch as we got older in school, but in reading his tribute I am realizing the impact he had as a friend to so me, and so many others. All my best to your family.

  18. Sue..
    Your son sounds like a really special person. I can tell he will be greatly missed.

    My daughter passed away December 23 and my hubby January 7th .. 2020.

    Holes in our hearts .. but friends’ wishes help make some of the pain a bit less.

    Hugs, dear Sue, hugs.

    Donna Chalimonczyk

  19. So sorry to hear about Nate’s passing! I will forever remember “the Nate’s” hanging together, whether it was football, scouts, orchestra, video games, or just being boys. One of the first “dates” with my, now, husband was bringing Haaland & Garske (the Nate’s) trick or treating! Although I didn’t see him often, it always touched my heart that Haaland remained connected to our family & was a place of comfort for him. I remember in 2016, my husband was out of town & I spent the day with my mom. She also had plans to go to dinner with Nate. I joined them – my first visit to HuHot… not only was it an enjoyable time, but I thanked Nate for introducing me to an amazing place for a pregnant lady to eat! 😆
    Something that rings loudly throughout the messages here & any time I’d see Haaland was his calmness, kindness, & that great smirky smile!! My thoughts are with you all & hope you are able to find peace. A number of years ago, my mom started calling Nate, Sir Haaland, which is forever how I will think of him.
    Know all of the lives you touched, Sir Haaland, & may you have eternal peace & happiness!

  20. I have some very fond and vivid memories of Nate. One that keeps coming to my mind is playing darts and trying to hit action figures off a table with ping pong balls in the basement of the Fargo house. Reliving these memories makes me smile and remember his warmth, strength, and protective nature. Nate, you are loved and missed.

  21. I only knew Nate (or as we called him “church”) for a year when we were freshman in the dorms at MSUM. Nate left an impact, even on those who only knew him for a brief time, and I’ll never forget his hospitality, humor, and friendship. I’m very sorry for your loss and pray and hope you find peace.

  22. Family and friends, please know how much your comments mean to me and Nate’s entire family and friends. This site, while it always makes my cry, sometimes while smiling, is immensely comforting.

    Sue Petry

    PS If anyone knows why Nate was called “Church” at MSUM, please enlighten the rest of us!

  23. Thank you all for your comments and memories. Nate was the best brother, and I know he meant a lot to all of you too.

    PS- Mom, I got you covered on the “Church” front. 🙂

  24. Sue & family, I am so very sorry to hear of Nate’s passing, way too young! May all your wonderful memories help bring some comfort & peace. I always enjoyed visiting with Nate when I worked in the library at South High. He would come in to check out books; always kind, a smile, & I enjoyed our talks! Rest in peace 🙏 Hugs to you all ❤

  25. She I will not be able to attend the memorial. I spent time with Nate at last reunion in Fargo. I was impressed with his wit and compassion. He was also so kind to his sister. I liked him a lot. He was funny and smart. I am so sorry for you cousin. Losing a child is just wrong. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. Sue, my heart aches for you & your family! I’ll always remember Nate & his great smile! He made some amazing saves for the soccer team too! We will continue to uphold you & your family in our thoughts & prayers as you grieve the loss of Nate.
    With deepest sympathy ~ Michael & Donna Aho

  27. Will always remember the days playing Red River Soccer with Nate and the weekend spent at the lake with the whole team. Such fun memories. Sending my sympathies.

  28. We check the guestbook from time to time and it is a very comforting space for us. Please know how much we appreciate your comments and insights. You lift us up. We are surrounded by angels.
    Sue, Charlie, Nicole and all the Petrys and Haalands

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