Michael Irvin Strand
Nov. 16, 1960 – Mar. 31, 2018
Mike I. Strand, 57, of Leeds, ND passed away Saturday, March 31, 2018 at his home in Leeds. Memorial Service was held at 2:00 PM Thursday, April 5, 2018 at the Leeds Lutheran Church with Pastor Michael Pretzer officiating. Music was provided by Rachel Markestad. Visitation began one hour prior to the service at the church. Urn Bearers were Travis Stuberg, Chad Nelson, Dylan Torgerson, Kim Lunde, Curt Munson, and Steve Jorgenson. Honorary Bearers were Sage Michael Hardt and Henry Sidney Hardt.
Michael Irvin Strand was born November 16, 1960, in Maddock, ND, the only child of Galen & Joan (Bowersox) Strand. Many childhood memories were made growing up in the Bowersox family while spending many weekends at his grandparent’s home in Wolford. In his adolescent years, Mike helped his father on the farm and was
the flagman for their crop spraying business. He graduated from Leeds High School in 1979. In January of 1980, Mike attended Bismarck Junior College enrolling in the
Agri-Business Course. Upon receiving his certificate in Pinochle, he returned to take over the family farm. On November, 1984, he married his high school sweet-
heart, Donna Schwanke. Mike and Donna moved onto the family farm, con-tinuing to farm until 1997, when they decided to rent the land to Steve Jorgenson. It was here they raised their three children: Kacy, Ali and Joe.
Before they were blessed with children, Mike and Donna spent time playing in a recreational volleyball league where Mike discovered he loved the game and had a
natural talent. This led to coaching girls volleyball at Leeds High School for a number of years. Mike truly enjoyed coaching and built life-long relationships with many
players. Kacy, Ali, and Joe tagged along to practices, games, tournaments, and Wednesday night league.
For the past 20 years, Mike worked at various jobs including Chad Nelson at Amoco, Harlow Co-op Elevator, Jorgenson Farms, H & H Farms and B&H Oil. Since farm life
was his passion, he made the decision in 2017 to catch up on the farm and tend to the cattle. This spring, he planned on helping Travis Stuberg with his farming and was looking forward to getting back in the tractor.
Mike had a deep love for hunting and was an excellent shot. He enjoyed several hunting trips in various states with family and friends. For many years, he and Curt Munson traveled great distances hoping to get the “big buck down”. In 2015, he took Kacy to Wyoming, where she harvested a mountain lion. Last December, he took Joe on an elk hunt, bringing home a trophy. A fall elk hunt was planned this year with Ali. Donna and his children have endless stories about hunting with Dad. Mike had an “elite” group of hunting buddies, whom he considered family that will miss the adventures of hunting with Strand. He bagged many trophy deer that hang on the walls of their home and shop. A trip to the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas was a highlight for Mike this past year.
Mike had many talents that few people knew. He had a knack for taking photographs that told a story and stunning landscape pictures he took while driving around
looking for wildlife. Most recently, his photography reached a whole new level-selfies. Whenever a text arrived from Dad, the kids just never knew what to expect. He had a creative side to him that is reflected by the many unique items displayed in the farmyard and their home. He and Donna had been working on the family home, with Mike as the designer, creator, and carpenter. Donna was always his assistant and gopher for their remodel jobs.
To Mike, his family was his world. He always supported his children in their endeavors and was extremely proud of the lives they were building. Becoming a Grandpa to
Sage and Henry made Mike a very happy Papa. He was happiest when his family was together.
Mike is survived by his wife of 33 years, Donna; his children, Kacy (Chad) Hardt and their children, Sage & Henry of Washburn, Ali of Minneapolis, MN, Joe (Renae Fafard) of Leeds, numerous cousins, brothers-in law, sisters in laws and one aunt, Gloria Whalen of Rugby.
His father, Galen in 1978 and his mother, Joan in 2015, preceded him in death.
Online condolences may be left at www.thenelsonfuneralhome.com
The Nelson Funeral Home of Leeds, ND is in charge of the arrangements.