Dr. Del (Delmer) Helgeson, 79, passed away December 19th, 2008 at his home near Park Rapids, MN.
Del was born in 1929 in Lansford, ND, to Henry and Clara Helgeson. They moved to Bottineau, ND where Del grew up on a farm. He attended rural schools in Bottineau County and Bottineau High School. Del enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1948 and took his basic training at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. He served with General MacArthur's Occupation Forces in Japan and in the Korean War with the Headquarters Company, 24th Medical Battalion, 24th Infantry Division, from 1950 until rotated back to the states in 1951. He was awarded various campaign ribbons and the Bronze Star. He was assigned to Brooke Army General Hospital, San Antonio, Texas until discharged in March of 1952. Upon returning to North Dakota, he married Eileen L. Thompson, from Hatton, ND, in March 1954.
Del attended North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo, ND receiving a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration in 1958 and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics in 1960. He accepted a position with the 7th Farm Credit District, St. Paul Bank for Cooperatives, St. Paul, MN in 1960 as a Business Analyst/Loan Officer and as a Regional Business Analyst/Loan Officer for the State of North Dakota until 1967. He then accepted a position as a Marketing Economist with USDA, Economic Research Services (ERS) Marketing Economics Division (MED), Washington, DC, stationed at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He was under a joint research project between USDA and the Dept of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska in 1971 and upon completion of his Ph.D. he accepted a professorship in teaching/research in the Department of Agricultural Economics at NDSU, Fargo, ND. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1990. He is best known for his agricultural value added economic feasibility research on a state, regional and national basis. While at NDSU he served on various North Central Regional Research, University, College and Departmental committees, University Senate, and as Editor of the North Central Agricultural Economics Journal for a three year term, from 1982 to 1984
Del was a member of numerous professional associations: AAEA, WAEA, NCAEA, Gamma Sigma Delta, Gateway Lions, Fargo, and life membership of the Carroll O. Flesche American Legion Post #70 in Hatton, ND. He served on the First Lutheran Church Board in St. Paul, and was a member of First Lutheran Church in Lincoln, NE, currently a member of St. John Lutheran Church, Hatton, ND.
Upon retirement Del & Eileen have resided at their lake home in the Park Rapids, MN area. Del had many hobbies including flower gardens, photography, fishing, hunting and RV-ing. He had a special love for his antique farm tractor collection. He enjoyed his retirement time with family, friends, and professional colleagues. In winter months he enjoyed reading about the Civil War, World War II, and especially autobiographies and biographies.
He is survived by his wife, Eileen, Park Rapids, son Gary (Nancy), Minnetonka, MN, two grandchildren, Justin of Bakersfield, CA, and Stephanie of Detroit Lakes, MN, sister-in-law, Deloris Helgeson of Bottineau, ND and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Lawrence of Minot, Clarence of Bottineau, and sisters Mable Helgeson of Mohall, Mae Brusven of Bottineau and Marian Kittleson of Bottineau, and 2 nieces and 1 nephew.
Funeral Services will be 2:00 pm, Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at St. John Lutheran Church in Hatton with burial in St. John Lutheran Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Tuesday at the church from 12:30 pm until the time of services.
Memorials may be directed to Hospice or the Del Helgeson Scholarship Fund.
The Bilden Funeral Home of Hatton, North Dakota is assisting the family with arrangements.
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