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1944 Jon 2021

Jon Arthur Nygard

March 1, 1944 — January 24, 2021

Jan (Jon) Arthur Nygard died on January 24, 2021 at the VA Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota. He was born on March 1, 1944 in Nevada, Missouri where his father was on active duty with the U. S. Army during WWII. Jan would point out that he missed being a “Leap day” baby by just a few hours. His parents were Sigfred A. Nygard and Ferne M. Peterson Nygard. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Faith. Jan was the oldest of three children, followed by Kendall Earl Nygard and JoAnn Kristi Nygard of blessed memory (1955-2007). Much of his childhood and formative years were in the Detroit Lakes, Minnesota area, where his family operated Strawberry Lake Store. Jan went to grade school locally, and graduated from Detroit Lakes High School in 1962. He spent four years as an electronics technician in the Navy, from 1966 until 1970, including duty stations in Hawaii and a year in Vietnam. His time in Vietnam included assignments at several locales, including swift boat duty on the Cuo Lon River south of Saigon. Although he served proudly and courageously, his combat experiences would affect him for the rest of his life. After his service, Jan completed his degree in Mathematics at Moorhead State College and taught at various Minnesota schools. He moved to the Minneapolis area and worked as a sales engineer for a few years. Jan went back to college, earned a Master’s degree in special education from Mankato State University, and devoted the rest of his teaching career to unselfishly helping students and adult learners with special needs to succeed. Jon married Maureen Ellen Schiff in 1975. To this union were born three children, Ehron David, Stephanie Renae, and Phillip Alan. Maureen died in 2013. Maureen was of the Jewish faith and the children were raised in the Jewish religion. Jan was a loving father. He had a strong sense of duty to serve in the military when called upon and in holding jobs to provide for his family. He greatly enjoyed trips to the Nygard family property on Strawberry Lake and visiting old friends and neighbors in that area. He looked forward to participating in reunions and special events with extended family and old classmates. He was an avid sports fan, following the Vikings, Twins, Gophers, and Bison and was often seen wearing caps and other clothing with their logos. Jan had an incredible interest in data, statistics, and information. When a new World Almanac came out he would eagerly consume much of the information and commit the new data to memory. He was a wizard at trivia games. Jan retired in 2014 and moved to Fargo, ND in 2015 where he lived for the remainder of his life. He is survived by his children Ehron (Beth) Nygard of South Bend, Indiana; Stephanie (Javier Palenzuela) of Sherman Oaks, CA; Phillip of Los Angeles, CA; sister-in-law Rollie (Bob) Wellington; brother Kendall (Gloria) Nygard; and grandchildren Ayelet and David Nygard and Jacob Palenzuela. Nieces and nephews include Travis and Heather Nygard, Matthew and Nicholas Laidlaw, and Marcus Strom. Rest in Peace Jan Nygard, gone but not forgotten. Arrangement entrusted to West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes. Burial at Lund Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural Detroit Lakes. Jon Nygard Memorial Folder
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