Grant Perry Archer, 71, of Williston, ND took his final afternoon nap on Saturday, October 6, 2018.
Born on August 2, 1947 in Northwood, ND, Grant was raised in Valley City where he learned to build a better community by assembling park benches, marking parking lots, and assembling driveways for the parks department until he graduated from Valley City High School in 1965. He attended Valley City State University where he first “majored in ping pong” and met his first wife, fellow VCSU Resident Adviser, Beverly (Sather). They married on December 29, 1968 after he had enlisted in the US Air Force, where he proudly served his country from 1968 to 1972. Grant returned to Valley City State to study elementary education. There he had a son, Sean Perry, on October 23, 1972. Grant graduated from VCSU in May 1974 and was hired by Williston School District in June. He would go on to teach at Lewis and Clark, McVay and Wilkinson schools. Many of Grant’s students never forgot him, decades later, stopping him along Main Street to express their gratitude.
Grant’s second son, Seth, was born on December 27, 1976. Seeking a better life for his expanding family, Grant began to work as an independent oil and gas land man in Williams county, something he continued for 4 decades. He also performed independent contract insulation work, opened an antique business with Larry Lynne, and rebuilt several classic cars.
In July of 1986 he was elected to the position of County Superintendent of Schools and would eventually work for Williams County as Public Administrator and building manager of the county courthouse. On October 12, 1996 Grant married Marilyn Ramberg. Together they would live their best lives travelling, raising chokecherry trees, and rehabilitating a log cabin. Grant and Marilyn spent 22 years building a life together in Williston, White Earth Bay, and Gilbert, AZ.
Grant later served on the Williams County Soil Conservation Board and wore many other hats during his career. His favorite hat, though, was his father-in-law Ernest’s cowboy hat, which Grant wore while riding tractor, fishing from his boat, and sitting on the deck overlooking White Earth Bay with his wife.
Throughout his life Grant had many hobbies. He raised pigeons, performed carpentry, fished for walleye during all seasons, hunted with bow and rifle, collected UND pottery and elegant clocks, sought out and ate the best steaks, golfed, played racquetball, rode off-road motorcycle, and engaged in a lifelong battle for supremacy in ping-pong against his brother. His favorite hobby, though, was his work, because he loved people. In particular, his role as Public Administrator revealed exactly how patient and kind and forthright he was. He was a man who relentlessly gave of himself to his community and, in the last years of his life, his community selflessly returned the favor. His journey on this earth touched many lives; he is already missed.
Grant was preceded in death by his mother Sybil Larue Archer by less than two weeks. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, his father Lyle, his brother Scott (Maria), his sons Sean and Seth (Jennie), his sister-in-law Linda (Richard) Schmidt, and a host of loving family and friends all of whom he served the very best he could. We are all better for having loved him and for having been loved by him.
Grant’s family would like to thank to every person who made transition peaceable, especially, Darrel and Melody Edenloff, Shirley Hutchins, Larry Lynne, and the entire community of Williston.
The Everson Coughlin Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.