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Rodney Kilsdonk

Rodney Kilsdonk Rodney Kilsdonk

Rodney Henry Kilsdonk, 77, of rural Sidney died May 2, 2020, at home.

He was born June 21, 1942, in Jamestown, N.D., and was raised in Culbertson. He was the second of 10 children born to Henry “Hank” Kilsdonk and Mildred “Millie” Rasmussen Kilsdonk.

He begrudgingly completed eighth-grade before launching into a series of jobs, including sheepherding, custom combining, seismographing and working at the Peavey Elevator in Wolf Point.

He spent a short time in the United States Navy and was honorably discharged in 1961.

In 1962, he married Norma (Merrill) and together they had three children: Laurie, Rodney Jr. and Duane. They divorced in 1970 and he raised his children as a single father.

On Oct. 14, 1978, he married Diane (Oberlander Morast). The family now included his three children and her two children, Darrin and Dannell. They enjoyed 35 years together before her death on Sept. 22, 2013. They spent a short time together in Savage before buying a house and 40 acres a few miles west of Sidney.

In Sidney, he worked at Holly Sugar, then on drilling rigs and ultimately landed a position with the Richland County Road Department, where he worked for 30 years as a supervisor and a crane operator. He was proud that he ran the same crane for 25 years and that crane retired along with him.

In 2007, he retired from the county and spent his days in retirement building his collection of tractors. He especially liked to buy them “stuck” and then tinker with them until they ran again. He liked to collect convertible cars, especially Pontiac Firebirds and Chevy Corvettes and drove them with the top down and his Shih Tzu, Maisy, riding alongside him.

He loved to spend summer days fishing with friends and sharing stories. He enjoyed many adventures traveling, sightseeing and eating out with his special friend, Mary Vaira, during his final years. They especially enjoyed seeing shows in Medora, N.D., and riding around in his convertibles.

He is survived by sons, Rodney Kilsdonk, Duane Kilsdonk and Darrin Morast; daughters, Laurie Owens and Dannell Morast; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brothers, Ralph, Tim, Stan and Odean; and sisters, Kathy and Mildred Rae Owings.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, Eldon and Martin Kilsdonk; and sister, Veralyn Smith.

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