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Dan Kittelson

August 22, 1935 - August 25, 2020

Visitation

August 31, 2020
10:00 - 11:00 AM

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Memorial Service

August 31, 2020
- 11:00 AM

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Arrangements

Boulger Funeral Home

Service Video

Dan Kittelson

August 22, 1935 - August 25, 2020

Obituary

Dan Howard Kittelson was born August 22, 1935 to E. N. Kittelson and Fern (Drake) Kittelson in Fargo, ND. Dan was raised and attended school in Enderlin, ND graduating from Enderlin High School in 1953. Dan was always an athlete – whether in his youth as the premier centerfielder for the Enderlin Indies, a perpetual force in Amateur Baseball in North Dakota, to being a coach and supporter of his sons’ sports, or to recent fun when he and friend Orlan Neros would rip up the felt on the pool table one tournament after another! Tailgating at NDSU games, his intense competitive side relished an impromptu game of bags with random passersby who thought an old guy and his 30 something son would not be a challenge – only to walk away with well bruised egos! In 1952 at 17 Dan was chosen as an American Legion pickup player to play with the Enderlin Indies. Dan was a key player as the Indies won State Amateur Championships in ’53 and ’55 and earned him a contract to play with the Milwaukee Braves farm team D league in Lawton OK.

Dan was tapped by Ellendale’s team as a pickup player when they won the 1959 State Amateur Championship and was named to the All-Tournament Team that year. In 1962 he earned another State Championship notch as a pickup player with the Fargo Emery Johnson team. So, in all, he was proud to have been a rostered player of five State Amateur Baseball titles, steadfastly asserting “that is a record!” Among the stories of his ND Amateur career was getting a hit – a solid double up the middle just out of the reach of the 6’4″ legend Satchel Paige!

After graduating Concordia College and after receiving his masters degree at South Dakota State University in 1958, he taught in three ND schools beginning a lifelong career in education. In 1963 he joined the staff at ND State School of Forestry – Bottineau Jr. College where he initiated the Wrestling program; taught PE and was Head Baseball coach through 1966.

It was there he met his love and life partner Bonnie (Biberdorf) & they married in August 1966 – and this year celebrated 54 years of marriage. Together they moved to Waterloo, Iowa where Dan taught PE and was Assistant Wrestling & Track Coach at Waterloo East.
The next four years were spent in Woodstock, IL where again Dan taught and coached. In 1971 Dan worked as Manager for a Burger King Franchise in DeKalb, IL and later attended Al Sommers Baseball Umpire School in Daytona, Florida. After Baseball Scout School he was a bird dog scout for the Montreal Expos, and ran several baseball camps for prospective players.

Dan joined the staff of North Shore Driving School in Chicago, IL where he met friend & tutor, Warren Rumsfield, a pioneer and innovator of Space Cushion Driving tactics, who inspired him to make a difference in the industry. In October 1972 Dan moved his family to Fargo, ND where FM Driver Training was born! He and his wife Bonnie worked together in their business for 44 years. He always maintained that he was not rich, nor famous, but happy and complete in knowing he taught thousands of novice drivers tools to drive collision free! Many of those students will recall his famous quip “Check the intersection — Bing! Bing! Bing!” all the while snapping his fingers to get their eyes moving where they should look!

His joy and satisfaction in life was his Christian faith, family and tight friendships. He and his wife Bonnie were blessed with and raised four handsome sons who made a beautiful family experience. Attending baseball or softball games – Dan played with four teams of Old Pro softball too, post-baseball, or visits to MLB games or the boys’ activities was a steady diet.

Dan loved wrestling and attended nearly twenty years of NCAA National Wrestling Tournaments all over the US with his hometown friend Merle Foss. Valued friendships grew from sports as NDSU earned him seven trips to Texas with friend Hubie Bleese for Championship games. Dan stayed ‘in the game’ of baseball in virtual reality by coaching his teams aggressively in Fantasy Baseball for many winning seasons!

Surviving are his wife Bonnie, Kelly (Anita) Kittelson, Fargo, ND; Joel Kittelson, Devils Lake, ND; Cris (Maria) Kittelson, Lake Geneva, WI and Reid (Carissa) Kittelson, Fargo, ND. Dearly loved grandchildren are grandsons Drew and Logan; step granddaughters Charleigh and Ava Kilgore, and granddaughter Kendall and grandson Barrett. He is also survived by his two sisters Gail Yost, Golden Valley, MN and Fay Kittelson (Nancy Vang) Brooklyn, NY.

Memorials may be directed to Roger Maris Cancer Center, Enderlin Alumni Association, or Immanuel Lutheran Church.

Funeral Service will be 11am Monday August 31, 2020 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fargo with Pastor Bernie Worral officiating. Visitation in the Welcome Hall at 10am. Live streaming will take place at the beginning of services at Boulgerfuneralhome.com. Burial will be in Enderlin Cemetery Enderlin, ND at a later time.

Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. Online Guestbook: www.Boulgerfuneralhome.com

Guestbook

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18 responses to “Dan Kittelson”

  1. John Bergstrom says:

    Dan. The best friend a boy/man could have. Thanks for 80 years of friendship. You are beloved. Pals forever. Bergie

  2. Lowell Biberdorf says:

    Dan, devoted to his wife and all his family and friends. Always had a smile to share. He caringly touched the lives of all that he met over his life. A true hero and leader. Till we meet again. You will be missed. Rest in peace.
    Your brother-in-law. Lowell

  3. MARK SORNSIN says:

    I didn’t know Dan but he taught me behind the wheel in 1984. 36 years later I still recall some of his lessons and rules of the road when I am driving – usually when I see others driving wrong. Rest in peace.

  4. Mary Callaway says:

    A sweet, gentle, soft spoken man who I was privileged to know through his sisters and his loving Mom. God bless and keep you Dan. I’m sure Bacco and your Dad are welcoming you to heaven. Now Bonnie and boys have another angel to watch over them.

  5. Ron Frannea says:

    Very sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. Kittelson. I was a student at FM Driver Training back at the end of the 1970s, and was very grateful for the practical education I received. My sincere condolences to Mrs. Kittelson and their family.

  6. Olivia Batchelor says:

    Oh Bonnie. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this hard time. We so loved you and Dan’s visits on the island and Dan always made grandma Aggie so happy. You were both always so kind to my kiddos. We will forever have such fond memories. ❤️ Brent will be heading to college after graduation in 2021 to play college baseball so I know Dan will be watching over him ⚾️
    Love Garth, Olivia, Brent, Morgan and Levi

  7. Shirley Bunnell says:

    Dearest Bonnie,

    I was shocked to see that your Dan had passed away. You and your family have all of my deepest sympathy. Many prayers for you all.

    Your friend
    Shirley Bunnell from Indiana

  8. Linda Davidson says:

    He was an awesome driving instructor! He was my instructor 40+ years ago, taught me defensive driving. Sure wish my boys could have had the honor as well. Thank you Mr Kittelson! Rest In Peace.

  9. Gary Renick says:

    Bonnie,
    So sorry to hear of your loss. Dan was always one of those people everyone liked and a great athlete! I didn’t realize you had been married that long! The last time i saw you both was in Plano at Ellen’s after the NDSU football game. I know you loved to go to those. RIP Dan

  10. Merle and Peggy Foss says:

    Our long time friend, Dan “Kit’ merited this special comment made by others when we called them to tell them of his passing. “A very pleasant and easy guy to be around, clearly a good friend for you.” So true as in this poem by Helen Steiner Rice sent with our love to the extended Kittelson family.
    THE GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP: FRIENDSHIP is a PRICELESS GIFT that cannot be bought or sold, But its value is far greater than a mountain made of gold – For gold is cold and lifeless, it can neither see nor hear, And in the time of trouble it is powerless to cheer- It has no ears to listen, no heart to understand, It cannot bring you comfort or reach out a helping hand- So when you ask God for a GIFT, be thankful if HE sends not diamonds, pearls or riches, but the love of real true friends.

    Our hearts and prayers are with you now and always.

  11. bob hulet says:

    I really enjoyed watching Dan play basketball, football and baseball. in Enderlin. A very talented individual and a nice upperclass mate .

  12. Harriet Smedshammer says:

    Dan was a great person and will be missed. He was a regular at our Enderlin Gathering every month at the Sons of Norway.

  13. Janis Kirsch says:

    What a nice tribute to Dan. My favorite image was of his dance for Kendall! It really made my heart happy.

    My prayers are with Bonnie, their boys and families.

    With love

  14. Merlyn Rausch says:

    oH YES, THE MEMORIES OF OLD PRO BASEBALL GAMES WHEN HE PLAYED FOR RAUSCH LIQUORS. I MISS THOSE DAYS, BUT STILL HAVE THE MEMORIES.

  15. Linda Terry messsmer says:

    Have great memories living just a few blocks from dan and Bonnie. Great dinners at their house. Trading child care with Reid and my boys. I know u will be missed by many. Prayers

  16. Barbara Ingram says:

    Bonnie, so sorry to hear of your husband’s death. I only recently heard of his illness. What a long run as a life partner. We have lost so many friends and family in past 10 years, but we will soon see them again.

  17. Norm & Judy Bomkamp says:

    So sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you, his family.

  18. Pat Howard says:

    Bonnie and the Kittelson family,

    I’m saddened to hear of Dan’s passing and very sorry for your loss. It has been many years since I’ve seen and spoken to you, but wanted to offer my condolences and comforting wishes to you and your family. Take care.

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