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Paul Pratt

August 29, 1931 - September 28, 2016

Prayer Service and Time of Sharing - Sunday

October 09, 2016
- 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Visitation - Sunday

October 09, 2016
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center, Fargo

Celebration of Paul's Life - Monday

October 10, 2016
- 11:00 AM

Pontoppidan Lutheran Church, Fargo


Boulger Funeral Home

Tribute Video

Paul Pratt

August 29, 1931 - September 28, 2016


Paul Pratt, 85, passed away on September 28, 2016 at Sanford Palliative Care, Fargo. Paul was born August 29, 1931 in Fargo, ND, son of Pauline Fjelde and Parke Campbell Pratt. He lived on the family farm near Gardner, ND, homesteaded by his great-grandfather George Pratt in the 1880s. A lifelong farmer, Paul actively farmed to the age of 80, and continued to do so in his dreams during retirement. He attended grade school in Gardner, high school in Grandin, and graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1950. Paul earned a degree in Mechanized Agriculture from NDSU in 1956, where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega (ATΩ) national fraternity. During the Korean War he was an Air Force P-51 Mustang mechanic on the flight line in Valdosta, GA and Victorville, CA.

Paul married Marguerite Olson on December 26, 1960 at Elim Lutheran Church in Fargo and they had three daughters, Claudia, Charlotte and Karla. Together, Paul and Marguerite operated the farm, growing wheat, barley, soybeans, sunflowers and sugar beets. Paul’s love for the land showed through in his soil conservation work, and he also served on the Cass County Water Board when rural water service was introduced.

He was an active member and volunteer in several cultural organizations including Sons of Norway, St. Andrew’s Scottish Society, the Swedish Cultural Heritage Society of the Red River Valley, the Hjemkomst Center, the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County, and the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival. Paul could create or fix virtually anything using his woodworking, welding, handyman, design and mechanical skills.  A lover of music and dancing, he folk danced with the NorSweDane Dancers and enjoyed singing in the choir at Pontoppidan Lutheran Church. He taught his little girls to dance as they stood on his feet. We will miss his sweet smile, waltzes, and jitterbugs.

Paul enjoyed learning about history and traveling throughout the US and Scandinavia – especially the beautiful fjords of Norway where he loved visiting his relatives. He also cherished watching his daughters and grandchildren in their various artistic and musical activities. One of the saddest times of his life was losing his creative daughter Claudia to cancer in 2014. To his grandchildren he was known as “Morfar,” and they delighted in his playful nature, hearing stories about the “old days,” and going on tractor rides with him.

He loved to make family memories, treating his children and grandchildren to many trips and the annual New Year’s gathering at Maplelag Resort. It was there that he became our “Miracle in the Snow,” surviving a heart attack on the ski trail. He was blessed with seven extra years of life that he gratefully shared with his beloved companion, Anna Marie Johnson, dancing, traveling, playing Farkle and cheering on the Bison football team. Paul was a patient, kind, thoughtful, gentle, generous, wise, and humble man. He loved antiques, stained glass windows and his “hedgehog mission” – giving stuffed hedgehogs to those who needed a little good luck. Reflecting on life at the end he advised “Cherish it all” – a motto he certainly lived by.

Paul is preceded in death by wife Marguerite; daughter Claudia; sister Sharon; and survived by daughters Charlotte (Henrik) Nordstrom, Karla Pratt; grandchildren Philip, Jensine, Nils and Ebba; niece Terra Goodwin; and Anna Marie Johnson, William Beyer and Richard Corcoran.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Pontoppidan Lutheran Church or the Claudia Pratt Art Heals Fund (FM Foundation). Other ways to honor Paul’s life: share your stories, help someone in need, make something with your hands or plant a seed.

The visitation will be held on Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm with a prayer service and time of sharing memories at 7:00 pm at the Boulger Funeral Home & Celebration of Life center, Fargo. “Fika” – Coffee and cookies will be served following the service.

A Celebration of Paul’s Life will be held Monday, October 10, 2016 at 11:00 am at Pontoppidan Lutheran Church, Fargo, with a farm lunch served following the service.


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19 responses to “Paul Pratt”

  1. Liane Callow says:

    Our sympathies and prayers! He touched so many people. He was an amazing man. His love and compassion could be seen in his smile. He will be missed. Love, The Callows

  2. Sonja Meline says:

    I am so sorry-I loved him so much and counted him as one of my unrelated Uncles. He leaves a huge hole in so many lives. Much love to all the family!

  3. Mikayla Sullivan says:

    Praying and thinking of you all <3

  4. Gina Diece says:

    May our Lord bless and comfort you and your family during this time of grief. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  5. D Chambers says:

    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your dear loved one, please accept my condolences during this painful time. Losing a loved one is distressing and as comfort is needed from family and friends, it is my hope your family will find comforting the promise at Isaiah 25:8 where we are assured that soon “death will be swallowed up forever.” It is my hope your family will find the strength to endure during the days ahead.

  6. Kim (Strube) Fuller says:

    Karla and family, I was just looking at some of your posts on Facebook the other day and thinking about when your mom, dad and sisters came with you to Carthage! I am sorry to hear that he passed! It can’t be easy! I just wanted you to know I am thinking of you all. I pray that you have some good memories to hold on too. Take care…

  7. Diane Thorsrud says:

    So sorry for your loss. Prayers to the family.

  8. Grace Grage Larter says:

    I’m so sorry, hugs to everyone. I will remember Paul’s laugh and smile.

  9. Jill Carlsen says:

    Karla and family, although our time together with your loving dad was short I can say he had my respect and love. He was an exceptional man. You and your family are blessed to have had him. Love Jill, Chris, Crystal, Giada, Jessie, and Angela.

  10. Alana Whitt says:

    Like many of the teens in the community, Paul Pratt gave me my very fist job hoeing sugarbeets, and taught me more about land conservation than I ever thought I would know at such a young age. I know he will be sorely missed by many and I thank the stars that we crossed paths! Lanie Sund-

  11. Pam Jacobson says:

    Sorry to hear Paul has died. He was one of the nicest, patient and good hearted people I ever met.

  12. Esther Wisdom says:

    Dear Charlotte and Karla,
    My prayers and tears go out to you. Your Dad was an amazing man, so comfortable in his own skin. I met him and your Mom, wow, what a team, when Claudia moved into Clovia, the fall of 1980. It was my first encounter with North Dakotan Swedes and Norwegians. I’m not sure I have fully ever recovered. 🙂
    Your Dad always impressed me with his sly humor, the quiet confidence that made him easy to turn to and of course the fact that he was the Rock among four strong creative amazing women. I treasure the visits we made to the farm, seeing him in his element. Alan, my city born spouse is still amazed at the size of a combine.
    Treasure each other. Esther

  13. Merrilyn Shoemaker says:

    Hi Folks,

    I was so sorry to hear of your father’s passing. He was always so kind and gentle, I still have the black walnut pin and refrigerator magnet he made and wear the pin at my throat whenever I put on this one button up shirt with lace edging.

    I love that you suggest planting as a way to honor him. Right now I am in the middle of planting a large community flower garden where the country road I live on creates a “Y” with another road. All the plants (and time) are donated. It will have day lilies, iris, vinca, daffodils, and crocuses as well as some flowering wild flowers from seeds I’ve collected along the road side. I think your dad would like it. As I plant this week, I will remember him and ask the plants (iris right now) to grow in his honor. I’m sure that they will!

    Have a beautiful memorial service. You all will be in my thoughts.

    Much love,
    Merrilyn (Claudia’s college friend)

  14. Fowler Charles (chuck) Humphrey says:

    Dear family of Paul:
    I share your sadness regarding Paul Pratt’s recent death. I remember him from my time in the Cass County Extension office, in 1969-70, and especially during the years in the 1980’s when our children were students at Oak Grove Lutheran School. It pleased me to read that Paul was a dancing companion of Marie Johnson during the last several years. As a fellow Scotsman, I also mourn his death. God’s Peace be with you as you celebrate his life on earth.

    Fowler Charles (Chuck) Humphrey
    Pocatello, Idaho

  15. Brenda Hill says:

    Charlotte , sorry to hear about the passing of your Father . My prayers are with you and your family .

  16. Jerry and Ellen Liddle says:

    Our sympathy in your loss.

    Paul was so supportive of the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival. My best memory of him was seeing him in the work room at the Hjemkomst Center, creating one thing or another. May you feel the comfort of God’s presence as you grieve your loss.

  17. Linda squires says:

    My condolences to you. Paul was such a kind man. He will be missed, and remembered of fondly.

  18. Sherbanoo Aziz says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson and Pratt families.

  19. Paul & Marilyn Nielsen says:

    Our sympathy and prayers for comfort at this time of the loss of one so special. Paul was a very special man and was a friend and inspiration for many. So sorry we aren’t able to join you in the celebration of Paul. Our thoughts are with you. Paul & Marilyn Nielsen

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