Merlin ‘Bud’ Borke

Merlin “Bud” Borke, 96, Bismarck, passed away peacefully on Sept. 8, 2020. A private memorial service for immediate family will be held on Friday, Sept. 11. He will be laid to rest at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. 

Bud was born on Dec. 6, 1923 in Hillsboro to Laura and Norin Borke. He was raised and educated in Hillsboro, graduating from Hillsboro High in 1941. He served in the US Navy for three years during World War II. After the war, he attended college and graduated from the University of Denver in 1950.

On June 13, 1949 he married Lois Hanson in Hillsboro. They lived in Denver, Colo., Lisbon, N.D., Ames, Iowa, and Bismarck, N.D. They raised four children, Mark, Joellyn, Pam and Norin.

He started working for Melroe Manufacturing (aka Clark Equipment, IR, Doosan) in 1957. He was a District Sales Manager for South Dakota, Iowa and North Dakota over the course of his career. After 32 years, he retired in 1989. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW and of the First Presbyterian Church of Bismarck.

Throughout the years he kept his family well entertained with jokes and loved teasing his grandkids. He enjoyed traveling across the country. Bud enjoyed the nature of his back yard, feeding the squirrels, birdwatching and participating in the Cornell University Project Feeder Watch.

Bud is survived by his wife of 71 years, Lois; children, Mark (Jana), Pam Okland, Norin (Robin); and grandchildren, Kimberly, Karin Sullivan, Kristin, Erik, Karrah Johnston, Derek Johnston, Megan Pfau and Alyssa.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Laura and Norin Borke; siblings, Millard, Carroll, Lowell and Eleanor McInnes; and daughter, Joellyn Borke Johnston.

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