Dakota Diary - Floyd & Berit Bendickson
Floyd and Berit Bendickson have been married for 56 years, and currently live in Philip.
The Bendickson's raised four children. Their oldest son, Floyd Jr., passed away two years ago from a heart attack, JoAnn and her husband, Doug West, live in Philip, Kent and his wife, Diane, live in Spearfish, and Kieth, and his wife, Pauline, live in Forest Grove, Oregon. Floyd and Berit have eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two step grandchildren and four step great-grandchildren.
Floyd was born in Henning, MN, and grew up with two brothers and two sisters. He went to school in Henning until he was 10-years-old, then moved to St. Paul, MN. Floyd lived in St. Paul until he was 14, then decided to move out and travel west by himself. Floyd mentioned that he loved to travel, and was actually headed to the West Coast when he came upon Philip.
When Floyd reached Philip, he moved in with Bob Blair and worked on his ranch for four years. Floyd joined the Army when he was 18, and was in different camps around the United States. In 1952 and 1953, Floyd was stationed in Korea for the Korean Conflict. After serving, he came back to Philip, where he met Berit.
Berit Ingebrigtsen was born in Bergen, Norway. Bergen is a large city of nearly 260,000 people. When Berit was young, she was taught how to swim in the ocean. Skiing was a favorite pass time of Berit's. She was given her first pair of skis when she was only two-years-old. In Bergen, Berit attended school six full days each week. Students were given a great deal of homework, and most high school kids did not work during the school year. However, Berit worked at a bakery during the summer after her junior year of high school.
Berit's uncle Paul Olson lived in Philip and had mentioned that she should come visit the states sometime after she graduated. Berit liked the idea, but didn't just want to visit, she wanted to live here. Berit went and filled out papers, and waited for the United States Embassy to grant her approval to live in the United States. During the waiting process, Berit started attending business college in Bergen. In 1954, approval was granted and Berit had six months to accept and move to the United States. Shortly after, Berit traveled the long distance from Norway to Philip, and lived with her uncle Paul.
When Berit first got to Philip, she met Floyd, who was ranching at the time. Berit got a job working in the clinic office in Quinn. She worked with Dr. Ole Hvam who was also from Norway. Six months after meeting, Berit and Floyd were married in Philip in October of 1954.
In 1956 and 1957, Floyd worked on a ranch near Wanblee and Berit stayed home. In 1959, the couple leased a ranch/farm in Milesville for 10 years. After living in Milesville, the pair bought a ranch near Cottonwood in 1970. All four of the Bendickson children graduated from Philip High School. While living in the Cottonwood area, Floyd worked at Cenex in Philip delivering gas for 20 years, and Berit worked for Hanson Super Valu for 20 years. Berit and Floyd resided on their Cottonwood ranch for over 30 years, and in 2007, the couple moved into Philip.
Floyd commented, "Philip is a quiet and peaceful town." Berit added, "People are very friendly here in Philip. It is a nice place to live. It's complete with a hospital, livestock auction, car dealerships and everything else we need."
The couple has taken numerous trips to Norway to visit Berit's family. Their most recent trip was last year. Berit has two sisters and many aunts and uncles still living in Norway. Berit's family has also visited her in Philip several times. She said that her family loved Philip, and really enjoyed spending time in the United States.
Berit and Floyd are members of the First Lutheran Church in Philip. One of Floyd's favorite hobbies is fishing. Canada, Alaska and Norway are just a few of the interesting places Floyd has fished at. He also enjoys the sales at Philip Livestock Auction, and rarely misses one. In her free time, Berit enjoys playing bridge.
Floyd and Berit have flourished in western South Dakota and are proud to call Philip home.