*Please note the mass is at 10:00 a.m.*
A Funeral Mass for Ray Fettig, 100, of Killdeer will be 10:00 a.m., Thursday, February 17, 2022 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Killdeer with Father Joseph Evinger celebrating. Burial will follow at the Killdeer Cemetery.
Rosary will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the church.
Ray passed away Sunday, February 13, 2022 at Hilltop Home of Comfort in Killdeer.
On a beautiful April 23, 1921 morning I arrived at Jacob and Theresa (Rohrich) Fettig farmstead, with not any midwife or doctor assistance. I was a stinker from day one, not nursing well, and raised on cows milk. Also added some feet problems and didn’t learn to walk till near four years old. I spent 12 years of schooling at Killdeer Public School. In those years, instead of chasing girls I was chasing horses. I spent three years as a grocery store clerk, four years in a government office known as Triple A, taking care of farm and range programs (not for me!). I loved a roundup and ended up buying a horse and cattle ranch. Many stories to share here, helping neighbors work cattle at 20 below zero, chasing a wild cow and my horse slipped on ice. Six hours later and a 12 mile sled ride with a team of horses to camp and a 60 mile pickup ride to Mercy Hospital in Williston, I have a compound fracture and a nine week stay in traction to recovery. I did sell 400 lb calves for 24 cents a pound the first year. Two years later I was forced to sell the horses, no grass. My horse lease was eliminated so in November 1947, at -15 degrees, we trailed 380 horses 80 miles to Dickinson’s sale barn. This took us three days and separated men from boys. I went to work for Oakley Dayton’s Lone Butte ranch in Montana. After Oakley died of a heart attack at a Cheyenne, WY rodeo, I kept the ranch running and went to work at Sidney Livestock Sales Barn. Spent 27 years at the sales barn along with weekends with Fettig Brothers Rodeo group (started in ND in 1940). For four years, I trailed bucking horses to rodeos (70-80 miles), swimming the Little Missouri River many times. In 1950 I purchased a truck and 50ft straight neck trailer and started hauling rodeo stock to rodeos. In 1956 I had a Nebraska road mishap, killing half of the 10 horse and 10 bull load. Was pinned five hours in the truck and spent four months in a body cast in Broken Bone Hospital. Years later, LeRoy Fettig and I started raising bucking horses. I bought my first bucking stud, hauling mares and foals to breed, tracking each to a stallion. So… in a 35 year nutshell, there were seven broken legs, two hip surgeries, two knee surgeries, a rod in thigh bone from hip to knee, eight minor surgeries, six Christmas’ in a hospital bed and one in a nursing home, two slight heart attacks and three pace-makers. In 1953, I being the last of seven boys and two girls, a young man who goes by Bill Davis joined the family in my care. He was given the nickname of “Snoball” as the barrel man during Fettig Bros. rodeos bull riding. Snoball was a tough fella from the south, the only black man around here at that time, humorous around children and a good idol. In December 1972 at 34 below zero, together we journeyed 650 head of cattle from North Dakota to Montana in 18 days. I have many people, family and friends to thank for encouragement and care through the years. I was going to daily mass (church) trying to make up for years of neglect. I lived alone in Killdeer, taking care of myself, house, laundry, meals, therapy, and planted a garden for exercise… fresh air is a must! Passed my driver’s license on my 96th birthday – good til I’m 100! I enjoyed getting up at 4:30 am every morning, drove to the coffee shop at 5:30 am (paid for 20 cups of coffee in advance) and treated as a special. Enjoyed 100 mile trips alone to Sidney to see Snoball, and to Dr. appointments. My will power and determination, kept me going. As the saying goes, “I’m ready to meet St. Peter at the Golden Gate and Jesus Christ at judgment day” looking forward to join souls gone before me in a world of no end, Heaven for ever and ever.
Ray is survived by his longtime friend, Bill Green Davis “Snoball”; friend Darwyn Meyers; many nieces, nephews; great, great-great and great-great-great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers, Joe, Tony, Frank, Nick, Phil and Jack; two sisters, Margaret Mittlesteadt and Monica Hovden; and three infant siblings.