Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation - Engaging the Community. Fostering Opportunity.
In Memory
Those that touch our lives .... stay in our hearts forever.


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Ralph Nilles
Ralph Nilles

Ralph Daniel Nilles Jr. passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 27, 2019, at the age of 72.

Ralph was born on April 22, 1947, to Ralph Daniel Nilles Sr. and Zita Nilles. Zita passed away when Ralph was only nine months old and then his Aunt Ruth Sigerson raised him until he was six. His father remarried Candace Brennen in May 1950. Candace adopted and raised Ralph when his father passed away in December of 1958.

A lifetime resident of Fargo, Ralph attended St. Anthony’s elementary and graduated from Shanley High School in 1966. After high school he attended NDSU. On his 20th birthday, he met the lovely Carolyn Dalberg. After winning a coin toss to decide if he should talk to her, he then went on to win her heart. Ralph and Carolyn married on March 7, 1970 in Soderville, MN and went on to have four beautiful children.

Ralph treasured the lake and took many fishing trips over the years enjoying all the fellowship that went along with them. Ralph and Carolyn loved to spend time camping and visiting their children. He cherished time with his family during their annual lake week where he taught his grandchildren the thrill of fishing and joy of lake life.

Ralph is survived by his loving wife Carolyn; children, Rachel (Jake) Cremer, Hot Springs, MT, Joel (Rachel) Nilles, Fargo, ND, and Nadine (Rob) Lloyd, Maui, HI. He was blessed with nine grandchildren, Isaac, Darian, Noah, and Jericho Cremer, Jadon, Nathan, and Joshua Nilles, and Brooke and Robin Lloyd.

He was preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Zita, and Candace; and son, Jared Nilles.

The family requests memorials are given to Lighthouse Church at 21 9th St S in Fargo and the Jared Nilles Memorial Fund through the Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation.
Sandra Anne Hertel
Sandra Anne Hertel

Sandy Hertel, 74, Fargo, joined her heavenly family and friends on Monday, October 21, 2019, lovingly surrounded by her family at the Roger Maris Cancer Center.

Sandy grew up in Fargo graduating with the Class of ’63 from Fargo Central High School. She attended St. Olaf College for 1 year before transferring and receiving her teaching degree from Moorhead State College. She also later completed her master’s in education at Mayville State University.

Sandy (Mrs. McNair) impacted the lives of hundreds of young people as she taught for close to 30 years at several elementary schools in the Fargo area. Her special gift was instilling the love of reading in her young learners. Many of her students have stayed in touch through the years and have openly shared the positive influence that Sandy has had on their lives. What a tribute!

In lieu of flowers, Sandy requested your memorials go to The Fargo Public Schools Development Foundation or the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Vern Bennett
Dr. Vern Bennett

Dr. Vern Bennett, 86, Fargo, ND, passed away Sunday, September 29, 2019 in his home surrounded by family and assisted by Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Dr Bennett was superintendent at Fargo Public Schools for 28 years. Vern started Woodrow Wilson alternative school and along with Bob Johnson, Warren Gullickson and creative teachers initiated Trollwood Performing Arts School.

The family has designated the Dr. Vern Bennett Endowed fund for Innovative Education to receive memorial donations.

This funding allows for innovative or cutting edge educational programs and projects—the kind of programs and projects that challenge teachers to take their students to the next level of learning and encourage students to push themselves to higher academic achievements.

Examples include:
~ Elementary Adaptive Music Classes
~ Full STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math)
Ahead! 21st Century Learning Skills
~ Trollwood STAR Program Helping At-Risk Youth Accessing the Arts

Rob Arneson
Rob Arneson

Robert ‘Rob’ E. Arneson, 47, Fargo passed away Friday, April 12, 2019.

He began working with the Fargo Public Schools in 1995 as a teacher at Lincoln Elementary School. In his time with the district, he taught at Lincoln, Clara Barton, and Washington Elementary Schools, before joining Carl Ben Eielson as a library media specialist. During his career, Rob worked closely with elementary summer school programming, has been an integral part of the middle school tech camp experience, instructed courses in education through local & regional colleges, and served on numerous professional organizations and committees.

In his 23+ years of teaching, Rob impacted countless lives. He always put kids first. Rob was a leader in his profession and a mentor to many students.

A Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established in Rob’s honor at the Fargo Public Schools Foundation.
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