Wayne Keith Tesmer, 86, formerly of Fargo passed away Saturday, June 16, 2018, at Kettering Memorial Hospital, Kettering, Ohio. Wayne was born on June 29th, 1931, in Walhalla, ND, to Herman and Pearl (Haire) Tesmer. He attended a rural, one-room elementary school near Walhalla followed by high school at the Walsh County Ag School in Park River, ND.
Following the outbreak of the Korean War, Wayne enlisted in the Air Force and served four years two at Ashiya Air Base in Japan and was promoted to Staff Sergeant (one of his proudest achievements). After his discharge in 1955, Wayne moved to Fargo to attend the North Dakota Agricultural College using his GI Bill and worked part-time as a bartender at the Hotel Donaldson to make ends meet. He quit school after three years to take a job as a field representative for the First National Bank of Fargo. He traveled throughout ND and neighboring states collecting payments and repossessing property for the Bank. During these years, he met and eventually married Marian Wichmann of Durbin, ND they wed on August 19, 1961 and remained so happily for the next 56 years. He quickly re-enrolled at NDSU and finally completed his degree in 1964.
Shortly afterwards, he was offered the job as NDSU’s first Director of Student Financial Aid where, for the next 32 years he helped thousands of students find ways to finance their education and to achieve the same goal the GI Bill had afforded him. He was remembered by his peers and others for his quick smile and a humble presence a true gentleman.
He and Marian purchased a house on North Broadway that would be their home for 37 years and where they raised their two sons, Mark and Scott. Scott passed away at the age of 14 on October 23rd, 1981, after a two-year struggle with cancer. This great sadness had a profound impact on Wayne for the remainder of his life. After his retirement from NDSU in 1996, Wayne began what he described as the best years of his life. From their new home in South Fargo, Wayne spent his days traveling with Marian, working on his computer, and was active in the Kiwanis and their Home Owners Association. He and Marian moved to Centerville, Ohio, in February to be nearer to Mark and his family.
He was preceded in death by his two brothers, Warren and Claude, and his sister, Delores “Tess” Voracheck.
He is survived by his wife, Marian, his sister Linda Gillan, of Sacramento, CA, his son, Mark, and his wife Julie, along with three grandsons, Jacob, Grant and Gary Tesmer, all of Ohio. If desired, friends may make memorial contributions to the Wayne and Marian Tesmer Scholarship Fund, by mailing a check to the NDSU Foundation & Alumni Association, PO Box 5144, Fargo, ND 58105-5144 or go online to www.ndsualumni.com/contribute and choose Designation-Other. Please indicate your donation is “In Memory of Wayne Tesmer.” Wayne established this fund in his last years to provide financial assistance to NDSU students from Northeastern North Dakota.