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Eugene W. Orson

Eugene W. Orson passed away on Tuesday,  Feb. 9, 2010, at the age of 66, in MeritCare Hospital - Palliative Care Unit, Fargo, N.D., surrounded by his wife, one son and close friends.

Gene was born the son of Ole and Eunice (Eckblad) Orson on Dec 16, 1943, in Bismarck, N.D.  He grew up in Bismarck, Williston and Minot, N.D. Gene married Paulette Haugen of Souris, N.D., on April 24, 1965, in Minot, and lived in West Fargo since 1972. Gene worked as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Southeast Human Service Center in Fargo for 38 years, until his retirement in April of 2002.

Gene served our nation by joining the North Dakota Army National Guard at the age of 20. He had a distinguished career as a traditional Guardsman, from private to the rank of full Colonel.  Col. Orson served in many key leadership positions within the state to include command of the Fargo-based 142nd Engineer Battalion (Heavy) and command of the Camp Grafton Training Center in Devils Lake, N.D.  He retired in 1999, after nearly 35 years of service.

Gene was active in our community, volunteering as a Scout leader for over 20 years and director of Employer Support of Guard and Reserve. He was also an active member of Faith Lutheran Church.

Gene enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, golfing, camping and working on projects such as building his retirement home.

Gene is survived by his wife, Paulette; son, Paul Orson of Circle Pines, Minn., son, Jay and Barbara (Pagel) Orson of Aldie, Va.; daughter, Robyn and Christopher Berg of Devils Lake, and brother, Duane and Denise Orson of Coon Rapids, Minn.  He has 5 grandchildren; Kohl, Keithen, Seth, Taylor, and Isabelle.

Gene was preceded in death by brother, Roger Orson, mother, Eunice Orson, and father, Ole Orson.

Visitation was held on Friday, Feb 12, with prayer service at West Funeral Home, West Fargo. The funeral service was at 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb 13, at Faith Lutheran Church in West Fargo.

Interment was at the N.D. Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, N.D.

An Online memorial registry is available at

West Funeral Home, West Fargo, N.D.

(West Funeral Home, West Fargo)