Jean Winsness, 95, of Watford City, N.D., died Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at her Watford City residence. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20, 2009, at the Fulkerson Funeral Home in Watford City. Pastor Chris Montgomery will officiate and interment will be held at Schafer Cemetery. Friends are encouraged to sign the on-line register book and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com.
Jean M. Winsness was born Oct. 27, 1914, in Great Falls, Mont. Born the daughter of homesteaders, Hans H. Johnson and Isabel Higgins Johnson, Jean remembered riding in a horse-drawn buggy from the family homestead three miles south of Watford City to town, wrapping the horse reins around hitching posts on the main street of Watford City and shopping.
As a young girl, the family moved to Shafer for short time until the McKenzie County seat moved to Watford City where her Father was a county official. Jean graduated from Watford City High School in 1933 where she enjoyed writing for the school newspaper, served on the annual staff and participated in many school activities. Upon graduation, Jean worked in the McKenzie County ASC office until she decided to seek a formal business education at the Globe School of Business in St. Paul, Minn. Jean transferred to the Wahpeton School of Science where she met the love of her life, Arnold Winsness.
They were married in Minnesota in April, 1940. Jean and Arnold settled in Chicago where Arnold worked at the Alemite plant. In January, 1941, their son, Warren, was born. Shortly after that, they moved back to Watford City to attend to ailing parents. Arnold worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture until being inducted into the Armed Services during World War II. Jean and Warren moved to Chicago to be near Arnold where he was stationed. The World War II years were very difficult for war brides who never knew where their husbands would be sent to serve, and never knew if the husbands would return. Following the War, Arnold returned to Watford City and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and later became a District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service.
Jean and Arnold loved to square dance, play Whist with friends and picnicking in the Badlands. Jean especially enjoyed the years when son Warren was active in high school sports and University of North Dakota activities. Jean and Arnold became ardent fishermen and traveled to Northern Canada to fish.
Suddenly in 1971, Arnold suffered a heart attack and died. Jean continued to live in her Watford City home, and maintained a beautiful park-like yard until she was 88 years old. She could be seen daily walking uptown, getting mail and shopping. Jean was a very independent person who continued to live alone until her passing. She kept up to date on world affairs and loved discussing the events with friends and with her son Warren.
Jean is survived by her son, Warren and his wife Catherine, of Los Gatos, Calif.; grandson, Scott Winsness, Plymouth, Minn.; and granddaughter, Amy and her husband Dr. Kirk Aadalen, of Bloomington, Minn.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Hans H. and Isabel Higgins Johnson; and her husband, Arnold Winsness.
Friends may call at the Fulkerson Funeral Home in Watford City on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and an hour prior to services on Friday.