Funeral services were held Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011, at Peace Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, for James R. Dressen, 91, of Devils Lake, formerly of Churchs Ferry, who died Saturday, Aug. 6 at Mercy Hospital, Devils Lake, under the care of Mercy Hospice.
Burial was in the Churchs Ferry Cemetery.
James was born Jan. 5, 1920, in Rugby, a son of Herman and Mathilda (Thue) Dressen. He attended rural school and at Rugby. He graduated from Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis in 1937. In the fall of 1940, he purchased the blacksmith and welding shop in Churchs Ferry. He married Audrey Knutson June 1, 1942, in Churchs Ferry. He sold the blacksmith shop in 1944, and entered the U.S. Army on July 19, 1944. He trained at Camp Hood, Texas, and went overseas in January of 1945. He served with the First Cavalry Division in the South Pacific and Japan during WWII. On Feb. 17, 1946, he was honorably discharged and returned to Churchs Ferry, where he repurchased the blacksmith shop. He worked at Camp Grafton during the winter months welding, doing machine work, and testing equipment in cold weather for the Aberdeen Proving Ground. In 1957, he attended Moler Barber College in Fargo. In 1961, he purchased a barber shop in Leeds, operating it for 27 years. He retired in 1988. In 1983, he began working part-time at Nelson Funeral Home. The couple moved to Devils Lake in 2000.
He was a former member of Zion Lutheran Church, Churchs Ferry, and a current member of Peace Lutheran Church, Devils Lake. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #756 of Devils Lake and the Welcome Lodge #54 A.F. and A.M. in Churchs Ferry. He was a past member of the Churchs Ferry Men’s Club, the Devils Lake Elks and Eagles.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey; daughter, Judith Ann Willenbring, Coon Rapids, Minn.; son, Robert Dressen, Washington, D.C.; four grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; sister, Helen Benson, Cando; brother, Howard Dressen, Leeds; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters, Margaret Christenson, Evangeline Fredrickson, Dora Halling and Betty Peterson.
Pastor Reuben Schnaidt officiated. Music was provided by Darlene Albertson, soloist, and Doris Michaels, pianist.
Casketbearers were Arden Helgeseth, Darryl Biby, Ronald Hausmann, Loyd Pederson, Don Albertson, Paul Christenson and Gary Rolle.
Military rites were accorded by the Neathery-Simensen VFW Post #756 of Devils Lake and the North Dakota Miliatry Funeral Honors Team.
Arrangements by Nelson Funeral Home, Leeds.
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