Andrew P. Sonsalla, 92 of Marmarth, N.D. passed away Dec. 30, 2013 at the family ranch, west of Marmarth.
Published January 10, 2014
Andrew Paul Sonsalla was born Jan. 21, 1921 during a snowstorm at the family homestead near Marmarth, N.D., the son of Paul A. and H. Rose Sonsalla. He attended Little Beaver Grade School near his home for eight years walking to and from school. He then spent one year living in a sheep wagon and tending sheep for his parents. Andrew rode horseback to high school in Marmarth, graduating in 1939. He then worked on the family ranch.
Andrew met and married the love of his life, Marjorie Johnston at a school carnival in Marmarth. They were married June 3, 1946 in Wibaux, Mont. They ranched for the next 67 years near Marmarth.
Andrew was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, giving both time and money to build the new church in 1954. He served on the local school board for more than twenty years, was Bucklin Township assessor for more than 50 years and was a charter member of the Marmarth Fire Department. He also was a long-time member of the Little Missouri Saddle Club. He enjoyed many years as scale master at the Marmarth Stockyards and working as a cattle buyer.
Andrew loved rodeos and never missed the Home on the Range Rodeo or the 4th of July rodeo in Marmarth. He worked in the stripping chutes for many years at the local rodeo. Andrew also rode in the annual parade in Marmarth, riding this past summer at the age of 92. He also was an avid supporter of the annual kid’s rodeo in Marmarth. Andrew sponsored belt buckles for prizes and gave two dollar bills to all of the participants after the rodeo.
Andrew was the last of the “real” cowboys. He broke many horses in his younger day for five dollars a head. He loved his horses and was always ready to go for a ride. He would often quote “You can’t spend too much money on a good woman or a good horse, especially a good horse”.
Andrew’s legacy to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren was his love for them and willingness to spend time with them.
He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Marjorie of the family home near Marmarth, N.D.; children Mike (Joni) Sonsalla, Marmarth, N.D., Mary Pat (Clayton) Graham, Baker, Mont., Molly (Ranse) Lyson, Marmarth, N.D., Donald (Margaret) Sonsalla, Marmarth, N.D. and Rosalie (Rick) Medalen, Williston, N.D.;12 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five sisters: Elizabeth Masa, Frances Sonsalla, Agnes Larkin, Stella Peters and Pauline Peters; and his four brothers: Roman; Joe; Mick and RW.
Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker, Mont. was in charge of arrangements.