Warren Tvenge’s spirit was set free from his brave battle with Parkinson’s on Aug. 17, 2018, in Santa Monica, Calif. Beloved husband, father, brother and friend, Warren’s life was celebrated at two intimate memorials in Santa Monica and Bismarck with close family and friends in attendance.
Warren was born in Minot, N.D., June 14, 1944, to Knute and Irene Tvenge, descendents of Norwegian and Finnish immigrants. He grew up in a close-knit, humor-loving family, and was the second of four children.
Warren met his wife, Delores Dahl, at NDSU as architecture and interior design students. Marrying in 1968, they started their 50-year marriage trying out mountain life in a one-room cabin in M. Baldy, Calif., while Warren worked his first job as an architect in Pomona, Calif.
In 1969, the mountain honeymoon came to an end when Warren was called into active duty in the Army. The couple were whisked off to various bases from Georgia to Massachusetts for training before being shipped out to Frankfurt Germany, where Warren worked on the design and project management of communication towers.
Completing his service years later, Warren and Delores and their firstborn, Siiri returned to Arnegard and made great memories assisting Delores’s parents, Harriet and Henry Dahl with farm-work. A local cowboy poet even wrote a poem about Warren’s feat with a protective mother cow that cut the calf’s vaccination process short. It involved Warren flipping over the fence with the syringe upright, having no harm to himself. They all laughed that his military training served him well.
After harvest, Warren, Delores and Siiri moved back to Fargo where he earned his Masters degree in Architecture and Public Planning at NDSU.
In 1977, Warren, Delores, Siiri and Wyeth, the latest addition to their growing family, moved to Bismarck, N.D., and established the Architecture and Interior Design firm Tvenge Associates. Warren served as architect and consultant on various State Capitol projects from 1980 until his retirement in 2012, including various renovations of the Legislative wing, the West Entrance, the Veterans Memorial Public Library and Warren’s most-loved projects, the All Veterans Memorial and the Arboretum trail on the Bismarck State Capitol grounds.
Other notable projects were the Bismarck Airport Terminal; various Federal Buildings projects (Courthouse, Federal Building), VFW All Season’s Arena, the Bismarck Civic Center (Exhibit Hall 1990 -2008 Masterplan;) many Bismarck Zoo Exhibits (Siberian Tiger, Snow Leopard, Sea Otter, Bear Den, Mountain lion, Bobcat, Lynx,), Custer House Reconstruction at Fort Lincoln, The Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Expansion, BAGA, Various BSC buildings (Campus Housing, Higher Education Center;) N.D. National Guard projects (Weapons of Mass Destruction Training, RJB Center and Camp Grafton Readiness Center;) Bismarck Police Department Renovations and Police/Fire Training facilities; Great River Energy (Control Room and Commercial Coal Dryer;) Basin Electric (Wind Farm Maintenance Building;) various Bismarck Schools projects, Space Aliens Restaurants (Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks;) Scheels renovations; and many more municipal, state, federal and private buildings. Warren loved to identify trees and explore the local parks and was involved in designing and planning of Bismarck parks such as Sertoma, Tom O’Leary, Hillside and Pioneer.
Warren was an award-winning member of AIA, NCARB, Bismarck Curling Club, Lion’s Club, and the Downtowners Association.
Warren is survived by his wife of 50 years, Delores; son, Wyeth (Kathryn); daughter, Britt (Noble); sister, Janet Kurth (Alan); sister, Kay Marshall (Jim); brother, Alan Tvenge; sister-in-law, Joyce Hayford; mother-in-law, Harriet Dahl; father-in-law, Henry Dahl. He was preceded in death by daughter Siiri; and parents, Knute and Irene Tvenge.
The family has been deeply moved by all of the extraordinary healthcare professionals from Bismarck to Minneapolis, Minn., to Rochester, Minn., to Santa Monica, Calif., who have gone above and beyond to keep Warren dancing and smiling until the 11th hour.
Warren enjoyed his last four years with weekly lunch outings, trips to the parks, museums, and beach, and making beautiful art and music. He enjoyed frequent visits from close family and friends, and made new friends everywhere he went, flashing his big smile and giving people a good laugh with his sharp wit and humor. He gave people a lot of smiles while dancing his heart out at the many music performances at Sunrise of Santa Monica.
In lieu of flowers, friends who would like to celebrate Warren’s memory can contribute to a fund to honor Warren’s work on the design of many of Bismarck’s most visible buildings, parks and green spaces with tree and bench dedications in his name.
Contributions to the fund can be sent to First International Bank & Trust, to the “Warren L. Tvenge Memorial Fund” at 1601 N. 12th St., Suite 101, Bismarck, ND 58501, or to the family directly (address below.)
The family welcomes friends to share memories of Warren. His unique sense of humor endured to the end, and humorous anecdotes are a pleasure to read. Friends interested in helping the family coordinate his memorial dedications are encouraged to send a letter or email to:
Warren Tvenge Memorial, c/o Britt Tvenge, 1223 Wilshire Blvd. #895, Santa Monica, CA 90403 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please share a memory in the online guest book at www.bismarckfuneralhome.com/obituaries/warren-tvenge/