Stanley Joseph Nicklay, 86, was born Nov. 14, 1932, and died July 8, 2019, in Rosewood on Broadway, Fargo, N.D.
Stanley was the sixth of eight children born to Fred and Magdalena "Lena" (Watrin) Nicklay in Barnesville, Minn. He attended Assumption Catholic School through the eighth grade. He graduated from Barnesville High School in 1950. He was active in the Humboldt 4H Club for 12 years. In Septembers when he was growing up, Stan would get out of school for a few weeks to help with the potato harvest. He was paid 3 cents a bushel when he started, which went up to 12 cents when he was older. His record with his brother Clayton was picking 400 bushels in one day. Stan said "I made good spending money for those few weeks, but it was hard on the back."
One fall after potato picking was over, Stan met a young lady with red hair from Pelican Rapids, Erma Strandlien. In the history of his childhood he wrote to share with his family, he said, "My life changed for the better after that night."
On March 1, 1954, he married Erma Strandlien of Pelican Rapids, Minn. They are the parents of six children: Barbara Ann Nicklay, "angel in heaven"; Cynthia (Pat) Solyntjes, Alexandria, Minn.; Carolyn (Bob) Strnad, Moorhead, Minn.; Cathleen Gausman, Fargo; Renee (Brian Carpenter) Nicklay, Fargo; and Michael (Yvonne) Nicklay, Fargo.
Stanley was in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. When he was discharged, he started working at Wilson's SuperValu in Barnesville. In 1962, the family moved to Alexandria, where Stan was store manager of Olson's Supermarket. In 1978, store ownership changed and Stan felt a need to change, too. The children were either married or going to college, so Stanley and Erma moved to Devils Lake, N.D., where he managed Christie's Warehouse Foods and Wally's Supermarkets from 1978 to 1998. He retired in May 1998.
During those years in Devils Lake, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1779 and co-chairman of the Knights of Columbus state convention. He was also a member of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus and served in the Honor Guard. He was an Honorary Life Member in the 3rd and 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. Stan was a 25-year member of the Kiwanis Club of Devils Lake. He was also a past president of that club. He was also a Key Club adviser. (Key Club is high school-aged Kiwanis.)
He was a Eucharist minister for 10 years at St. Joseph's Church in Devils Lake. He was a 10-year volunteer for Meals on Wheels in Devils Lake.
Stan enjoyed reading, putting together puzzles, gardening, and helping to make lefse. He and his son, Mike, attended the Super Bowl in Florida in 1995.
Stan and Erma spent 20 years of "winters" in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. While in Lake Havasu, they made side trips to Mexico, to Palm Springs for the Follies and to Catalina Island off California. They made several overseas trips, with Rome the highlight of those. They attended a public audience with Pope John Paul II and received his blessing. Pope John Paul II is now the patron saint of Parkinson's patients, a disease Stan faced in his later years. While in Lourdes, Stan bathed with the waters from the spring of the Grotto.
Stanley is survived by his wife of 65 years, Erma; five of their children; 14 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren; his sisters-in-law, Kathryn (Jerald) Lynnes, Dian Nicklay, Val Nicklay and Anna Nicklay; his brother-in-law Harvin (Billie) Strandlien; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Barbara Ann; his parents, Fred and Lena; his sisters, Francis Fix and her husband Bill, Thecla Storkan and her husband Chuck, Angela Christians and her husband Arnold; his brothers Wilfred Nicklay and his wife Vivian, Clayton Nicklay, Ronald Nicklay and Frederick Nicklay; his brother-in-law Roger Strandlien and his parents-in-law Harry and Irene Strandlien.
There will be a visitation from 6-7:00 PM with a Celebration of Life following at 7:00 PM on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo. The funeral Mass will be at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 12, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in North Fargo with a visitation one hour prior.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St. Mary's Cemetery Fund, Barnesville, MN or Hospice of the Red River Valley.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, Fargo. To sign the online guestbook, visit www.boulgerfuneralhome.com.