Delores Volkert

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Delores Volkert, 83, Minot, died Thursday, June 6, 2024, in a Velva care center.

Delores Jean (Calhoun) Volkert was born July 18, 1940, in Wilmington, IL, to Lester Lorn Calhoun & Laura Sirene (Frost) Calhoun. She grew up in the Nazarene faith and was the 8th of 16 children.

When Delores was in 8th grade, her dad built a 4-bedroom house, the 1st house she lived in with an indoor bathroom and a refrigerator. When she was 16, her parents got their 1st TV, a 9-inch black and white Motorola. Delores attended Mansfield Grade School in Illinois, later graduating from Mansfield High School in the class of 1958. During her schooling years, Delores helped her dad work on family and neighbor’s cars, so she considered herself somewhat of a mechanic. When she learned how to drive, she learned on a “1943 Model A” 2-seater (one front seat and one back seat), it was the “Sunday” car only driven in the summer.

Following high school, in September of 1958, Delores joined the Air Force at age 18. At that time, her father had to sign for her to join. She considered herself the “black sheep” of the family for joining. While serving, her job was to type up the reports of crashed airplanes. She was responsible for examining the collected remains, so the reports could be typed accurately. Delores was the 1st of the girls in the family to work outside the home.

While stationed at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL, Delores met Larry Wayne Volkert. They were united in marriage on June 19th, 1959, at the Chapel in Maxwell AFB. Delores was honorably discharged in 1960. Following her discharge, Delores and Larry transferred to McDill AFB, Tampa FL, where she gave birth to her first child, Debra. Both Larry II (1962) and Scott (1963) were born in Homestead AFB, FL.

In July 1964 the family, after a delay to get over the measles, joined Larry while he was stationed in Germany. They lived in Speicher while Larry worked on the base in Spangdahlem AB, Germany. Their final child, Thomas was born in 1966 in Bitburg AFB Germany. While in Germany they vacationed in Luxemburg, the French Rivera, and saw the Berlin Wall that separated North & South Germany before it was torn down. In January 1967, they returned to the United States, stationing at Grissom AFB in Indiana. Larry was later stationed in Greenland, but the family remained in Pennsylvania.

In 1969, the family was transferred to Minot Air Force Base, where they remained by choice to raise their 4 children. During their first Fall, there wasn’t any base housing available, so the family lived in a “pop up” camper at the Casa Motel for 2 months while the kids went to school on the base. The kids thought it was fun, but it was cold camping at that time of year in North Dakota. During her time in Minot, Delores worked at the Vocational Workshop, a job she loved, for 40 years. She finally retired in March of 2018, at age 77. Delores’ advice of how to stay at a job so long is to: “Keep your eyes and ears open and your mouth shut” and “when someone looks mad . . . keep your back to the wall”.

 Everyone that knew her well called Delores “Gram”. She was a wonderful cook, her family favorite being her famous potato salad and Christmas Bakalava. She liked to listen to Country Western music, a favorite was Kenny Rogers. She also enjoyed events such as the fair and circus. Her hobbies were crocheting, drawing, and playing piano. Delores especially enjoyed family vacations. These were spent camping at Lake Metigoshe, Medora, or visiting national parks where she enjoyed driving down the roads to look at the scenery and wildlife.

Gram was very patriotic and wore Red, White, & Blue with pride. She spent her last 3 years in the Velva Nursing Home. After working so many years at the Minot Vocational Workshop, she felt she was still working doing crafts with the clients and teaching the kids how to cook. We want to thank the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva for taking such good care of her. She especially enjoyed visits from her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Gram was preceded in death by: her parents, husband, and her Son, Thomas.

She is survived by: her children, Debra McCulley, Larry Volkert II (Sheri), and Scott Volkert (Tamra); grandchildren: Joshua Volkert, Adam Volkert (Brittany), Carrie Killeen, Timothy Schoenwald, Matti Martin (Jared), and Shelby McCulley; great-grandchildren: Callie Volkert, Sophie Volkert, Elliott Martin, Owen Martin, and Shelby Jr McCulley.

Funeral Service: Tuesday, June 11, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. in the Thomas Family Funeral Home Chapel, Minot.

Visitation: One hour prior to the start of the service in the chapel.

Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.


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