Wilmer Aus, 97 of Bowman N.D., formerly of Amidon, N.D., passed away Nov. 18, 2012 at the Southwest Healthcare Hospital in Bowman, N.D.
Funeral Services for Wilmer were held Nov. 24, 2012 at the Lebanon Lutheran Church in Amidon. Pastor Charles Swanson and Pastor Galen Strand officiated and burial followed in the Lebanon Lutheran Cemetery in Amidon, N.D. Military Honors were accorded by Anton Ulijohn Post 66 of New England, N.D.
Wilmer was born April 9, 1915 to William and Emma (Syverud) Aus in Buena Vista Township, Bowman County, N.D. Wilmer attended grade school in Buena Vista Township. He later went to high school in Woodberry, Slope County, N.D. completing through the 10th grade. While growing up, Wilmer helped the neighboring farmers and joined the CCC’s (Civilian Conservation Corps). From 1935-1936 he worked at CCC project camps in Arkansas, near Bismarck, near Boise Idaho, the Cedar Dam outside New England and the Needles Highway near Custer, S.D.
Wilmer and his close friends Harry Nordby and Harry Homelvig jumped on the train to Wenatchee, Wash. years ago where they picked apples for several seasons. He also worked various jobs such as picking cotton in Bakersfield, Calif. and cutting wood in the mountains near San Jose, Calif.
Wilmer was drafted into the Army in 1943 and was stationed in the European Theater where he was wounded in combat and received the Purple Heart. He finished his tour in the Pacific Theater stationed in the Philippines and was honorably discharged in 1946 having received the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the Victory Medal, the American Theater Service Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal.
Upon conclusion of the war, Wilmer used the GI Bill to work and train at the airport in Mitchell, S.D. where he was able to obtain his air pilot license. In 1950, Wilmer and his brother Merle purchased the Elmer Mack ranch where the first stagecoach line from Deadwood, S.D. traveled just north of their farmstead and the relay station was located west of the present day site.
Wilmer married Grace Homelvig in 1951 and purchased Merle’s share of the ranch in 1963. Grace and Wilmer began raising sheep and cattle, but after a few years they sold the sheep, to raise cattle only. After retiring, Wilmer and Grace traveled to the West Coast and throughout the southwest visiting relatives and friends. Most of their time was spent on their ranch which they sold in 2009 and then moved to Bowman where he resided until his death.
Wilmer enjoyed reading, playing music, traveling and always a good joke. He became a member of the American Legion in New England, N.D. and was an active participant in the Slope County Fair programs, including performing as the Wizard of Aus. He was a self-taught musician playing the guitar, piano, banjo and harmonica. He was also a member of the Prairie Senior Citizens in Amidon, ND, Heritage Club and a past member of the Sons of Norway.
Wilmer is survived by: his brother, Merle Aus (Rose Marie) of Glendive, Mont.; his children, Gary (Robin) Aus of Carson, N.D.; Susan (Buzz) Walradt of Bowman, N.D.; Sharon (Frank “Fuzzy”) Schaff of Fargo, N.D. and Gordon (Karla) Aus of Plentywood, Mont. and grandchildren Mandy (Chris) Brown; Sammy Reisenauer of Mandan, N.D.; Mandi (Dustin) Neely and Craig Aus of Billings, Mont. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren Keeley Reisenauer and Ryder Neely.
Preceeding Wilmer in death are his parents, William and Emma Aus; his wife Grace; his sisters Blanche Smith; Esther Aus; June Aus; Fern Wutzke; Thelma Dietz; Shirla Olson and an infant brother who died at birth.
Krebsbach/Kulseth Funeral Service is in charge of the arrangements.