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.