Ervin A. Rehak, 84, a long time Williston resident and businessman, passed away at Bethel Lutheran Home, early Thursday morning, July 4, 2013.
His funeral was held on Tuesday, July 9, at 10:30 a.m. Services took place at First Lutheran Church, Williston, N.D. Interment, with military honors, was held at Hillside Memory Garden. Pastor Martin Mock officiated.
Ervin was born on Aug. 17, 1928, in Robinson Township, rural Mountrail County, to Anton and Dora (Hauskey) Rehak. He was the oldest of 10 children, and grew up helping on the family farm. Ervin attended school in a rural school house and remembered walking three quarters of a mile down the coulee, to school. He graduated from Ross High School.
He helped farm with a team of horses and had a soft spot for all animals. Threshing time was his favorite time even though the crops were not always good. He was a regular attendee of many area threshing bees. He left home at 16, and had several jobs around Mountrail and Williams counties. He made many friends over the years in both counties and never seemed to forget a name.
Ervin desired to enter the military when he was 16, but his parents refused to sign for him as he was underage. World War II ended two days before his 17th birthday. He enlisted in the Navy in June of 1948. He was a very proud of his military career, and the U.S. Navy. He shared many memories of his days on the USS Midway (CV-41) which was an aircraft carrier, and at the time, the largest ship in the world. He made cruises into the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic, and multiple trips into the Mediterranean Sea. He also helped recommission the battleship USS Wisconsin for use in the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in April of 1953 with a rank of Metalsmith 1st Class.
He met Edna Lois Fixen at the Grand Theater in Williston, while on furlough. They wrote many letters while he was stationed in Virginia. This correspondence, and subsequent visits, resulted in their wedding on Nov. 28, 1950, at the old First Lutheran Church in Williston. They were married 62 years and had five children. They made their first home in Norfolk, Va. After completing his military service they moved back to Williston.
Ervin worked very hard to take care of his family. He started his own business, Erv’s Heating and Sheet Metal, in 1960. This was family operated, with his son, Scott, until 2008. Ervin and Edna traveled on many company sponsored trips throughout the US and Caribbean.
Growing up in the 1930s made Ervin understand the value of recycling. He was often seen collecting aluminum cans as he went on his many walks.
He was a member of First Lutheran Church, the American Petroleum Institute, the Navy League, the Loyal Order of the Moose, Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Blacktail Dam Association, and an adult leader of the Boy Scouts of America. He was an avid supporter of Williston High School sports, especially football, wrestling and hockey. He had grandchildren or greatgrandchildren in Williston’s hockey program from 1986 until the present. He loved spending time with his family, telling stories, playing cards, dancing, weekend family visits to Ross and Alexander and occasional trips to the casino, camping, sledding, weekends at Blacktail, and he loved the 4th of July.
Ervin is survived by his wife of 62 years, Edna Lois (Fixen) Rehak. He is also survived by son, Steve (Sally) Rehak, daughter Delyte Lee, son, Scotty (Kristen) Rehak, and son Jerry (Jame) Rehak, all of Williston; eight grandchildren, Nathan (Summer) Rehak of Wasilla, Alaska; Garrett (Mikaela) Rehak of Williston; Matthew (Kerri) Rehak, of Wasilla, Alaska; Chase Rehak and girlfriend, Lindsy Bustad, Colby Rehak and girlfriend Tarren Jundt, Justin Rehak, Kaitlyn Rehak, and Parker Rehak, all of Williston; six great-grandchildren, Tyven and Gunner Rehak, of Wasilla, Alaska; McKenna and Gavin Rehak of Williston; and Kaleb and Samuel Rehak of Wasilla, Alaska; brothers, Howard (Janice) Rehak of Stanley; Dean Rehak of Ross; and Delmer (Dana) Rehak of Big Sandy, Texas; sister, Audrey (Hans) Oldenburg of St. Paul, Minn.; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Carl Frisinger of Tioga; DeLoris Hagen of Williston; Ellen Novak of Alexander; James (Rae) Fixen of Alexander; Clara Fixen of Williston; Darlene (Merrill) Benth of Williston. He is also survived by 26 nieces, 24 nephews and several cousins.
Ervin was preceded in death by his parents, Anton Rehak and Dora (Hauskey) Rehak; infant son, Leonard Anton Rehak; infant brother, Anton Charles Rehak; brothers, Roy (Arlene) Rehak, Richard Rehak; sisters, Bonnie Frisinger, Doris (Sonny) Ogden; father and mother-in-law, Leonard (Elda) Fixen; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Clara Rehak, Donald “Donnie” Cvancara, Wayne “Red” Hagen, George Novak, Harley (Elsie) Fixen, and LeRoy Fixen. Also preceding him were his niece Judy Cvancara Baker and nephew Dale Rehak.
Everyone is welcome to visit www.eversonfh.com to share remembrances of Ervin or leave condolences for his family.