Severt Ingolf Sponheim, age 100, passed away at the Sidney Health Center on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 from heart failure, one day after paying his taxes.
Severt was born July 16, 1914 on the family farm in Cartwright, N.D., to Ole Svendom and Anna (Skari) Sponheim, Norwegian immigrants. Severt attended the Cartwright School, and learned to speak English when he was in the first grade. Severt was active in the Boy Scouts as a young child and helped his dad farm their land.
Severt met Gunhild Gunderson at the Odegaard’s store when he was delivering milk. They married on Oct. 27, 1938, in Cartwright at the Bethel Lutheran Church; it was his parents 25th Anniversary. Three children were born to Severt and Gunhild; Lyle, Arlene and Dale, who were allowed a wonderful childhood sharing many activities with their father who was always playful with them. In 1945, Severt bought the Berge place, which was adjacent to his father’s farm, where he resided until 2012. Severt’s eyesight was failing when he moved to the Senior housing in Fairview, Mont., to be closer to the coffee shop. After Severt moved, his son, Lyle, took over the family farming traditions.
Severt was the community handyman, helping with plumbing, electrical and mechanical work, grave digger, caretaker, bell ringer, poet and many other things. He was also very active in Bethel and Zion Lutheran Church. His key to living a good life was eating oatmeal every morning and having coffee breaks. One of his favorite sayings was “Life is too short to read fiction.”
Severt is survived by his children, Lyle (Connie) Sponheim, Dale (Tammy) Sponheim, and Arlene (Larry) Willis; grandchildren, Eric (Sharon) Sponheim, Paul (Cindy) Sponheim, Tina (Christopher) Murphy, and Sara (Jonathan) Singer, Scott (Katelyn) Sponheim, Cody Sponheim, Brody (Carla) Willis, and John (Lela) Willis; 11 great grandchildren; and sister, Anne Lund.
Severt is preceded in death by his wife, Gunhild “Gunny”; parents, Ole and Anna Sponheim; brother, Morton Sponheim; and great grandson, Ian Sponheim.
The funeral service for Severt Sponheim,, was 2 p.m., Monday, Feb., 23, at the Fairview Alliance Church with Pastor Paul Sponheim and Pastor Kelly Sloan officiating. Burial followed at the Fairview Cemetery under the direction of Fulkerson Funeral Home of Sidney, Mont. Remembrances, pictures and condolences may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.