Dear Classes of 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1982:
This is a Deacon Alert to inform you of the passing of Doris E. Liffrig on Monday, July 25th.
Doris was the mother of Sheila (Liffrig) Hoffman, Jacqueline (Liffrig) Uthus, John Liffrig ('73), Deb (Liffrig) Kaul ('76), Mike Liffrig ('77), Mary Jean (Liffrig) Dehne* ('79), David Liffrig* ('82) and Julie (Liffrig) Fedorchak.
Doris Elaine Liffrig, 85, Bismarck, died July 25, surrounded by her family. Mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit with Msgr. Tom Richter as the celebrant. Burial will follow at 2 pm at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Visitation will be held at Bismarck Funeral Home Tuesday Aug. 2 from 5-7 p.m. with a rosary at 6:45 p.m. and service at 7 p.m.
Doris Hermundstad was born Nov. 12, 1930, in Parshall, N.D., to John and Olga (Kvam) Hermundstad, Norwegian immigrants who were trying to scratch out a living on the dry, western North Dakota prairies during the Great Depression. As the youngest of three children and the only girl, Dorie learned to cook, sew, can, defend herself against her brothers, use her imagination and make do with very little. Despite the hardships of those early years, she considered her humble childhood one of her greatest blessings.
After graduating from Parshall High School in 1948, Doris enrolled at UND where she met a handsome young man from Ryder, N.D., named Duane Liffrig. They were married June 8, 1951, in Parshall, and were faithful, fruitful and fun-loving partners for 64 years.
After their wedding, Duane and Dorie promptly moved to Camp Rucker, Ala., where Duane was stationed in the Army. Just 10 months later their first child, Sheila, was born. In 1953, they moved back to North Dakota and settled in Williston where they had seven more children and became deeply involved in the Williston community. In 1971, Duane and Dorie moved to Fargo for a new career opportunity. They lived there for 10 years and then moved again, this time settling in Bismarck where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Dorie was a devoted wife and mother, and invested a majority of her energy in raising their eight children. No matter where she lived, Dorie made a mark on her neighbors, friends, and church community. She was a one-of-a-kind host and was known for her fun theme parties, clever games and contests, unusual door prizes, and wacky skits, costumes and programs.
While she proudly considered herself a housewife, her resume included a lot of creative ventures beyond the home. She loved music and played the accordion, piano, organ, guitar, and harmonica. She was a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus for many years including serving as president.
As a busy mom in her 30s, she discovered a love for writing and began penning a weekly column for the Williston Herald titled, “Stolen Moments.” She was also a columnist in the McLean County Independent for many years and published Perspective from the Pew in the Dakota Catholic Action for 11 years. In 2008, she completed her autobiography titled, “I’m Strong I Can Make It!” which captures her family’s history tracing back to Norway. She followed that project with two more books, Growing Up Rich in a Poor Family Volumes I and II, a series of short stories that retell the life of Doris and her brothers growing up in the Great Depression. She completed her last book at age 83, and loved to visit schools to talk to children about the merits of the “olden days.”
Countless other creative projects captured her imagination. She produced a humorous Norwegian calendar featuring Norwegian Immigrants Syvert and Synnov for many years; compiled scrapbooks for all eight children as a gift on their 21st birthday; collected antiques; and created an annual “Christmas Chronicle” newspaper-style Christmas card that was a perfect medium for poking fun at family members, especially Duane and her sons-in-law.
Dorie was grounded in a strong faith, lived her values and was never afraid to be herself. She was the glue for her family that included eight in-laws, 31 grandchildren, and an ever-growing list of great grandchildren that numbered 33 at her death. She understood the importance of being present for people, whether it was being home for her children, maintaining connections with family around the globe, writing weekly email “chits” to all the grandkids or providing beautiful written memoirs that allow her voice and presence to resonate long after her death.
She is irreplaceable but leaves behind a treasure trove of memories made possible by her untiring commitment to serve others.
She is survived by her brother Orin Hermundstad, Stoughton, Wisc.; children Sheila (David) Hoffman, Buford, N.D.; Jacqueline (Eric) Uthus, Alexandria, Minn.; John (Zoanni Tvedt) Liffrig, Williston; Deb (Kim) Kaul, Fargo; Mike (Julie Green) Liffrig, Mandan; Mary Jean (Jeff) Dehne, Fargo; David (Nancy Latimer) Liffrig, Starkville, Miss.; Julie (Mike) Fedorchak, Bismarck. Grandchildren Chris Hoffman, Annie Hennen, John Hoffman, Katie Hoffman, Jennifer Kill, Sara Johnson, Amy Uthus, Terra Erickson, Tyler Liffrig, Matthew Kaul, Emily Gee, Andrew Kaul, Ryan Liffrig, Elaina Murphy, Joe, Jessica, Kristen, Peter, Rebecca, William and Charles Liffrig; Nathan, Michelle, Alyssa, and Julia Dehne; Nicholas, Thomas and Daniel Liffrig; Elizabeth, Nathan and Samuel Fedorchak.
She was preceded in death by her husband Duane, parents John Hermundstad and Olga Gjerde, and brother Jerold Hermundstad.
In lieu of flowers the family welcomes memorials to the Legacy Children’s Foundation and St. Joseph’s School in Williston.
Send a Gift in Memory of Doris: (Click Here)
(Please enter Doris' name in the "Donor Comments" section of the online donation form and we will notify Doris' family of your gift.)
View all Memorials Given since July 2015