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On November 23, 1935, a long-awaited baby, Mildred Priscilla Bergh, was born to John and Susie (Branes) Bergh of rural Volga, SD. She was proud of her 100% Norwegian heritage. With her big sister Helen, the family was complete, and she enjoyed a carefree farm childhood with her large group of cousins. Millie graduated from Augustana Academy in Canton, SD and then moved to St. Paul, MN where she graduated with her Registered Nursing degree from Fairview Hospital. Her nursing career began in Albert Lea, MN and she made the fortuitous move to Fargo, ND for obstetrics at St. Lukes Hospital. She joined First Lutheran Church in downtown Fargo and one day was called to the church to meet a young single farmer by the name of Jim Dick who had seen an advertisement about a Lutheran singles group. They were a match! They were united in marriage at First Lutheran in the “dry” town of Volga, SD on October 2, 1960. Together, they built a home near Englevale, ND and raised 5 children, and Millie was in heaven. She loved babies and being a farm wife. Her home usually included extra nieces and nephews and there was always room for more at the kitchen table. The more the merrier! She had a special place in her heart for foreign exchange student Patricia Forjaz (Sao Paulo, Brazil). Over the years, Jim & Millie hosted 20 young farmers who were part of an international ag exchange program. She was so happy to hear from them over the years and was able to attend several of their weddings in Europe and Australia.
Millie never saw a baby she didn’t want to hold or a dog she didn’t want to pet. The birth of her grandchildren gave her more babies to love and she didn’t miss a school or dance performance. She was a giver to her core; generosity was her way of life. Her home was a happy, carefree place and she encouraged her children in piano lessons, playing an instrument, and passed along her love of reading and travel. When she was expecting her 5th child, she decided to start jogging. For 52 years, she was out morning and evening, 365 days a year, even in the rain and snow. We estimate she ran the circumference of the Earth one-and-a-half times. For years, Millie would dance around the kitchen with a broom. She finally convinced Jim to take dance lessons and they were off; Jim was a natural. They loved getting on the dance floor at the Sons of Norway in Fargo and other dance halls and captured everyone’s eye as they moved so well together. When Jim retired from farming, Millie expressed interest in travel. They signed up for a cruise and over the years went on 2 dozen cruises all over the world including Hong Kong, Australia, Europe, Norway, and Central America.
Her faith was strong. She was active in the Englevale Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and its ladies’ groups (just days before she died, she called around to arrange food for great-niece Andrea’s funeral). She religiously tended God’s gifts from the orchard and garden, freezing, pickling, and canning -- sometimes until 2 AM! Millie also helped bring God’s children into the world at the Lisbon and Valley City hospitals.
Millie died after a sudden illness on Sunday, August 29. She is survived by her husband of almost 61 years, James Dick; her children Janna Diggs, Suzanne (Mike) Spiese, Gaylen (Teresa) Dick, Wendi Dick, and Benjamin (Katherine) Dick; grandchildren Marissa Diggs, Abigail (Deondre) Smiles, Carley Spiese (Ethan Frank), Julia (Trace) Beethe, Michael Spiese, Alex and Brianna Dick, Kyle and Ryan Koenig, Beau (Maribeth), Bailey, and Ryder Goolsbey, and Evan and Tabitha Dick; sister Helen (Orville) Schultz; brother-in-law Gerald (Shelby) Dick; sisters-in-law Bernice Hallquist Dick, Bonnie Namtvedt, Lori Dick, and Barbara Haugen; and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. Millie was preceded in death by her parents; parents-in-law Lawrence and Ruby Dick; sisters-in-law Beverly Hanson, Dorothy Dick, and Mary Jo Urseth; brothers-in-law Harold and Larry Dick, Cliff Hanson, and Cliff Urseth; and nephews Roger Hanson and Mark and Steve Schultz.
Visitation will be held from 4-6 PM on Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Armstrong Funeral Home, Lisbon, ND, with a prayer service at 6 PM. Memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 5, 2021 at 2 PM at Good Shepherd Lutheran, Englevale, ND.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Red Willow Bible Camp, Parkside Lutheran Home, Dakota Boys & Girls Ranch, or any other charity near to your heart.
NOTE RECORDING OF SERVICE IS UNDER FUNERAL SERVICE AND CONTINUED UNDER PRAYER SERVICE.