Gerhard Delano Granrud was born November 1st, 1932 to Theodore Gerhard and Gertrude Margaret (Dewing) Granrud at home on the farm north of Columbus ND, in Short Creek Township, one mile from the Canadian border. He was the youngest of their five children. On his mother’s side of the family, he was part of the 10th generation of Dewings on the American continent. He was baptized Feb. 16th 1933 at the Short Creek Lutheran Church. He was affectionately called Baby Delano until he started school and his siblings complained their mother held him in her lap until his feet were dragging on the ground. He had an adventurous youth, interested from an early age in building things and taking hair-raising risks, especially with his brother Dale.
At 18, Delano met Gertrude Klyne of Estevan SK at a dance at the Pavilion Dance Hall. His sisters couldn’t believe he had such a good looking girlfriend! They were joined in marriage Feb 24 1952 in Estevan. He was 19 and she was 18. Their first son was born March 30, 1953. They named him Dwight, after Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, carrying on the family tradition of Delano being named for FDR, confidently, before he was elected, and his father named for Teddy Roosevelt. They made their home in Tioga, at the time oil was first discovered, and Delano went to work for Power Fuels—he delivered propane to the second oil well in ND. He had his own Dray business, a familiar word at the time, but it dates back to hauling things in a cart pulled by horses. Delano built and rented a building in Tioga to Buckingham Freight. He worked at the Signal Oil & Gas Plant, now the Hess Gas Plant. Delano started working as an operator where he continued working shift work for 19 1/2 years. (He quit days after his son Glen said, if you don’t enjoy your work, quit!) In 1968 Delano and Gertie purchased a farm northwest of Tioga, while he was working at the plant, where they raised livestock, grain and three boys— including Glen born Sept. 3, 1954 and Gaylord born October 29, 1956. Delano & Gertie divorced in 1975.
At age 44, he married Shirley Jean Evans (Shirley at the time played country music with her sister; they were known as the Evan Sisters) at First Lutheran of Tioga on April 25, 1977. (He had been a member there since ‘58.) They moved the house off the Tioga farm to Hitchcock, SK.in the summer of 1986. He lost Shirley May 25, 1998, to cancer; she was 64 years old at the time. She was known to everyone as a sweet, caring person.
Delano then moved down to Noonan, ND and was enjoying his weekends at Mouse River Park. Soon after, he purchased property there. He then moved the Noonan house to Mouse River Park. Apparently he didn’t know about suitcases and cardboard boxes. True to form, he started a plethora of building. First a roof over the water for his pontoon; then the roof and screened in area over his motorhome; and then remodeling the house; adding an addition to the side of the house; another bathroom; a garage behind the bathroom; then he moved another garage building from the Noonan property. There was friendly competition with the neighbors with yard decorations and lights, which expanded to decorative lights along the river. A Pump house that was built to scale to match the historic pavilion in the park, and he found room for another storage building. He had the time of his life there while being teased that the all the property was going to be under one roof. Karen Irwin was his fun-loving, supportive companion in all of these improvements. He also joined an association or two, to improve the park and to raise state money for paved roads to the park. He was the head of the building committee for a large gazebo in the middle of the park for weddings and other functions. They built it of metal, so it is one of the only surviving structures in the park since the big 2011 Souris River flood. Delano was in Williston for Father’s Day when he received a phone call that the park was at risk for flooding by the coming Wednesday. Glen and the Biwer Boys mobilized a memorable crew to save most of the movable stuff. But the flood damage was almost unbelievable—the floodwaters came to just below the eaves of his house, and everything left was beyond repair. Delano took it pretty hard, and spent part of that year and the next trying to clean it up. Visiting and traveling with his friend Martha Bruhn in Minot made this difficult time more bearable.
Dad said one flood was enough; he wouldn’t rebuild there, so he found a home and some property in Noonan. DON’T BE SURPRISED…he had concrete poured and built a very nice two car garage with a large woodworking area in front of the vehicles, insulated and metal lined. He had plans and materials to build another roof over his motorhome. His friend Carol Spooner made sure he was well fed during his Noonan time.
Delano kept working hard until he moved to Williston, about 3 years ago. Most of his adult life, he usually had a job, a business, and a volunteer project going at the same time. There is a generation in Tioga that knew him as a school bus driver and janitor. He enjoyed those years with fondness. Others might remember him from when he tried the bar business, owning and operating the Skoal Bar on Main Street in Tioga, and the store he called Tioga Decorating.
Delano was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings Dale and Gerdius Wattrud; his wife Shirley; and son Dwight.
He is survived by his sons Glen (Jennie) and Gaylord (Susan) of Williston; his sisters Geraldine of Dassel MN and Delores of Noonan. Also, his grandchildren, Amber, Ashilee, Kari, Lyle, Warren, Kristina; steps Theron, Alex, Darcy and Lynnea. Also, numerous great grandchildren and one great-great grandson. In addition, he loved all his cousins, nieces and nephews.