VeeAnn Backes

veeann backes
VeeAnn Backes (Joyer), age 80, passed away peacefully in her sleep on April 19, 2018 in the loving community of Rosewood on Broadway in Fargo, N.D. VeeAnn was born on December 10, 1937 in Minot, N.D. to Lloyd and Anne Joyer.  VeeAnn attended the University of North Dakota, earning a degree in Business Education. A beauty, she modeled for Dayton’s department store in the 1950s. She married Norman Backes in 1961, and while putting him through law school, taught at the Grand Forks Airforce base.  She worked as a loan officer for Gate City Savings and Loan, and then for 19 years assisting 7 presidents at American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead, MN. She was an active member of the Fargo Junior League, and the First Presbyterian Church. VeeAnn lovingly raised her children and supported them always, providing advice, both wanted and unwanted throughout her life.  She was fiercely intelligent in a time when smart women didn’t have the opportunities they have now.  She was a master duplicate bridge player, an exceptional bowler, an avid golfer and a tennis player.  She was a loyal wife and mother who modeled hard work, honor and the Scandinavian principles of thrift and a stoic love that we all understood had no end. VeeAnn is survived by her loving husband, Norman Backes of Fargo, her sister Constance Williams (Scottsdale, AZ), her children Brian Backes (Diane), Lakeville, MN, Andrea Backes (Jim Jeffery), St. Paul, MN and Bradley Backes (Kristina Burow), San Francisco, CA, and grandchildren Nick, Darby, Alev, Noah, Vivienne, Otto and Zella. Condolences should be sent to Norman Backes, 722 Southwood Drive, Fargo, N.D. 58103.  We suggest memorials be directed to Dr. Keith Josephs’ research program in Primary Progressive Aphasia at the Mayo Clinic. A Gathering will be held from 5 – 6:30 PM on Friday, April 27, 2018 at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo, with a Memorial Service beginning at 6:30 PM.


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  1. Our deepest sympathy to the Backus family. Remember so well the days when you lived on 11th St. and we lived on 10th, the progressive dinners and the raising of our children. May she rest in peace.

  2. Dear Norm and Family,
    Our thoughts are with you all at this sad time. Vee Ann was a wonderful lady.
    Jan and David McNair

  3. We are sorry we cannot be there with your family,but we grieve with you over the loss of a beautiful lady and a good friend. We will remember her delightful laugh and her sincere interest in those around her. You are in our thoughts

  4. To the family of VeeAnn Backes:

    I am so very very sorry to hear of VeeAnn’s passing. She was lovely & kind & a true lady in every sense of the word. After being home for 11 yrs. raising a family, I decide to go back to work. When I went for an interview at Gate City Bank, the first person I saw was VeeAnn. Seeing a familiar face was such a relief. I was nervous after so many years of being out of the work force. She had a way about her that made one feel relaxed. She introduced me to Joe Jameson, who was interviewing me for a position at GCB. And I know she was instrumental in me getting the job. I tried to thank her for it but she would never say she had any thing to do with Joe hiring me. She made me feel it was all on my own merit. That’s a kind, loving person. She was a mentor to me during the years we both work there. She will be greatly missed by everyone knew her. And she will always be remember!

  5. My deepest sympathies to all of you. My parents are Jerry & Jane Hendricks who have been long time friends with VeeAnn & Norm. I met VeeAnn while my mom was in TouchMark with her. She was a lovely woman and such a dear friend of my mom’s. I am sure that they are enjoying their friendship now that they are reunited in heaven😇.

  6. Dear Norm and family, We are saddened by Vee Ann’s passing and have fond memories of this pleasant lady.
    Our paths crossed often and we enjoyed our interactions with her. May she rest in perfect peace. Our sympathy

  7. Andrea,

    So sorry to read of your mom’s passing. You may not remember me – I was a Delta Gamma at UND with you – same pledge class I think. I dropped out of UND after 3 semesters. I have always remembered your last name which is why I noticed this.

    May happy memories bring a smile during this difficult time.
    God Bless,
    Stacey Anderson

  8. My prayers and love for you, Norman, and eternal rest for VeeAnn. She will be remembered! S Mary Ellen Backes

  9. It is with great sadness I discovered and read of VeeAnn’s passing earlier this year. Actually, I awoke from a dream and was compelled to google her name and discovered her passing only just tonight. I could say so many things as I have known her and the family since I was only 5 years old, but I will say only she played an integral part in my youth and growing up. She was brilliant in her own right in many ways and I have many fond memories of her counsel and advice to Brian and myself in our most impressionable years. RIP VeeAnn, always. I know you will be missed by your entire family until the day of our Lord and we are reunited.

    My deepest sympathies to Norman as well as Brian, Andrea, and Bradley and their children. Your loss is inmeasurable… as it should be

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