William Harbeke

william harbeke
After a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer, William A. (Bill) Harbeke - 74 - of Fargo, ND, passed peacefully, Friday, July 16, 2021, at his home. Bill was born at St. John's Hospital in Fargo on April 18, 1947 to Tony and Ella (Jensen) Harbeke of Page, ND and graduated from Page High School. He was married to Germaine (Geri) Van Dyke on April 12, 1969 in Herman, MN. They lived in several towns in ND and MN, including Page, Valley City, Langdon, West Fargo and Fargo, ND, and Moorhead and Wheaton, MN. Bill graduated from North Dakota State University with a BS in Agricultural Economics. He was active in numerous organizations and activities and was proud to be an active member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, both in college and as an alumnus, being named Outstanding Alumnus in 2015. He served in the US Army Reserve from 1969 – 1975. Throughout his life, Bill worked as an assistant county agent, farmed, sold fertilizer and equipment, worked in banking in Langdon and Valley City, ND, and served as president of First Bank Wheaton, MN, for 10 years, worked as a financial advisor with American Express Financial Advisors in Fargo, and served as Director of Stewardship and Development for the Diocese of Fargo. Bill, along with Geri, were active members of the Catholic Church in every community in which they lived, serving in many positions in various parishes, including Parish and Finance Council, Education Committee, Lector and Trustee. He and Geri also organized pilgrimages throughout the Diocese of Fargo for several years. They started and chaired the annual Holiday Collection Craft and Vendor Fair at Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo for over 11 years and started the first Cork Pull at the annual Fall Festival at Holy Cross Catholic Church. Bill was a 4th Degree member and officer of the Knights of Columbus and was involved with Catholic United Financial. Over the years, he was also a volunteer member of the Jaycees, Lions, Eagles, Elks and other school and community organizations, including president of the Wheaton Economic Development Authority and treasurer of the Wheaton Library Board and Wheaton Festival of Families. He enjoyed travel, volunteering, reading and sports, continuing to run 5Ks into his 70's. He and Geri enjoyed several trips to Europe as well as ocean and river cruises, visiting over 30 states and 20 countries. They spent summers at Lake Maud, near Detroit Lakes, MN, and several months each winter in Green Valley, AZ. Bill, being an avid football fan, enjoyed tailgating and going to NDSU Bison football games for many years, with a great group of friends. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Geri, sons Mark (Lane) Harbeke of Sherman Oaks, CA and Dan Harbeke and granddaughters Elle and Emme of Omaha, NE, as well as his sisters Margaret (Peggy) Kaler, West Fargo, ND; Marlene (Ray) Rogalla, Westminster, CO, and Millie Tareski, Fargo ND; several nieces and nephews, cousins; and Godchildren Neal Tareski and Jamie Hauge. Bill was predeceased by his father and mother, Tony and Ella, and two brothers-in-law, Will Kaler and Val Tareski, along with several uncles, aunts and cousins. Above all else, he was proud to be blessed with a good and loving family, a true faith in God and many good lifelong friends, including his fraternity brothers. The family would like to express their deepest gratitude and thanks to Dr. Amit Panwalkar along with the nurses and staff at the Roger Maris Cancer Center and Infusion Center in Fargo, ND and are grateful for their concern and compassionate guidance and care over the past three years. The family also wishes to thank the Hospice of the Red River Valley team and the Griswold Home Care & their caregivers for their professionalism in comfort, personal and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate all donations be made to Epsilon Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund at the Educational Foundation of Alpha Gamma Rho, the Roger Maris Cancer Center, Farm Rescue or a charity of the donor’s choice. https://vimeo.com/event/1155245

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Memories Timeline


  1. Bill was one of the kindest and gentlest man I have had the pleasure of knowing. He lived his life lead by his Christian faith. He cherished his family and friends.
    I had the pleasure of going on vacations with Bill
    and Geri along going to many Bison games.
    Heaven gained a beautiful soul today.

  2. Dear Geri and family: Was sorry to read of Bill’s passing, wasn’t aware he had been sick. Treasure the memories and the years you had together.

  3. I first met Bill when he was a member of a 4-H club and I was Assistant County Agent in Cass County. A long time ago. As I moved around a lot, I lost track but reconnected during Bill’s work on the 2nd Century program for Epsilon Chapter, AGR. Bill’s leadership on that program was instrumental in bringing off a most successful result and reflected his intense commitment to serving others.

  4. Geri and Family, our thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn the loss of Bill.
    Greg and Janis Gustafson

  5. My sincere condolences to Bill’s family and friends I’ve always had the highest respect for Brother Bill

  6. Geri and the family,

    Many prayers to you during this time. Bill was a wonderful, kind man, who was always a joy to visit with. What an extraordinary life lived as an example of service to others. God bless you.


  7. Geri, Mark, and Dan,
    We are so very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing…Just know that we are thinking of your family and praying for you all during this very painful and difficult time. The loss of a wonder husband and father is so hard to bear. These are the times when our Lord Jesus is so very near. May you be comforted in your faith. Our deepest condolences to you all.

  8. My wife Jackie & I were honored to have been close friends with Bill & Geri over the years. In all that time, I never heard Bill make a negative comment about any person. He was a class act & truly a gentleman and the kind of person you wanted to be around. Our trips to Upstead Lake are the most memorable ones with a lot of laughs & good times.

    May the good Lord bless you & bring strength to your family.

  9. Dear Geri and family, My deepest sympathy to you all. I do know what you are going through. You had a wonderful life together – cherish all those memories. I don/t think I will be able to come to the service, I am sending a gift to the American Cancer Society in Memory of Bill. Thoughts and Prayers, Marilyn Thompson

  10. My sincere condolences to the whole Harbeke family. I have known Bill since I was just a little kid. We were neighbors in Page. He put up with our pestering then. I have known him and Geri in adulthood as well. The one thing I will remember most about him is his smile, ever-present. My prayers are with you all.

  11. Geri and Family:
    We are very sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I got to know Bill when we were in college. I always enjoyed our visits whenever we were able to connect. While we didn’t see each other often, it was always great to discuss old times. He was a great person with a friendly personality, always willing to visit. Blessed be the memory of Bill.

  12. Geri and family,
    I am just heartbroken at this news. Bill was a tremendous man, so kind, smart, patient, I could go on and on. I met Bill when working for the Diocese of Fargo in 2004. Then we had those terrific, fun, pilgrimages around the diocese because I was one of those that you thought of that was unable to do the international pilgrimages, and there were so many great place to visit in our own diocese! You both made those bus trips so fun!! I was soo looking forward to seeing both of you at this year’s Holiday Craft Fair. It never even entered my mind that Bill would miss this one. The last time we got to visit was at Sandy’s donuts when I gave you the photos from your 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Such fun! Thank you for including me in your lives. He (and you Geri) has touched so many lives in great ways while he spent his time with us. Rest in Peace, Bill. Well done, good and faithful servant. With much love, Cheryl

  13. Bill was an amazing man and an example of how honesty, faith, integrity and hard work positively influence one’s life. He was a family man and great friend. He will be missed and has left his mark on many lives. We were lucky to have known him.
    Garry and Carol

  14. We were sorry to hear of Bill’s death, we always enjoyed our visits with the two of you whenever we ran into you at various meetings we were at. You were always together, so you have lots of memories. Our sympathy to you and yours……….

  15. Our deepest sympathies and prayers to the families of Bill. He was one of the sweetest men we have ever met and was always so engaged in the communities. May your fond memories help you through this next journey.

  16. Hi Geri and families. I knew you folks years ago in Valley City. I remember telling Bill you remind me of Richard Boone the actor who played Paladin in the series of Have Gun-Will Travel. He kinda liked that connection. God bless J Dennis Nelson now in Melbourne FL.

  17. Geri and family . Just remembering the good times we had in Langdon in the J.Cs and our trips to upstead lake. Bill was a kind and gentle person . So sorry to hear of his passing

  18. Geri and family,

    Just learned of Bill’s passing. Lois and I send our heartfelt sympathy. Bill was a special AGR brother and human being. We always enjoyed and appreciated our time together and have many fond memories. I doubt we’ll ever visit Fargo (or ND) again, but, if you ever get to southern AZ, we’d love to get together.

    All our best to all of you,

    Don and Lois Schwartz
    Green Valley, AZ

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