Douglas “Doug” P. Burtell, 96, of Bowman, ND, passed away on April 3, 2021 at the Southwest Healthcare Long Term Center in Bowman.
Mass of Christian Burial for Doug was on April 8, 2021 at 9 a.m. at the St. Charles Catholic Church in Bowman. Fr. Paul Eberle celebrated the Mass with burial following the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan, ND, at 3 p.m. There was a Rosary and Vigil Service for Doug on April 7, 2021 at the St. Charles Catholic Church it began at 7 p.m. Visitation for Doug was on April 7, 2021 at 12 p.m.
Douglas Peter Burtell was born April 16, 1924 to Peter and Lydia Burtell, in Casselton, ND, the middle of five children. For unknown reasons, Doug was known as Bob to his family and friends growing up, causing some to speculate that his wife had been married before when she referenced these two men. He attended elementary school and started high school in Casselton, working as farm hand and other odd jobs. As many other young men during the late Depression years, Doug joined the North Dakota National Guard, although he was only 16.
When World War II began, the North Dakota guard was mobilized as the 164th Infantry and began service in the South Pacific Theater. Doug served on Guadalcanal, Bougainville and the Philippine Islands, being wounded in action and receiving the Purple Heart. He was very proud of his service, and was the last surviving member of the ND 164th Infantry. Doug was in Headquarters Company and served in reconnaissance, primarily due to his artistic skill in map making. In keeping with his artistic bent, he made many sketches to be later turned into paintings chronicling the 164th’s time in service. Many of his paintings are scattered around the state, including the 164thmonument at the Veteran’s Cemetery in Mandan, ND.
After the war, like many other servicemen, Doug returned to North Dakota and began rebuilding America. He met Cecilia Michalski and they were married in August, 1946. He got his GED from NDAC (NDSU) and attended art school at the Minneapolis Art Institute. Deciding that being tied to a drawing board as a commercial artist was not for him, Doug began working in the lumber industry, selling wholesale millwork for Dakota Sash and Door in Fargo. Upon retirement, he worked selling campers in Fargo before moving to Bowman to be nearer his daughter, Barb and her family. In Bowman, he continued his painting, giving many paintings to friends in the area, wildlife and western life being two of his favorite subjects. Cec used to say her walls were constantly changing, because if someone admired a painting, it often went home with them. Cec passed away in 2005 unexpectedly.
Doug became friends with Betty Miller and they enjoyed many years of companionship. Betty was a true comfort to Doug to the end of his days, and is much loved by our family.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents, and siblings, Sid, Verlen, and Phyllis. He is survived by his sister, Marv, of Billings, MT, and his nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his daughter Barb, her husband Steve Conley and their daughters, Kate, (Justin) Gartner and their children, Baylee and Bryce; and Jill (Eleno) Vallejo and their children, Alayna, Kylee and Mya. Also preceding Doug were his many furry friends, lastly being “Buster”.
In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Bowman or Rhame American Legion, or a charity of your choice is suggested.
Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Services of Bowman in Charge of the arrangements.