Bryant Ulseth (1931 - 2020) - Obituary

Bryant Lynn Ulseth, 89, died October 3, 2020, at Sanford Hospice House in Fargo, ND. 

Bryant was born in Maywood, CA, on August 27, 1931, to Clarence and Evelyn (Broden) Ulseth. He grew up on the family farm near Crookston, MN, and attended the round country school. Bryant was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston. He graduated from Crookston Central High School in 1949 with many lifelong friends and enjoyed many music and drama experiences. 

Bryant graduated from Concordia College with a B.A. degree in Music Education where he was a member of the Concordia Choir and Student Body president. After college, he served two years in the Army at Fort Benning, GA, and he completed his M.A. in Music Education at the University of Minnesota. 

Through music at Concordia, Bryant met Gerdes Billehus. They were married on July 11, 1953, and celebrated 67 loving years together. They raised two sons, Tom and Dan. 

He taught choral music at New York Mills, Thief River Falls and Moorhead High Schools, inspiring the choirs with his enthusiastic directing from the podium. He was a member of the Choral Director Association, REAM and MAREA.  He directed church choirs and sang in the Trinity Church Choir in Moorhead for 40 years. He shared his beautiful baritone with the Master Chorale for 10 years and with those around him in church and at athletic events, singing the national anthem with gusto. 

Bryant cherished his family above all else, providing love and support for each endeavor, and highly valued their time spent together. He was always ready to play catch, hit fly balls, shovel the hockey rink and watch Dan and Tom's hockey games, sliding up and down the bleachers with the action. 

Being a grandparent was the frosting on the cake. He loved reading books, playing games, attending recitals, concerts and athletic events and leading the singing of carols each Christmas. 

Bryant was a warm and thoughtful man, a memorable influence on his students, kind to his elders, and a valued friend to many. 

Bryant and Gerdes enjoyed travel, including taking trips to Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, and two visits to Norway. They also loved spending time on Lake Chippewa, at Bryant's sister's cottage.

Bryant was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Evelyn Ulseth, and parents-in-law, Julia and Lewis Billehus, his sister Gail Ulseth (Warren) Bennett and his brother Roger Ulseth.   Bryant is survived by his beloved wife Gerdes, and their sons Thomas (Anne), Minneapolis, and Dr. Daniel (partner Theresa), Magalia, CA., granddaughters (Johanna, Berit, Nora, and Mary), stepdaughters (Stephanie and Marie), stepson (Frank), a number of step grandchildren, sister-in-law, Donna Ulseth, Crookston, and loving nieces and nephews.  

Bryant's family extends gratitude to the staff at Sanford Hospice House for their love and care and to the kind expressions of love and sympathy during this time of loss. In lieu of flowers, memorial may be given to Trinity Lutheran Church, Concordia Music Department, or a charity of donor's choice. 

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, Moorhead, MN, on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at 1:30 P.M. A live stream of the service will be available at 1:30 P.M. on the Trinity Lutheran Church webpage and Facebook page at and, as well as Bryant's webpage at, where a guestbook and video tribute may also be found. Masks and social distancing are required at the church and capacity will be limited to 50 people. Final resting place will be the columbarium at Prairie Home Cemetery in Moorhead.

Published in Crookston Daily Times from Oct. 11 to Oct. 12, 2020.

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