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Diane Boit: Funeral services held for Vietnam veterans, 1969

Diane Boit: Funeral services held for Vietnam veterans, 1969

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John Renner

John Renner was killed in Vietnam on July 28, 1969, while serving with a Marines Special Forces unit after his arrival there in May.

25 Years Ago – 1994

The State Class A Baseball champs Mandan Chiefs traveled to Rapid City, S.D., this past week for the Central Plains Regional Tournament. Old foe, Rapid City Post 22, was to be the first team Mandan would face. Rapid City had compiled a five wins and no losses record against the Chiefs, outscoring Mandan 63-15 in those games. The Chiefs dropped their opener, 6-3. In the loser out game, the Chiefs faced Manhattan, Kansas. And although Mandan loaded the bases in the ninth, they were only able to push one run across home plate, ending with a final 5-3 score.


Temperatures recorded Tuesday, Aug. 23: a high of 90 degrees; 65 degrees for the low.

50 Years Ago – 1969

Funeral services were recently held at St. Joseph Catholic church for Pfc John M. Renner, who was killed in Vietnam on July 28 while serving with a Marines Special Forces unit after his arrival there in May. Renner, 20, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael (Margaret) V. Renner, Mandan. He was a 1967 graduate of Mandan High School. Burial was at Mandan Union Cemetery. Besides his parents, survivors include one sister, one brother.

Funeral services were also held at St. Joseph Catholic church for Pfc Wilbert Fleck, 19, who was killed in action on July 27 in Vietnam. He was the son of Jacob J. and Pauline Fleck and attended grade school at Breien and high school at Solen. In addition to his parents, survivors include five brothers, six sisters and their families, and his grandfather, John G. Fleck Sr., Mandan.

Glen Nicola, Hawarden, Iowa, has arrived in Mandan to serve as interim pastor of First Lutheran Church for the ensuing year. He and Mrs. (Cheryl) Nicola were introduced to the congregation at a reception, following a morning worship service. As an assistant to Pastor Richard Hagestuen, Nicola will work with the youth of the church, the Luther League and instructing the confirmation class.

The Mandan Softball Association has awarded the first place trophy to Jerry’s Educated Minnows of Mandan who compiled a 13-2 record in league play. Members of the team are Ken Clouston, Jerry Caya, Don Flemmer, Arley Gallup, Bob Just, Dave Just, Mike Kremer, Ralph Charvat, Ken Heck, Leroy MacArthur, Cliff Norton, Don Hanson, Chuck Mann and Egon Doernbrach.

75 Years Ago – 1944

News has been received of the death at Miles City, Mont., of Henry C. Schulte, 58, one of the pioneers in the dairy industry in Morton County and one of the best-known dairymen in the northwest. Schulte was one of the group of leaders who preached the gospel of the “cow, sow and the little red hen” to Morton County farmers, who at that time were almost entirely into the growing of wheat.

The native Minnesotan came to Mandan in 1915 from Glen Ullin after being employed there for four years as a buttermaker in the Hess Creamery Co. In February, Schulte and H. S. Russell, along with local businessmen, organized the Mandan Creamery & Produce Co, since grown to be one of the largest creamery plants in the nation. In 1920, Schulte disposed of his interests in the creamery to organize a new creamery - the Purity Dairy Company; it became affiliated with the Bridgeman Russell Company in 1926. He disposed of his interest in Purity Dairy in 1943 and purchased, along with his son Eugene, the Bridgeman Russell and Armour plants in Glendive and Miles City, Mont. Survivors included his wife, Catherine; two sons, daughters and their families.


News from the Armed Forces:

“Sgt. Adolph Renschler, veteran of the African campaign and the famous Hill 609 battle and then wounded at Cassino in the Italian fighting, has arrived home for a 15-day furlough. He was a guest of his brother, Otto, of Mandan, and left Sunday for Linton to visit his parents, Mr. and Mr. Charles Renschler. He has been overseas since January 1942 and has completely recovered from his wounds.

“S2C George Slezak is home on furlough visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Slezak, Mandan. He has just finished his boot training at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, Ill.

“Cpl. Eddie Steckler, son of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Steckler, Mandan, is home on furlough from Cherry Point, N.C. Steckler is in the U.S. Marine Corps. His twin brother, Ernie, is also in the Marines and is stationed at San Diego, Calif. The brothers are both radiomen.

“From headquarters of the Ninth Air Force, somewhere in Europe, comes word that a promotion to technical sergeant came to Fred Nagel, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Nagel, New Salem. The promotion came shortly after he flew his first combat mission on D-Day. Sgt. Nagel is the crew chief of a giant C-47 Skytrain, operating with the 1x troop carrier command squadron from the European theater. He was in one of the first planes to cross the D-Day invasion coast of Cherbourg. He reports that the mission gave him a ringside seat to the greatest show on earth. Sgt. Nagel is a graduate of New Salem High School, class of 1940.

100 Years Ago – 1919

“County Treasurer A. W. Furness went to Bismarck a week ago, carrying $82,000 in round numbers which was turned over to the Bank of North Dakota. A. H. Peterson, treasurer of the Mandan school district, also turned over all school moneys, amounting to $16,528. Just how much money will be withdrawn from Morton County is difficult to estimate as there are 42 school districts, besides funds from townships and from the cities of Hebron, New Salem, Glen Ullin and Flasher, but it’s estimated to be near $300,000.

“The Bank of North Dakota was established by the 1919 Legislature to promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota. It was conceived by populists in the Non-Partisan League (NPL) as a credit union-style institution to free the farmers of the state from predatory lenders. While providing low interest loans to farmers, elevators and other ag businesses, the state bank will also “lend” funds back to the counties at a rate of 4 percent and will then reimburse each county, 2 percent of their monthly cash balances.


“In Monday night’s storm, a loaded box car was blown from the siding at Flasher onto the main line. The car traveled as far as Breien where it stopped, and the morning freight train going west pushed it back, ahead of the engine to Flasher. No damage was done.

“Jay Boley brought a bucket of hail stones into town this morning which were picked up last night on the Boley farm. He said that at the time he picked them up, some were a large as baseballs.

“Clyde Welch is nursing a big bump on his head, caused by being hit by a large hail stone.

“The high wind, prevailing today, has tied up a number of Overland cars here, as the ferry to the Bismarck side of the Missouri could not operate until the wind subsided.

“Frank Weinhandle and Martin Mossbrucker, who recently returned to Mandan after a long service overseas, have records that are not equaled by many men from North Dakota. After the two men left Mandan in 1917, they were separated only once, and that was in crossing the English Channel. They were reunited in France and were members of the 58th Infantry of the Fourth Division. Both took part in all of the big American battles, including the deadly St. Mihiel drive and the Meuse-Argonne offensive. They count themselves extremely lucky to have survived, and are grateful to set foot in Mandan again.”

125 Years Ago– 1894

“On Thursday, Aug. 23, at 2:30 p.m., the thermometer recorded 85 degrees above zero.

“Another week of vacation and then school work will begin again.

“The train men are not short on work these days, and they are right glad of it too.

“If prairie chickens sing at all, it is the death song they are piping now.

“A chorus of prairie chickens on Monday: “Today is our Waterloo-loo-loo.”

Says conductor Veeder: “I wonder if these chicken hunters report publicly the number of melons they sneak off with, as well as the number of chickens they kill.

“Friends of Mr. John Theis are concerned about a horse he purchased from Mr. Wilcox of stockyards fame. The story, as told by “Dick” Smith, is that John paid $110 for the horse, and vows, by all that’s holy, that it will take from $50 to $75 to get the horse fat. However, Wilcox says the horse has got a good frame and will be all right after a couple of good feedings. Theis says his friend, Henry LaCell, did the buying didn’t want the horse too fat because his cart was small. As the horse was being eyed by a number of curious bystanders, Farmer Sublette came along, took one look, burst out laughing and told LaCell to take the horse home and use it for a hat and coat rack.”

Diane Boit was raised and educated in the Red River Valley before coming to Mandan with her family in 1970. She has been involved with the Bismarck-Mandan newspapers for more than 30 years. She can be reached at


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