Darwin Douglas Nill, 89 of Ellendale, ND formerly of Monango, ND died March 8, 2023 at Avera St. Lukes Hospital, Aberdeen, SD. Darwin, the son of Theodore J. and Emma (Rath) Nill, was born June 30, 1933 on his parent's farm in Whitestone Township, Dickey County, 12 miles west of Monango. He attended grade school in Whitestone Township and graduated from Kulm High School in 1951. He married Diana Mittelsteadt on September 20, 1952. After their marriage they lived on the farm with Darwin's parents, where they took part in the diversified grain and beef cattle operation. They took over management of the farm after Darwin's parents moved to Ellendale in the fall of 1975. Their farm, known as "Hillside Grain & Stock Farm", was awarded the James River Soil Conservation Achievement Award in 1980. Darwin was a member of Kulm United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday School for 33 years and served on various committees. When the church closed in 2012, he joined Ellendale Presbyterian United Methodist Church. He was always willing to serve his community. He was the clerk and treasurer of Whitestone Township for 45 years, a Maple Valley Elevator Director, and a charter member of Whitestone Battlefield Historical Society. He was a 48 year member of the ND Stockman's Association and a member of the Merricourt Volunteer Fire Department. He loved God first, but his next greatest love was his bride. They cherished each other for 70 years and were blessed to celebrate their anniversary in September with an open house. He raised his five children on the farm, where he instilled in them the values of hard work, Christian living and the importance of education. He loved farm life; the work was hard but rewarding, and he took great pleasure in it. He loved music and would sing to his heart's content in the cab of his tractor while working his land. In later years a favorite pastime was sitting on his deck enjoying the wide open spaces. He enjoyed collecting toy farm tractors and Louis L'Amour books. Darwin cherished being "Papa " to his 13 grandchildren. He could spend hours holding and gazing lovingly at each new grandchild. He gave them many memories of summers on the farm, from riding four wheelers, to spring cattle roundup and riding in the combine at harvest. Next came the roll of "Great Papa ", where he got to enjoy holding more babies. He was a lover of ice cream and often made homemade ice cream for special family occasions. He taught his kids, grandkids and great grandkids the best way to eat ice cream was with a bit of milk and Nestles Quick. In the fall of 2019 they moved to Ellendale for the winter, but looked forward to spending summers on his beloved farm. He was our prayer warrior and was always asked to pray at family gatherings. He was gifted with patience, humbleness, sincerity, and kindness. His soul was blessed with a beautiful life. He was loved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed. Grateful to have shared his life are his wife Diana, children: Twyla (Richard) Hilscher, West Fargo, Sherry Stroh, Venturia, Douglas Nill, Minneapolis, Kardell Nill, Grand Forks and Gregory Nill, River Falls, WI, grandchildren: Tara (Jason) Decker, Jade (Jamie) Hilscher, Tessa (Scott Evenson), Summer (Charlie) Tweet, Sky (Jared) Nitschke, Shannon (Landon) Krueger, Kacy (Travis) Vetter, Jared Nill, Andrew (Heather) Nill, Megan (Trey Woller), Evan Nill, Olivia Nill, and Katelyn Nill, great grandchildren: Brynn, Brystol and Bryelle Decker, Maia, Jack and Emma Hilscher, Bostynn, Blake and Baylor Evenson, Autumn and Abe Tweet, Kade, Symphony and Spring Nitschke, Trey, Kaylee and Leah Krueger, Shane, Nate and Ty Vetter and Abigail Nill, step great grandchildren: Sam and Hailey Johnson and James and Lane Woller, brother: Willis Nill, brothers-in-law: Wes (Betty) Mittelstedt, Floyd Mittelstedt and Clay (Joann) Schott, sisters-in-law: Nicki Meidinger and Lugail Hamel and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son-in-law Keevin Stroh, his sister-in-law Doris Nill and his brothers-in-law Norbert Steckler and Floyd Meidinger.
Visitation will be 4-7:30pm with a prayer service at 6:30pm Friday, March 17, 2023 and funeral at 10:30am Saturday, March 18, 2023 with visitation one hour prior to the service, all at Presbyterian United Methodist Church, 421 5th Ave. N, Ellendale. Burial is at Kulm Congregational Cemetery in the spring. Darwin’s service will be live streamed on his obituary page at hovenfuneralchapel.com. Arrangements by Hoven Funeral Chapel, Ellendale.