Thomas "Mickey" Snortland


Thomas Mikal (Mickey) Snortland, age 63, who lived life fully in Sharon Township, Steele County, ND and in Fargo, ND, passed away suddenly and peacefully on Sunday, January 27, 2013.

Mickey was born on October 29, 1949 in Sharon, ND, the son of Buck and Vivienne (Thompson) Snortland. He attended school in Sharon, ND, and graduated from Shattuck High School in Faribault, MN, in 1968. A natural athlete, he played baseball, ran cross-country and was part of the All-Conference starting five undefeated basketball team. As R.O.T.C Band Company Commander, his company was the Best Drill Team two years in a row. He attended college at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO, and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity there. Throughout his life he maintained strong ties with his valued classmates.

Mickey married Julie Black of Fertile, MN, on October 29, 1983, at Hope Lutheran Church in Fargo. They were blessed with four children: Blake, Eliza, Olivia and Alanna Snortland. The family spent the farming season at their Sharon farm and the school year in Fargo. Mickey’s greatest priority was spending time with his family and modeling traits of loyalty and integrity for them. He showed his support for the children by attending all of their activities, no matter the distance, and had hugs for them and high fives for everyone else. His love, strength and commitment were his gifts to Julie.

Mickey was a lifelong member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Sharon, and was an associate member of First Lutheran Church in Fargo.

After working in Colorado with Rocky Mountain Electronic Enterprises, he returned to Sharon and began farming the Snortland family farm in his twenties, which he continued to enjoy throughout his life. He also had farming interests in Lakota, ND and Humboldt, MN, and other business interests with valued partners.

As a major stockholder in State Bank of Fargo, he became a member of their Board of Directors at age 24, and over the years of his adult life he helped guide its growth and vision as it grew to become Bell State Bank & Trust. He took a deep interest in all aspects of the bank, but his greatest joy there was getting to know its employees and customers, and supporting them especially through his dedication to maintaining local ownership of the bank.

Mickey also became a partner in the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks because of his commitment to Fargo-Moorhead and his love of baseball. He attended as many games as possible, and had a good time seeing the fans enjoy the themselves.

Mickey liked to travel and had a variety of collections. He had an avid interest in history, geography and politics. Enjoying breakfast or “noon food” at the cafes in Aneta, Finley or Sharon with fellow farmers and community members was an everyday joy in his life.

Mickey is survived by his wife, Julie, and their children (Thomas) Blake Snortland (27, Minneapolis, MN); Eliza Brooke Snortland (22, Minneapolis, MN); Olivia Cecile Snortland (20, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN) and Alanna Michal Snortland (15, Fargo, ND). He is also survived by his sisters, Susanne Snortland (Bellingham, WA) and Laura Snortland Fairfield (John Fairfield) and niece Elizabeth Fairfield (DeKalb, IL).  He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents and brother, Tommy Snortland.

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Memories Timeline


  1. San Antonio Tx I met Mick in the early 70’s working for the State Bank of Fargo. Mick and I became very good friends and roomates. We kept in touch with Christmas cards and he visited me while we lived in Colorado. I have very fond memories of him and he was such a good an honest man. I will miss him

    Rod Sautter

  2. Dear Julie and family — Dave and I were so sad to hear of Mikey’s passing. I will always remember him with a smile on his face and a genuine love of life. God bless you all.


  3. centennial coWe are so very sorry to hear of Mickeys’ passing. We were lucky enough to have a chance to visit with him last year at the ATO reunion. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Bob and Pam Fox

  4. Fargo ND
    Dear Julie, Blake, Eliza, Olivia & Alanna, Uffda. Blessings to you through this difficult time. Soak in all the stories people are going to tell you about Mickey. You will hear over and over what a special person he was to so many. I always enjoyed our conversations where ever we happened to meet Mickey. When I think of your family I picture all of the times I would see all of you together doing stuff! A great family example for others to follow! Kaye, Dennis & Sarah

  5. Fargo ND
    We were very sad to hear the news Mickey had passed away. He was a good neighbor on Hickory. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Bernie & Connie Kleinwort

  6. Fertile MN
    Dear Julie and family,

    Words cannot express how we felt when we heard about Mickey’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and all of the Snortlands.

  7. Mckinney TexasDear Julie,
    My sister, Amy, shared the sad, sad news with me today. I am so sorry for your loss and pray that you and your children will somehow find comfort and peace in the days and weeks ahead.

  8. Fort Collins CO It was a real shock to hear of Mick’s death. We had so much fun in October talking about old times at the “Tau Hut” at CSU. He was an inspiring individual and will be missed by the ATO brotherhood. My thoughts and prayers go to the family left behind.
    Steve Vessey

  9. Fargo ND
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Mickey was a great friend and a wonderful example for all of us.

  10. Grand Forks ND
    I am so sorry to hear about Mickey. Thank you Susanne for your message. He accomplished much in his life and left a legacy for his family.
    I will be thinking about all of you during this difficult time.
    Cousin Delores

  11. Homer AlaskaDear Julie and children, Laura and family, and Susanne.

    My heart went out to all of you when I heard of Mickey’s passing and I send you each of you healing energy for this great loss. May you hold the sweetest of memories of him and his life lived well.

    Warm blessings,
    Susie Amundson

  12. Bloomington MN
    Our condolences to Mickey’s family. I remember Mickey when he was on the great Shattuck basketball team of ’67-68 playing with my cousin Mike Rothmeier. I was thrilled 3 years later to be attending Shattuck myself. Mickey came back to Shattuck and was our assistant basketball coach my junior year….he was a great guy with such an infectious personality and positive energy that you couldn’t help but love…..he will be missed by all of us who he touched along his journey. RIP.

  13. Lake Oswego OregonJulie and Family,

    We are saddened to hear about Mick’s passing. We had a great conversation with Mickey Sunday morning at breakfast after the ATO reunion. He was full of life and on top of the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Fargo ND
    Julie & family,
    We would like to express our deepest sympathy for the loss of Mickey.

    Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear, just know that you are very close in our thoughts and prayers.

  15. Erskine MN
    I was very saddened and shocked to hear about Mickey, Julie. Seems like yesterday we were in high school with no worries in the world. I’m thinking of you and your entire family. Linda

  16. Lake Elmo MN
    Mickey was a great person that cared a lot about people and showed it. Through our interactions in banking, he always provided you with straightforward, sincere thoughts that would help find a solution that worked. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Snortland family.

  17. Mandan ND
    Dear Snortland Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss of a great man! He always had a smile and a hello whenever I saw him. We always talked at the Redhawks games!

    Cole and I were visiting about you all and it was with fond memories of everything at Fargo North and at Hope Lutheran Church.

    Your memories are forever in your hearts and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. Centennial, ColoradoJulie, Blake, Allana, Eliza, Olivia, Laura and John,

    It was stunning news on Monday morning when we received the sad news about the passing of Mickey. Mickey was a valued friend of so many here in Colorado and around the country. Many of those friendships arose out of the years he spent at Colorado State University where he was a member of the ATO Fraternity. In October of 2012, over 50 of those fraternity brothers gathered together in Ft. Collins. Mickey was among them. After receiving the devastating news, I emailed that contingency announcing the passing of our fraternity brother and good friend, Mickey. Here are a few comments that they wrote back.

    Jeff Gates in Arizona wrote:

    Tom Hartanov in Washington wrote:
    Whenever a friend dies or I attend a funeral I cannot help but reflect on my own life and review what is really important in life. It brings me to thoughts of my children my family and my friends. It seems we too often forget about those old friends and the valuable time we spent together….Rick …Please send our thoughts and prayers to Mickey’s family. Harty

    George Zorb in California wrote:
    Thanks, Rick. Please extend our condolences to Mick’s family. George and Mary Zorb

    Bob Nielson in Colorado wrote:
    Thanks Rick for keeping us updated and informed. What a shocker. It seems like only a few years ago when you, Mickey, and I were living in an apartment together right after we graduated from CSU. (Wow, how time flies). When I talked with Mickey at the “ATO reunion”, I didn’t feel he had changed one bit. I’m glad we all have good memories of him and the crazy things we did together. BJ

    Darcy Hunt Johnson in Colorado wrote:
    Hey Rick – I am so very, very sorry to hear about Mickey . . . that is such sad news:-(. Always thought highly of Mickey and so enjoyed his visits. My thoughts, prayers and comfort to Julie and his family.

    Dr. Dave Jones in Colorado wrote:
    What I remember about Mick was he never choked. Not in volleyball , basketball, or playing shuffleboard with rednecks for beer at the bar in Castle Rock. Very sad. I’m glad we were all able to get together in October. Mick was the last guy I played golf with. We played the opening of the Perry Park course in 1971. Long story… Lots of great memories of Mick.

    Tom Hanke in South Dakota wrote:
    Glad I got a chance to talk to Snort at the party and the next day before the game. Hadn’t seen him in 40 years so it was great to catch up and also talk over all of the people we mutually knew in North and South Dakota. Hanke

    Jeff Sturgis in Indiana wrote:
    Mick was my first roommate along with Jim Ellswortth and John “Ernie” Swain. Glad I got to have breakfast with him after Homecoming. A very wise man and a pleasure to talk with. Jeff

    Mark Chaffee Colorado wrote:
    He was at the Reunion and stayed here at the Inn one night. I was fortunate enough to spend time talking with Mick. He was relaxed and comfortable. Everything seemed so right with him…..

    As you can tell, by these comments, your husband or dad or brother or brother-in-law is remembered by so many. We just pray for you in this time of your loss and lift you and ask the Holy Spirit would intervene for relief from the grief of Mickey’s passing. We will miss his smiling face and discussions about so many subject matters which he knew so much about. Our heartfelt condolences to each of you at his passing.

    Rick White and members of the Delta Eta Chapter of ATO.

  19. Julie, Blake, Eliza, Olivia and Alanna,

    I was stunned to learn of Mickey’s passing. I have many wonderful memories of him at Trollwood. He was always so positive, upbeat and gregarious. Would also bump into him late nights at Hornbacher and have a quick chat…

    My sincerest sympathies to all of you during this extremely difficult time. God hold you, surround you and fill you with some measure of peace.


  20. To the Snortland family, we were saddened to hear about Mickey. We will keep all of you In our prayers as you go through this journey as a family. Hold on tight to one another… Take care. Sara, Mackenzie, Bridger and Hale Scraper

  21. Fargo ND
    Dear Julie Snortland and family,

    I send condolences on “Mickey’s” untimely death. He was a friend of mine as was his father “Buck.”

    Buck and I started as democrats and NPLers in the late 50’s and early 60’s with much success.

    The loss of “Mickey” I am sure has been a shock. However, the pain of loss will be replaced by good memories.

    I send my best greetings.

    Myron H. Bright

  22. Columbine Valley ColoradoMickey is one of my ATO Brothers. It was wonderfull to see him again last fall after so many years. He seemed very happy and fullfilled. God bless Mickey and his family.
    Jon Piper

  23. Moorhead mnDear Julie and family, we are so sorry to hear of your loss. We pray that God’s loving presence and promise of eternal life provide comfort to you. You are in our prayers.

  24. Murrieta CAOur thoughts and prayers go out to Mick and his family. I have fond memories of Mick and the time that we shared together as ATO Fraternity Brothers at Colorado State. I will never forget our trip to Las Vegas or the few minutes that we spent together at the reunion and at The Berthoud Inn.

    Mick was a great guy and one of the most down to earth people that I have ever had the pleasure to know.

    May be God with Mick and his family.

  25. Moorhead MN
    Julue and Family,

    Our hearts go out to you in this time of sorrow. May God grant you His peace, love and strength in the days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Todd and Delene Gunderson & Family

  26. Fort Wayne IndianaOur deepest sympathies to the family. I’m so glad that we were able to get together at Homecoming last Fall.

  27. Gully MN
    To The Snortland Family –
    I’m so very sorry for your loss. May memories of Mickey and times shared soothe your spirit, comfort your soul and bring you peace at this difficult time. I respected Mickey and thoroughly enjoyed his stops by my office and his wisdom he so willingly shared. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Sheila (Former State Bank Employee)

  28. Duluth MN
    I like to extend my a sympathies to Mickey’s family and friends. He was a great man to know. Mick was a classmate of mine at Shattuck and a good friend. He will be missed by a great number of people he spent time with.

  29. Western Springs IllinoisMy sympathies to the Snortland family. I was a fellow ATO @ Colorado State and had the good fortune of knowing Mickey during our college days. Last fall we renewed that friendship at the Berthod Inn.
    Mickey was a good man and and my prayers are with you during this difficult time.


  31. Apache Junction AZ
    Dear Snortland Family,
    I am so very sorry for your loss.
    May the Lord Bless you and protect you.
    May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord show you His favor, during this time of mourning and always.
    Also it is written in scripture Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken hearted and binds up my wounds, curing all my pains and sorrows.
    We will keep you in our prayers.
    Blessings Teresa Metzger Sanders

    I started working at State Bank of Fargo when there were just two banks in 1991 or 1990. I am very blessed to have known Mickey an his family.

  32. Duluth MN
    The Snortland Family has held such a special place in my heart since my days of watching the children when they were young…to have the opportunity to watch them grow, to talk to wonderful mentors like Mickey and Julie, to have their support and encouragement as I married and had four children of my own…it has been an amazing journey. My heart aches as I think of the sadness, emptiness, and loss each of them is feeling. I pray that comfort and peace may find each of you even in these dark hours and days ahead. You are loved and cherished.

  33. Fargo ND

    Thinking of you and your children. Our hearts go out to you. We pray that you feel uplifted by all those whose lives you have touched. May your faith be stronger than your fears. Know that many are thinking and holding you close in their hearts.

    John, Liz, Stephen and Lauren

  34. Fargo I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I am so glad that I had the opportunity to get to know Mickey this summer, on that lovely evening after the Trollwood show. My thoughts and prayers are with you all, as you work your way through this challenging time.

  35. Hope ND
    To the Family of Mickey Snortland.

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Mickey. I knew him for many years as I worked in Finley at the FSA Office. He always was so down to earth, never seen him in a suit as he was a farmer, one never knew he was in the banking business. He will truly be missed. Our prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    Mike and Nancy Kainz

  36. Columbus OhioDear Snortland Family:

    My sympathies and condolences on the loss of Mickey. My father, Roy Haugtvedt, worked in the Sharon area and he knew Buck and Mickey.

    In recent years, I had the pleasure of getting to know Mickey at the breakfast table in the Finley Cafe. Mickey often stopped by for a cup of coffee and/or breakfast on his way to the farm. I enjoyed visiting with him and learning about his family and his hobbies. We have all lost a good friend.


    Curtis Haugtvedt
    Ohio State University
    Sharon, ND

  37. Northfield MN
    Dear Snortland Family,

    Eliza and Olivia have both been my students at St. Olaf, and I was so sad when I learned today of their father’s death.
    I send my heartfelt sympathy to your entire family. Dad must have been very proud to have had a part in raising two such amazing young women. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult week. May the peace that passes understanding be yours.

    Linda Berger

  38. Fargo ND
    My heart is broken today after learning of the loss of Mickey! I always felt as if he was the unofficial president of my unofficial fan club, and it occurs to me that he may have made many other people feel like champions as well. I absolutely adore the Snortland family and my thoughts and prayers are with them. Love and peace to you.

  39. Arlington VAMickey will be missed. He will be remembered as a kind, caring, generous man who always had a positive attitude.

    And he loved to farm. He told me it was like therapy, to be out in the fields, watching things grow, bringing in the harvest. He will be missed–but remembered. God bless.

  40. Fargo North Dakota
    So sorry about the loss of Mickey. I had a desk outside his office at State Bank for several years and used to enjoy hearing his stories of life at the farm. I’m sure you will find plenty of mementos while going through his office. He was always warm hearted and carried a smile where ever he went. He will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the Snortland family at this sad time. I will hold my memories of Mickey dear.

  41. Prairie Village KansasDear Julie…….I was so very sorry to learn of the loss of Mickey…….He was a true friend and an absolute pleasure to know. Our years at Shattuck built a solid and lasting friendship….one that we rekindled every five years in Faribault and the last couple of years in Fargo when Spike and Mick and I got together for dinner. I am grateful for those memories.
    My love and prayers go out to you and the kids and my heartlfelt sympathies for your loss. God Bless Mickey.
    Tim Gillin….

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