Sheldon Ellsworth Bolstad Profile Photo
1949 Sheldon 2024

Sheldon Ellsworth Bolstad

April 28, 1949 — April 1, 2024

Grand Forks

Sheldon Ellsworth Bolstad (74) Grand Forks, ND passed away April 1, 2024, at the VA Hospital in Fargo, ND with loving family by his side.

Sheldon was born Thursday, April 28, 1949, at Bethesda Hospital Crookston MN to parents Alvin E Bolstad and Evelyn M (Skiple) Bolstad, Fertile, MN during a Partial Solar Eclipse.

Sheldon grew up on the family farm east of Fertile, MN frequently sharing fond and lasting memories of his childhood. He attended school in Fertile, graduating with the Class of 1967. Following high school, he attended a two-year Horticulture program at the University of MN Technical School in Crookston MN, graduating with an AA degree. Sheldon enlisted in the US Navy in September of 1969 and went to Recruit Training Command (boot camp) and Machinery Repairman “A” Service School in San Diego, California. Upon Completion of Service School, Sheldon transferred to Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, MS. He served as a Machinery Repairman aboard the USS Yosemite (AD-19) and participated in the repair of destroyers and other vessels in Mayport, FL.   Following his Honorable Discharge, he returned to Fertile and enrolled at Moorhead State Technical College. He graduated with a two-year degree in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration and shortly thereafter purchased Einar Olson’s plumbing and heating business in Fertile.

Sheldon married Deborah Page on September 3, 1976, at Beltrami United Methodist Church. They made their home in Fertile, MN and within two years, the mountains of Washington State were calling. Sheldon sold his businesses; Fertile Refrigeration and Plumbing as well as Northern Industrial Heating more quickly than the couple anticipated. They stored all their belongings and told their parents they would arrange for a moving truck once they got to where they were going. Fate took them to Anacortes, WA, sight unseen and that move would become the first of many and a life filled with adventures.

During the eight years of living in Washington State, Sheldon joined Pipefitter’s Local #265 by testing through the four-year apprenticeship program. Sheldon worked for several years as a Pipefitter and helped to construct Arco Alaska, Inc.’s modular buildings for the North Slope Kuparuk River construction contract. Completed structures were loaded on industrial barges and towed to Alaska in a yearly sealift. It would be the beginning of Sheldon’s love for industrial construction.

Deb and Sheldon’s only child, Brandon James Alex Bolstad, was born in 1982. He was the absolute joy and blessing of his parent’s existence. Brandon was a daddy’s boy through and through. As a toddler, Brandon was Daddy’s helper in the shop which got him off to an early start in the world of construction. In 1992 the family moved back to Fertile, MN. Sheldon set about remodeling the 1919-built house that would become home base for the next 24 years. Sheldon never feared hard work whether physical or mental. He added a garage, the shop of his dreams, extensive landscaping, and a large flower garden. Countless holidays and special events occurred while residing there. Sheldon loved to take breaks from work and sit at the patio table with a tall lemon iced tea. He enjoyed watching the wildlife in the yard, particularly the bluebirds returning to their house that he had built. When the sun got too warm, he’d move around to the porch swing to peacefully watch the world go by.

Sheldon was very social and loved to visit and be around people. He was a proud member of Masonic Lodge, Free & Accepted Masons #77, and Chapter #59 Royal Arch Masons, of Anacortes, WA, as well as Hesperus Commandery #8 and Council #16 in Bellingham, WA. He was a Union member of Steamfitter’s Local #265, Everett, WA as well as a member of Beltrami United Methodist Church.

Sheldon remained active in the industrial construction industry his entire working career. He worked his way through the ranks and eventually became a Senior Construction Manager with projects in the Petrochemical, Biotech/Pharmaceutical, and Mining Industries in multiple states as well as Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Sweden, and Canada.

Sheldon had numerous hobbies the most notable of which was woodcarving. His creations included birds, figurines, animals and a complete nativity set. He made beautiful stained-glass lampshades as well as windows, angels and kaleidoscopes. Time passed quickly and Sheldon’s proudest moments occurred when Brandon worked onsite with him, earned his BS degree in Construction Management, met and married Laura, and in 2021 became a daddy to Luca Erik Bolstad. Sheldon found untold joy looking at Luca pictures and videos sent daily, and watching every move Luca made on Facetime. He always had at least one book going and couldn’t miss an episode of Battle Bots or Oak Island. In his later years, he assembled countless jigsaw puzzles.

Sheldon was a loving, caring, giving, man who would do anything for anyone. He was smart, determined, stubborn, impatient, and funny. He had a will like no other throughout his life and that strong will would see him through numerous major medical events including the severe brain hemorrhage in 2017 that ended his working career. Despite the damage left by the stroke and multiple health issues, Sheldon rarely complained as he adjusted to a slower pace in life.

He is forever loved and missed by his wife of 48 years, Deb, son; Brandon and daughter-in-law; Laura, grandson; Luca, siblings; brother; Jim Cummings, sisters; Sylvia LaVine, Barb Stundahl, Claudia (David) Crockett, and Julene Bolstad; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents: Alvin E. and Evelyn M. Bolstad, grandparents; Nillie K (Julia) Bolstad and Olai (Olga) Skiple, sister-in-law; Judith Cummings, Nephew; Nicholas LaVine

A private Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.  

If in need of a suggestion for a charity to make a donation to in Sheldon's honor, please donate to "Drive to Cure Cancer."  
MayoClinic.org/withoutwalls
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sheldon Ellsworth Bolstad, please visit our flower store.

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