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1931 Delbert 2024

Delbert J. Hlavinka

February 10, 1931 — February 23, 2024


   Dr. Delbert Hlavinka, 93, of Mayville, ND died Friday, February 23, 2024 at the Luther Memorial Home in Mayville, ND.

   Delbert (Del) John Hlavinka was born on February 10, 1931 in McIntosh, SD to John and Ida (Koenig). The family moved to a farmstead north of Lark, ND where the children attended a rural school. In order to attend high school in Carson, ND, Del stayed with his grandparents during the week, returning to the farm on the weekends. Del’s post-high school education was vast, including a teaching certificate from Dickinson State, science and Ag Econ degrees from NDSU, and a medical degree from UND in conjunction with Bowman Grey School of Medicine. He also served as a Marine and briefly pursued a degree in Psychiatry in Topeka, KS. To say that Del valued education and loved to learn is an understatement.

   While attending a student church group at NDSU, Del met Marlys Pautz. They dated and worked several jobs together before their marriage on March 24, 1956. During his first two years of medical school, the first of four children, Jon and Douglas, were born. Following his graduation from medical school, the family moved back to Fargo where Del completed his internship and residency at St Luke’s Hospital. Del’s first year as a doctor was in Elgin, ND during which their third son, Paul, was born. In 1965, the Hlavinka family moved to Mayville, ND where he practiced medicine for 48 years. In 1974, Del and Marlys adopted their fourth and final child, Jennifer. Del continued to work at the clinic in Mayville and retired more than once, but finally hung up his stethoscope for the last time after a total of 53 years as a family physician.

   Throughout his life, Del was always learning. He devoured books of all kinds and took inspiration from them for his own writing. He often served as substitute minister at the church and took pride in tending to the grounds and church building. Gardening was a life-long passion of Del’s and at times he maintained up to four large vegetable gardens as well as the many flower beds and trees surrounding the family home and the hospital. Del was an artist, working with wood and paints. He sang in choirs, acted in plays, and taught himself several instruments, often waking Marlys up with his trumpet playing late at night. Whenever possible, Del could be found outdoors: walking, golfing, bird watching, or bee keeping. He was competitive and loved to play Scrabble and cards.

   Retirement didn’t come easily to Del, but his hobbies kept him busy. In Winter 2017 while walking his dog, Butters, Del took a fall into a snow bank and couldn’t get back on his feet. Following that incident, he was hospitalized and became a resident of Hatton Prairie Village where he loved to play bingo and trivial pursuit. He contracted covid and suffered two strokes, taking his ability to be ambulatory and the majority of his speech. As dementia worsened, the family moved him to Luther Memorial Home to be near Marlys where he resided until his death on February 23, 2024.

   Del is survived by his wife of sixty-seven years, Marlys; brother Duane; sisters Maxine Cline, JoAnn Balas, and Frances Strom; sons Jon, Douglas, Paul (Mary); daughter Jennifer; grandchildren Colton (Kayla), Kristen, Katherine (Bobby), Gena (Steven), Isaak; and great-grandchildren Calvin, Ryan, and Liam.

Public Visitation:  Will be 5–7 PM on Friday, March 15, 2024 with a 6:30 PM Public Prayer Service at the Baker Funeral Home Chapel in Mayville, ND and will resume one hour prior to the service in the church.

Funeral Service: Will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, March 16, 2024 at the Mayville Congregational UCC in Mayville, ND.

Military Honors: May~Port Honor Guard 

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