Fair Meadow Nursing Home
April 2021
Resident of the Month

Irv Tastad

Hey, it's Andrew Irvin Tastad, also known as Irv (the Red Owl meat man). I'm going to try my best to write my life story.

I was born September 25, 1922 in Rolette, ND on the family farm, the 9th of 10 children born to Andrew and Anna Tastad. I was baptized and confirmed at the Lutheran Church in Rolette. I graduated from Rolette High School in 1940. While in school I played basketball and trumpet in the band, 2nd chair out of 22 members.

After high school my older brother went off to war, I stayed on the farm with my younger brother Keneth. I was not always fun, my least favorite job was shucking wheat bundles after the field was cut. The neighbor, Ren Vold Savy would come and help. My favorite job was caring for the cattle and calves and pitching hay on a hay rack pulled by 2 horsed. In those days, everything was done by hand. Also, working for other local farms.

I met my wife Margaret and was married on June 1, 1952. While living in town, I was still helping my brother on the farm. I'd walk a mile to the farm to help with milking 12 cows. Then we moved to a farm outside of Rolette and worked with Soil Conservation helping plant trees and shelter belts. Fields weren't very big back then, maybe 20 acres.

While working at the grocery store in Rolette I saw an ad in the paper for a meat cutter at Red Owl Store in Fertile. So I sent a note and a few days later Irv Indol shows up and offered me the job. By the end of the week I was working in Fertile. So we loaded up my wife, 3 sons, and a daughter and move to Fertile.

We lived a few places around Fertile before building a home on McKinley Street in 1967. Joined Concordia Lutheran Church where I served as a trustee.

I worked for the Red Owl store for 30 plus years before retiring. Since I've retired I've enjoyed traveling to Arizona, Ohio, and Florida with son Kirby and grandkids. Also I was able to travel to Norway with younger brother Keneth. We visited relatives and sightsee. Also to California to see Lanny graduate from basic training for the Navy.

About a week before my 98th birthday I had a stroke and ended up in the nursing home.

So that's about it for my life story. I've been married for 69 years and have 3 sons: Gary and wife Debbie, Kirby and wife Jessie, Lanny, and daughter Heidi and her husband Edward. There are 2 grandkids and 3 great grandkids. I got to say I miss neighbor Rolf and Grace, Oscar and Irene, and just visiting with them was fun.