Joseph Wagendorf

Joseph Wagendorf, age 94 of Hettinger, N.D. passed away March 18, 2014 at Western Horizons Care Center in Hettinger.


Posted March 28, 2014

Service of Remembrance was held March 24, 2014 at the Hettinger Lutheran Church. Rev. Kathleen Dettmann officiated and burial followed at the Hettinger Cemetery.

Joseph A. Wagendorf was the son of John and Antoinette (Tupa) Wagendorf, born near Regent, N.D. April 3, 1919. Joe grew up in a musical family and they played for many dances. At a barn dance, Joe met Marion Davidson and they were married April 27, 1938 and then began raising their three children, Joann, Peggy and Loren.

Joe farmed 12 miles north of Hettinger, N.D., but after a house fire, he moved his family into Hettinger where he was employed by various people until he began working for the North Dakota Highway Department.  He helped maintain many roads for 30 years until he retired.

Joe was an avid golfer and shot a hole-in-one June 5, 1979 at the Hettinger Country Club. He loved baseball and was on a team that won the N.D. State Championship in 1949. Joe enjoyed pitching horseshoes, shooting pool, bowling and playing cards.  For his musical talents, Joe was inducted into the Dakota Musicians Hall of Fame in May of 2004.

Grateful for having shared in Joe’s life are his daughter, Peggy Rook, of Lemmon and son, Loren Wagendorf, of Phoenix, Ariz.; four grandchildren, Rhonda Milliken, Valerie Engesser, Terry Abbey and Glory Bunde; 13 great-grandchildren, Jennifer Milliken, Jamie Milliken, Heather Reede, Kari Jahner, Jesse Maher, Tyler Maher, Jonathon Maher, Kayla Abbey, Kobee Murphy, Casey Doerr, Michaela Doerr, Dylan Moberg and Stephanie Elkjer, 15 great-great-grandchildren, two brothers, Donald (Marlene) Wagendorf and Ray (Jenny) Wagendorf; two sisters, Katherine (Don) Heise and Leona Gordon and numerous nieces and nephews.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, one daughter, Joann and two sons-in-law, Gene Abbey and Norman Rook, four brothers, John, Alvin, Alfred and Daniel Wagendorf and one sister, Yvonne Olson.

Condolences to Joe’s family can be sent through our website at


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