St. Hilaire – George Fanfulik, 89 of St. Hilaire, died peacefully on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, N.D., with his loving family at his side.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Thief River Falls. Interment will be at Holy Trinity Cemetery, Tabor. Military honors will be provided by Thief River Falls American Legion Post 117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, and the Minnesota Army National Guard Honor Guard.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls.
George Lawrence Fanfulik was born March 10, 1927 on the family farm near East Grand Forks, the son of James and Beatrice (Ante) Fanfulik. He was baptized and confirmed into the catholic faith at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Tabor. He attended country school through the 3rd grade in East Grand Forks, and then the family moved to Angus, in the spring of 1935, where George went through the 8th grade. He completed the next year of school in Warren.
George enlisted into service with the United States Navy on Jan. 17, 1944. He served at Mendora Base in the Philippine Islands and later was based in Luzon. He then boarded the U.S.S. Leopard and returned to the United States via the Panama Canal to Norfolk, Va. George earned the rank of coxswain. He also received the Victory Medal, Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal, and Philippines Liberation Ribbon. George was Honorably Discharged on July 24, 1946.
He returned to farm with his brothers near Angus, MN; and through the GI Bill was able to earn his High School Diploma. George then went to two years of College with the GI Bill at the Agriculture College, Crookston.
He was united in marriage to Lillian Berard at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Grand Forks, N.D., October 20, 1949. They made their home for a time in Angus and in 1953 bought a farm near Wylie in Pennington County. To this union there were six children born, Margaret Ann, Deborah, Donald, Michael, Valerie and Kevin. They sold the farm and moved to St. Hilaire in 1964 where they have since resided and worked as a tractor operator for 30 years for Donovan Dyrdal.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his younger years; also enjoyed watching his sons play with the St. Hilaire Bears, watching his granddaughters play basketball; doing word puzzles, playing cards with his sons at the VFW, and going to the casino every Tuesday with Lillian. George was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, Thief River Falls; life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, Thief River Falls; and life member of Disabled American Veterans, Crookston.
Survivors include his loving wife of 66 years, Lillian, St. Hilaire; five children, Deborah (Doug) Reierson, Grand Forks, N.D., Donald “Butch” Fanfulik, Thief River Falls, Mike (Paula) Fanfulik, St. Hilaire, Val (Scott) Swygman, Grand Forks, ND, and Kevin (Sherri) Fanfulik, Ohio; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; sister, Helen Nelson, Oslo; brother, Richard (Marge) Fanfulik, New Jersey; and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by daughter, Margaret Ann; parents; brothers and sisters, James, Frank, Joseph, Albert, Emil, Mary Ann, and Beatrice.
Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.