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Flagraising celebrates Nels Tostenson

Members of West Fargo VFW Post 7564 and the Ladies Auxiliary will be hosting their annual Memorial Day program honoring veterans on Monday, May 30 at the West Fargo VFW, 308 Sheyenne St.

There will be a Flag Raising Ceremony at 10:45 a.m. outside of the VFW dedicated to the memory of Nels Tostenson, U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran.

Nels is the late husband of West Fargo VFW Auxiliary President Lulu Tostenson and the father of Tracy Tostenson and grandfather of Erin Tostenson.

He served in the military from 1967 to 1969, including a one-year tour of Vietnam.

He made his home for 34 years in Devils Lake, N.D., where he was employed at the North Dakota School for the Deaf for 20 years. Nels was an avid fisherman, hunter, and he loved to go garage sale shopping.

He was also a member of the Devils Lake American Legion, inspired by Lulu's father, who was extremely active in the organization.

He and Lulu were married 32 years when he passed away on Oct. 20, 2002 after suffering a massive heart attack.

Lulu moved to West Fargo two years later to be with their daughter and granddaughter. It was during that time that she met VFW member and future partner Roger Jacobson, which is how she got involved with the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, being active in the group since 2003, serving in a number of offices including her present Auxiliary president position.

Ironically, Jacobson, also a Vietnam veteran, passed away in late 2009.

The program for the Memorial Day program will get underway at 11 a.m. inside the club rooms, this year not including the march to Elmwood Park. The colors will be presented by the JROTC from West Fargo High School.

 Longtime West Fargo VFW Post member and Navy Vietnam Veteran Jim Hapala, now serving as VFW State of North Dakota Commander, will be the guest speaker.

Musical selections will be provided by West Fargo High School students Walker Degerness, Jordan Degerness, Chris Taylor and Jon Jahnke.

There will also be a salute this year to the deceased veterans who have died the past year, including: VFW Post 7564 members: Norman C. Amstrup, Leighton E. Bergland, Allen Borseth, Floyd Diggers, Richard A. Erenberg, Donald F. Frantl, Ronald L. Gebeke, Arnfred J. Gronbeck, Neil M. Handlos, LeRoy F. Heinz, Rudolph M. Jenson, Gordon E. Johnson, DuWayne O. Jones, Dale Keisacker, Darrel Kjelvike, Clinton D. Kopp, Gary Leiss, Aglmuth J. Leske, Laurice L. Loberg, Donald S. Lissen, Sigmund A. Oland, Walter W. Otterson, Wallace J. Solien, Fred Sprunk, Gerald R. Wadsen, Leo J. Walerius, Walt H. Willis, and Lloyd D. Zander; AMVETS Post 8 members: Gary B. Abraham, David L. Christiansen, Melvin L. Koppang, and Fred J. Schossow: VFW Auxiliary 7564 members: Elizabeth Anderson, Evelyn Bumgarner, Francesca Charles, Lucille Donahue, Elaine Eicholtz, Donna Evenson, Kathleen Hill, Eva Luebke, Shirley J. Rued, Betty L. Schimming, Bertha M. Schneider, Marge Toay, and Arlene Winters.

The Ladies Auxiliary will be serving a luncheon immediately following the service in the lower level. Cost will be $5 for adults, $3 for children 6 to 12 and children ages five and under will be free.