William L. Gilge Jr. (Mr. Bill), 66, of West Fargo, passed away at his home on May 26th, 2013, surrounded by his loving family under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley after a long valiant battle with cancer. 

Bill, the son of William Gilge Sr and Garnet (Bowersfield) Gilge, was born in Moorhead on August 2, 1946.  He attended Glyndon High School and graduated in 1964.  He was an ambitious person who could fix anything and always be counted on to help others.  After high school he worked at A1 Auto and farmed with his brother-in-law, Don Bekkerus.  In 1966, Bill joined the Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota Air National Guard.  He retired 29 years later as a Master Sergeant.  The highlight of his career was the day he retired, as he was able to ride in an F-16.  After retirement, he went to work for Bob Odegaard at Odegaard Wings in Kindred, ND.  At Odegaard Wings he worked at restoring World War II era aircraft, such as the P51 and the Super Corsair airplanes.  In the fall, he spent 30 years hauling beets for Martin Farms.  Bill enjoyed stock car racing and worked as a flagman for Buffalo River Speedway many years.  His passion for racing led him to join his son and grandson in go-cart racing.  They were known as 3G Racing. 

He married the love of his life, Jeanne Pruett on December 3, 2009; they were soul mates for the past 16 years.  Bill and Jeanne shared a passion for NASCAR and going for long rides in their Miata.

Bill was preceded in death by his father William Lawrence Gilge Sr, his mother Garnet (Bowersfield) Gilge, and Brother-in-Law Donald Bekkerus.  Survivors include: Wife Jeanne (Pruett) Gilge, Daughter Lyn (Casey) Moilanen of Rochester MN, Son Larry (Cindy) Gilge of Jamestown ND, Sisters Delores Bekkerus of Glyndon MN, Margaret (Dennis) Matson of Hilton Head Island SC, Gail (Gordy) Erickson of Crystal Lake IL.  Stepsons Rory Pruett of West Fargo ND, Troy (Sarah) Pruett of Valley City ND.  Grandchildren Brittney Moilanen, Madison Moilanen, Corey Gilge, Elizabeth Gilge, Taylor Pruett, Brandon Pruett, Tyler Hahn.

Pallbearers include Jim Mohr, Allen (Polack) Wojtalewicz, Leroy Hintz, Dalan Rasmussen, Steve Koenig, and Dan Anderson.

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  1. Bigfork MTI remember the fun we had growing up there in Gllyndon. I also remember the passion and pride as he talked about the restoring of those planes when I stopped and saw him while driving truck through Fargo. Remember that he is in no more pain. Andy Jensen

  2. Arygle MN
    Billy will be missed by my whole family. My brothers, Andy, Roger & Russell had many adventures when they were together at the house my folks rented north of Glyndon and out at Buffalo River State Park, where we lived at the time. We enjoyed the time we spent with Billy out at our family reunion in 2009 at Buffalo River. May God comfort each of you during this time of loss. But what joy we have to think that some day we will again see him. We will be thinking and praying for you.

  3. We got to know Bill through his daughter and our next door neighbor Lyn and Casey. I always enjoyed having conversation with Bill and talking by the fire pit. you will be missed, Ava will especially miss the Aflac duck.

    Bob, Renee and the girls.

  4. Cape Coral FLSorry to hear the news about Bill.
    Bill was one of the guys that made the ND
    ANG a great place. It was always a pleasure to see him, he was always smiling. I’m glad I had the chance to work with him.

  5. Mesa AZ
    Bill was so very dear with his great! Laughter and contagious smile 🙂 he made everyone feel good that was around him. I will always treasure those great! memories, thoughts & prayers are with you all.
    With Love Sandi & Paul Moore (Ross)

  6. Moorhead MN
    I attended Glyndon High School with Bill (Class of 1964). He was always a good classmate (played sports and did well). He will be missed.

  7. west fargo ndmy prayer and sampathy go to the family. Bill was a customer of mine for schwans ice cream he was always fun to visit with about the military and number 3 for nascar.

    Greg akason

  8. Fargo, ND
    I served with Bill in the Hooligans until my discharge in 1990, will always remember his smile when he walked into the training office and Elaine will also when he came into the BX while she worked there. We will will also miss him at the monthly retiree breakfast.
    Rest in Peace Bill

  9. Fargo ND
    Our hearts and prayers are with you all. It was an honor to meet Bill and his bride Jeanne on their special day surrounded by family. What a wonderful kind, thoughtful and humble man. We remember lots of laughter, hugs, and memories watching you all climb in and out of an airplane taking endless pictures and enjoying the day. Everybody just wanted to be by Bill.

    May you all carry his smile in your hearts always.

  10. Jamestown ndSo sorry to hear of your loss. Our family will pray for you guys in your time of need. Take care.

  11. Summerfield FloridaBill was a classmate of mine and we use to run around and have a great time. It has been awhile since I last seen him. He was a great guy and a lot of fun to be around. We will miss you Bill.

    Richard Offutt
    Class of 64

  12. Jamestown N.D
    .Bill-Our lives have been blessed beyond measure through the years we have known you. We will never forget the times that you came to Jamestown to race go carts or to attend the dirt track races. Our lives feel so empty right now. Bill you have touched many lives and we feel so honored to call you “our friend”. You fought so bravely these last few years and we know that you have taken the checkered flag and are safely resting in Jesus’ arms. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU BILL. Monte & Carol Leno

  13. Rochester MN
    Thank you Bill for being the wonderful person you were. Our son could not have had a more wonderful father in law. You will be missed by us all. Love, Bob and Kathy Moilanen

  14. Rochester MN
    We will miss you very much Bill. You were a fantastic father in law to our son. You were always willing to help out and be there for anyone who needed you. Brittney and Madi will never forget the fun times they had with you. Thank you for being such a wonderful person to my son’s family, especially to Lyn my son’s wife. Rest in peace, you fought hard. Love Bob and Kathy Moilanen

  15. Lyn, Casey, Brittney and Madison
    We are so sorry for the loss of your dad, father in law and grandpa. You will be in our prayers.
    John and Gretchen O’Neil

  16. Poplar Grove IllinoisDear Billy

    I know that you are in a better place and are at rest and I am thankful for that.

    The world is poorer without your smile and your laugh.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you.

    Your friend
    Bill Snyder

  17. Rochester MN
    Dear Dad,
    I will miss you to pieces everyday here on this earth! I know you are in Heaven and are with your Mom and Dad.
    Thank you for your ever so tender love and guidance you gave me everyday of my life.
    Thank you for being my “Special angel”!
    I love you to the moon and back….

    Love your daughter,
    I love you more….. :0)

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