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Philip Eldon Fossum

Nov 14, 2020

Dec. 7, 1935 – Nov. 1, 2020

Philip Eldon Fossum,

beloved husband, father,

grandpa, great-grandpa,

brother and friend, passed

away with his wife by his

side on November 1,

2020, at HAMC in Rugby,


Phil was born De-

cember 7, 1935, in Rugby,

to Oliver and Edith Fos-

sum. Raised and educated

in Rugby and Lakota, he

graduated from high

school in 1953 in Sa-

cramento, CA. In 1954, he

enlisted in the Army Na-

tional Guard Co., 164th

Engineering Battalion, at-

taining the rank of Staff

Sergeant status.

On September 16, 1956,

Phil married the love of

his life, Clarice Saude, in

Rugby and within a few

days, they took off for Cal-

ifornia where they lived

for a short time before re-

turning to Rugby. Phil

was called to active duty

in 1961 with the ND Na-

tional Guard during the

Berlin Crisis, so off they

went to Ft. Riley, KS.

They lived in St. Marys,

KS for a short time and

later moved to Manhattan,

KS to be closer to base.

After his honorable

discharge, the two of them

came back to Rugby,

where they built a home

and raised their family to-

gether. He was part owner

and manager of the P&M

Elevator in Berwick, ND

and spent his early truck

driving years with C&G

Furniture in Rugby.

Phil dearly loved his

many years as an

over-the-road truck driver,

traveling throughout the

northwestern states. He

carried everything from

farm and construction

machinery to Army equip-

ment, soda ash, lumber,

and many other loads. He

often visited friends and

relatives along the way.

Although he started

driving International,

once he made the switch

to Kenworth, he never

looked back.

Winding through

mountain roads, sur-

rounded by breathtaking

views with that “good

listenin’ music” on the

stereo, the rumble of that

Kenworth engine would

forever become a part of

his soul.

He occasionally took

his girls along and he

proudly displayed their

names on his truck doors.

One way or another, he

always had his family

with him.

In 1974, Phil esta-

blished Fossum Lumber,

now Rugby Lumber, and

owned and managed it for

many years. Clarice

worked by his side, as

they ran the business and

raised their girls together.

He was a member of

many organizations in-

cluding the Rugby Ameri-

can Legion, Rugby

Chamber of Commerce,

the Rugby Country Club,

the Rugby Eagles, Ducks

Unlimited, Rugby Gun

Club, and Bethany Luth-

eran Church.

In his free time, Phil en-

joyed hunting, fishing,

watching football and

baseball and he very

much loved golfing every

day that he could. He

especially enjoyed after-

noon coffee with friends

as they laughed together

and tried to outwit each


He treasured quiet time

in his backyard and gar-

den, and befriended yard

birds who trusted him

enough to eat birdseed

from his hand.

Nothing stopped Phil.

His determination kept

him truckin’ through long

hours and all weather

conditions, yet he always

made it home.

Nothing stopped Phil.

Wherever the roads took

him, when each of his

daughters was born, he al-

ways made it home.

Nothing stopped Phil.

He kept on truckin’

throughout many years of

health challenges, and he

always made it home.

Keep on truckin’ Phil –

someday we’ll be together

forever … when we all

make it Home.

Phil is survived and

dearly missed by his lov-

ing wife and three

daughters, Connie (Steve)

Dignan, Camas, WA,

Christi (Brian) Kasbohm,

Chanhassen, MN, and

Carrie Thomas, West Far-

go, ND; two grandchil-

dren, Jessica (Michael) Ol-

son and Jay (Kelley) Dig-

nan, one

great-granddaughter, Had-

ley Rae Dignan, brothers

Robert (Marilynn) Fos-

sum, Danbury, NE, and

John Fossum, Surprise,

AZ, as well as several

nieces and nephews. He

was preceded in death by

his parents, his sister,

Sheryl Rollman, and his

brother, Ronald.

Memorial services will

be held at 10:00 a.m. Fri-

day, November 20 at First

Lutheran Church in Rug-

by with military honors

to follow at Persilla Watts

Cemetery, Rugby.

For the safety of all,

please be observant of the

Covid-19 restrictions in-

cluding wearing a facial

covering, social distanc-

ing, hand sanitizing, and

staying at home if not

feeling well.

(Anderson Funeral

Home, Rugby)



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