On the morning of Tuesday, April 1, 2014, Donald “Don” Earl Oversen died peacefully of natural causes at the Miles City Veterans Affairs Community Living Center. His son, Gary Oversen, was with him.
Mr. Oversen was born at home on Jan. 12, 1924, in Sidney to Niels Peter and Julia Marie Christensen Oversen, the sixth of seven children. His parents were dairy farmers and he learned early the value and ethos of hard work and responsibility.
He and his two brothers also had a bit of “wild west” in them and would often sneak away to ride calves, however the wild west caught up with them one day when Mr. Oversen broke his leg while riding calves. His mother insisted the leg was broken and they needed a doctor. His father insisted he could walk if he just tried, it being in the middle of the depression. They finally agreed it might be broken and traded a calf for a mended broken leg. Thus began Mr. Oversen’s rodeo career where he later competed as a bullrider and bareback bronc rider. He passed that desire on to his children and grandchildren who also competed.
When the family moved from Sidney to Savage, he refused to quit school and move with them. Instead he took his two pair of bib overalls and went to work for Anderson Dairy at 16 years of age so he could finish high school with his class. Education was always important to him and he was inordinately proud of his grandchildren who excelled in college.
Mr. Oversen entered the Merchant Marines after he graduated from high school and got a chance to see the world, which gave him a lifelong appreciation for America’s bounties.
After two years in the Merchant Marines, he joined the Army for two years and served during World War II. He felt great pride in his service, and in grandson Will who also served in the Army.
Mr. Oversen and Dolores Mae Parks were married and they had three children, Julia Marie, Steven Earl and Gary Allen. Mr. Oversen also had another son, Gregg Oversen.
For many years Mr. Oversen drove for Northern Tanklines for many years, but retirement didn’t find him on the front porch in a rocking chair. He instead retired to the mountains where he and his brother Bob mined gold and chased elk.
Mr. Oversen is survived by his sister, Violet; children, Julia, Gary (Michelle) and Gregg; grandchildren, Brandon, Cody and Will James Weathers, Amanda and Matt Weidler, Kylie, Kale, Lane and Shyanne Oversen; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; twin infant brothers, Herbert and Robert; brothers, Herbert and Robert “Bob;”sister, Rose; son, Stevie; and granddaughter, Mirinda Dawn Weathers.
The family will receive friends Friday, April 4, 2014, at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Miles City from 4 to 6 p.m. The Funeral Service will be Saturday, April 5, 2014, at 2 p.m. in the Chapel at the VA facility.
Donations, if desired, may be made to VA Community Living Center in Miles City.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.