Eleanor Pietsch

Eleanor DeBilt Pietsch, 98, Minot, died Friday, February 2, 2024 in a Minot assisted living center surrounded by her loving family.

Eleanor was born on March 26, 1925 to George and Ruth (Varnes) DeBilt, the second of six children on the family farm west of Berthold, ND. She attended grade school in Passport Township. Her highlights as a child were riding a sleigh to school, cross country skiing, a day at the ND State Fair in Minot, and a family trip to Oregon in 1936.  Her parents boarded teachers for extra money to buy a piano that she and her sisters learned to play and her accordion was the best Christmas gift received.   

Eleanor graduated from Berthold High School in 1943.  She attended Minot State Teacher’s College and taught school in Freedom Township, South Prairie.  

Eleanor married Alfred Pietsch June 24, 1945 in Minot, ND.  Alfred was drafted and served in the Army. She worked at Bader’s Dept Store in Minot and taught school in Afton Township until his return.  Alfred was interested in aviation and began to pursue a family business.  They raised their family of three sons while building the family business of Pietsch Flying Service.  Eleanor became a licensed pilot in 1969, and eventually all 3 sons were pilots actively flying for the business. In 1974, a plane crash claimed the life of their oldest son, Gary.  She continued to work in the business office at Pietsch Flying Service until moving to Colorado Springs, CO in 1984.  She was employed at Colorado College in the business office until 1997, when she returned to reside in Minot.  

Eleanor enjoyed playing piano, skiing, bowling, golfing, reading, traveling and visits with her friends.  She had a very full life and was loved deeply by her family and many friends.  

Eleanor is survived by two sons, Kent (Marney) of Burlington, ND; Warren (Jolene) of Sawyer, ND; grandchildren Eric (Nicole) Wald, Norwich ND, Markita Pietsch and Logan Pietsch both of Minot ND; great grandchildren Matthew, Evie, and Owen Wald; sister Dorothy Roise of Garrison, ND; sister-in-law Thelma DeBilt, Minot along with many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Eleanor was preceded in death by parents, former spouse Alfred, and their son Gary, sisters Margaret (Carl) Trondson, Verna (Lowell) Skabo, Maridell (Kenneth) Linster and brother, Bill DeBilt.

Celebration of Eleanor’s Life: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 8, 2024, at Congregational United Church of Christ, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot
Visitation: Wednesday, February 7, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. at the Thomas Family Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials are preferred to the Congregational United Church of Christ or the Dakota Territory Air Museum in memory of Eleanor.


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