Funeral services were held Thursday, June 18, 2009 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, for Lester “Les” Nyhus, Devils Lake and formerly of Rugby, who died Saturday, June 13 at Altru Hospital, Grand Forks.
Burial was in the Devils Lake Cemetery.
Les was born Dec. 30, 1927 in Minot, the son of Leonard and Ruth (Enga) Nyhus. He was reared and educated in Rugby, graduating from Rugby High School in 1945. He attended the University of North Dakota, graduating with a degree in natural sciences. In 1950 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from Minot State College and in 1957 received his master’s degree in education from UND. He married RoseMarie Brandt on Aug. 13, 1950 in Rugby. He was a science, math and German instructor, band director and high school principal in Upham from 1950-1954; he was a math and chemistry teacher and high school principal at Cando from 1954-1959. In later years he was a math instructor and junior high school principal from 1959 to 1967 and senior high school principal from 1967 to 1987 in Devils Lake. He was also the athletic director in Devils Lake from 1987 until 1989, when he retired. After his retirement, he and RoseMarie continued to live in Devils Lake, spending their winters in Florida for over 20 years.
He was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, where he served as congregational president and in other offices and on committees over the years. He was active in the senior meal delivery service; was a life member of the Devils Lake Elks Lodge #1216, serving as an officer; was a charter member of the Devils Lake Elks Band, playing for 50 years; and on the national level served as the District Deputy East of the National Elks Association. He was active in the North Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals, was named North Dakota Principal of the Year in 1984, named to the Devils Lake High School Hall of Fame in May 2003 and named Boss of the Year by the Devils Lake Chamber of Commerce in 1980.
He is survived by his wife; daughters, Leanne Vigen, Adams; Marcee Mertens, Devils Lake; and Kara Johnson, Devils Lake; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Don.
Rev. Ken Bowman officiated. Music was provided by Jeremiah Johnson, Kimberly Breiner, Donovan Foughty and Lynda Pearson.
Casketbearers were Morris Vigen, Jim Mertens, Jerry Johnson, Cody Mertens, Jeremiah Johnson, Marty Iverson, Duane Grego, Perry Erovick and Mathew Berg.
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