Douglas “Doug” Ness, 74, of Williston passed away Sunday February 11, 2018, at the Pillars Hospice Home in Oakdale, Minnesota as a result of glioblastoma. His children and their families were with him during his time at The Pillars.
Doug was born April 26, 1943 in Crosby, North Dakota to Clifford and Martha (Olson) who resided in Columbus, North Dakota. Doug attended elementary and high school in Columbus and worked many years at his parents’ movie theater on Main Street. School didn’t appeal to Doug much but one thing did, hunting. Doug gained an appreciation of the outdoors in the foothills south of Columbus hunting and trapping with his father. He would carry that interest with him the rest of his life by spending nearly every weekend of every fall hunting upland, waterfowl and deer in Burke County. It wasn’t uncommon for Doug’s whole family to be out in the field together joined by close friends and relatives.
Growing up in a rural Scandinavian community during the 1950’s, much of Doug’s identity was shaped from the values of that time and place, stemming from the virtues of his family and the close-knit community who always worked for the greater good. The grit and determination of those people, music of the time, the cars, and the social scene made a lasting impression on Doug. He always valued hard work, being active in the community, making time for loved ones while celebrating family and keeping cultural traditions.
Doug absolutely loved humor. He was a prankster and a total goofball. He loved to tell jokes and invent fictitious stories and was a prolific letter writer. His annual Christmas card and letter recounting the curious happenings of that year were always eagerly awaited by his friends and family.
Doug received a Bachelor’s degree from Minot State College in 1966, and soon moved away from North Dakota to pursue a career. In 1967, Doug took the job as regional manager for the Central States Theater Corporation in Ft. Dodge, Iowa. It was there, by a chance meeting, that Doug met the love of his life, Marlene. It was love at first sight and six months later they were married at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Their romance blazed for forty years and Doug’s devotion to Marlene never abated even after her death in 2009.
Doug and Marlene returned to North Dakota in 1973 to start BoDo’s TV & Appliance Center. Over the years, Doug expanded the product lines and BoDo’s became one of the major appliance retailers of western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. To start a business from an idea and grow that venture to such success while maintaining quality family life and personal interests, Doug and Marlene achieved the American Dream.
Doug was always very active. He enjoyed spending time at his farm keeping up the property and making it a place for recreation and relaxation. When not at the farm, he was very involved with his church, staying in shape at the gym, and spending time with his Red Labrador Retrievers. He was a charter member of the Badlands Bird Dog Cub and an officer of the club for 30 years. His love of dog training was evident in the countless awards and trophies he brought home from field trials.
His character was the gold standard. He valued honesty, sportsmanship, respect, and it was common to hear him say something like, “Take the pain and quit bellyaching!” He was a mentor to many of his employees over the years and earned respect for being true to his word and sticking up for himself and others. Always assertive, he set an example by never backing down from a challenge or adversity. Even when facing a terminal disease, he said he was not afraid of death or illness. He did not despair. He said that he knew he was in God’s hands and would soon escape the trappings of this world. It was his faith in Christ that gave him the strength and courage to face life’s finality.
Doug is predeceased by his parents, Clifford and Martha, sister Sharon, brother-in-law Robert and his beloved wife Marlene. Doug is survived by his sister Vonnie (Dale) daughter Danica (John), sons Kyle (Zoe) and Jonas (Jana) and four grandchildren Alec, Mahala, Drew and Charlie.
The Everson Coughlin Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.