Evelyn Best, 98, died peacefully on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the Oakes Good Samaritan Society in Oakes, ND. Evelyn Doris, daughter of Edward and Anna (Bugner) Bergman, was born on August 4, 1920 on the family farm near Straubville, ND. Evelyn grew up and attended Southwest Township grade school; she started high school in Hankinson, ND, returning home at 16 years old to help care for her younger siblings after her mother died suddenly in 1936.
In October of 1942, Evelyn left by train to Seattle to work at the Boeing Aircraft factory. As a Rosie the Riveter, she helped build the “Flying Fortress” B-17 bomber, working in the bombay section of the fuselage. She also worked at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, CA, making the A-26 bomber and C-54 two-engine plane, and as a spot welder at North American Aircraft in Englewood, CA, building the P-51 Mustang.
Evelyn was united in marriage to Howard W. Best on November 9, 1946 in the Methodist parsonage at Britton, SD. The couple lived and farmed in Sargent County, ND for 33 years, moving into their new home in Oakes in 1982. Evelyn enjoyed life as a housewife and homemaker; one of her favorite places on the farm was in her beautiful, bountiful garden. She worked for 7 years at Swanson’s Greenhouse, helping with spring planting and sales. She was a member of the Oakes United Methodist Church, the Women’s Study Club, a sewing club, and the Live, Laugh and Learn Homemakers Club for 36 years.
Evelyn is survived by her three children, Noreen Hankel, Oakes ND; Lynn (Debbie) Best, Bismarck, ND; and Lori (Leon) Dawkins, Fergus Falls, MN; eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. She is also survived by one brother, Orvin (Carole) Bergman of Fort Valley, GA. Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Howard; her parents, eight siblings, and her son-in-law, Lyle Hankel.
Funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, October 5, 2018 at the United Methodist Church in Oakes, ND with the Rev. Steve Olson officiating. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 4 at Dahlstrom Funeral Home in Oakes and one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at the Oakes View Cemetery. Memorials preferred to the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, the American Cancer Society or donor’s choice.
Blessed be the memory of Evelyn Best.
Howard Wallace Best
1919–2006 (m. 1946)
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