December 08, 2017
- 7:00 PM
December 08, 2017
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
December 09, 2017
- 2:00 PM
Dwight A. Tober, 66, West Fargo formerly Bismarck, North Dakota passed away Monday, November 27, 2017 at his home surrounded by his family and under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Dwight was born June 4, 1951 in Beardsley, Minnesota to Otto and Leona Frieda Bertha (Minners) Tober. He attended Beardsley Country School and graduated from Clinton High School in 1969.
Dwight grew up working on family farm (near Beardsley MN) and worked for neighboring farmers, and as a seasonal employee at Big Stone Lake State Park.
He graduated from South Dakota State University at Brookings in 1973, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Botany/Range Management; and graduated from New Mexico State University at Las Cruces in 1978 with a Master of Science in Range Ecology.
On May 19, 1990, he married the love of his life Loa Risch at the First Lutheran Church in Mandan, ND. Loa was originally from the Kansas City, MO area and was working for SCS at the time. They lived in Bismarck with Loa’s children, Erica and Brian. Loa also had 2 stepsons from a previous marriage that lived in Smithville, MO who came to visit in summers years back – Allen and Chris Risch. In 1994, they purchased a small acreage northeast of Bismarck and called it “Bluestem Hills”. They had a home built on the acreage and Dwight especially enjoyed the time he spent planting hundreds of trees, bushes and seeding native grass and wildflowers. Many photos of these projects were used in various USDA publications over the years.
After receiving his graduate degree from NMSU he started working for USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) as a range conservationist at Pierre, SD in 1978. He then transferred to the Plant Materials Center in 1979 in Bismarck, ND where he worked at the Plant Materials Center until 1998. He served as the manager for 14 years. He transferred in 1998 as plant materials specialist for ND, SD and MN. SCS changed their name in 1994 to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. He was a career member of the Society for Range Management (SRM).
He also received a National Award from SRM in 2001 for Outstanding Achievement. Dwight spent much of his career developing new varieties of plants for conservation and authoring/co-authoring many publications on conservation plant technology. Dwight had a special passion for native plants. Dwight retired from NRCS in 2011, due to his medical condition progressing and spent more time working on his acreage that he loved.
Dwight was diagnosed with Ataxia, 10 years ago. It progressed slowly at first then more rapidly over the last 5 years. Dwight courageously battled this devastating condition, until the past month when he was hospitalized and came home on hospice.
Spending time with family was very important and he enjoyed reading, gardening and working with native plants and wildflowers and going kayaking. His grandchildren liked to refer to him as the grandpa that was always dirty because he was always working outside and dirty from the garden, planting and moving trees or mowing, etc. Dwight enjoyed reading about and traveling to wilderness areas, especially the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeast Minnesota; and the Missouri River.
Dwight considered himself blessed with children, Brian and Erica and his grandsons Kaden and Tharin and most recently his granddaughter Sharlotte. He was incredibly active with the kids; always playing ball of any sort, taking them fishing, hunting, camping, working in the garden and walking the dogs while he still could. He enjoyed doing puzzles and reading books with them. He loved watching the kids and grandkids sporting events throughout the years, rarely missing a game. Education was very important to him; and he was especially proud when Erica graduated from the University of Mary, Brian from UND and Kaden also now attending UND.
He will be remembered as a very kind, humble and caring person, a devoted husband, a wonderful father to Erica and Brian and a very great grandfather to Kaden and Tharin who he helped in raising, and to Sharlotte that he enjoyed so much since her birth in April. He will also be remembered as a range conservationist that made a very lasting impression on so many people and friends and family. He recently had a plant release named after him which made him so proud and honored.
He is survived by his wife Loa, West Fargo, ND; daughter Erica McCray (Chris) and her children Kaden, Tharin, and Sharlotte of West Fargo, ND; son, Brian Risch (Jenny Roper) of St Paul, MN; one brother, Darrell Tober (Ardelle) of Long Lake MN; two sisters – Marlys Homrighausen (Gary) of Ortonville, MN, and Lynette “Bunnie” Walker, Apple Valley, MN; 3 sisters-in-law Susan Pollard (Jack) Centerview, MO; Jenny Stewart and Tom Young, Cotopaxi, CO; Becky Dahl (Kirk), Seabrook, TX; 2 brothers-in-law, Ned Stewart (Joy), Collins, MO; Jeff Stewart (Kari), Loveland CO; and many nieces, nephews, great nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Otto and Leona Tober.
Dwight’s family prefers memorials to: The Bonanza Education Center, Big Stone Lake State Park, Ortonville, Minnesota; or the ND Chapter of the Society for Range Management (Youth activities – Plant Identification Team or Youth Range Camp).
Prayer Service: 7:00 P.M. Friday, December 8, 2017 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 6:00 P.M.
Celebration of Dwight’s Life: 2:00 P.M. Saturday, December 9, 2017 at Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo with visitation starting at 1:00 P.M.