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    Richard “Whopper” Belling, 75, West Fargo, ND, died on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo.

    Richard Jerome Belling was born March 17, 1948, to Lloyd and Hazel (Sorenson) Belling in Valley City, ND. In August 1967, he enlisted in the US Army and was honorably discharged in April 1970. He married Peggy Kirmis in 1972 and had 2 children with this union. On August 12, 1994, he was united in marriage to Denise Bergrud in West Fargo, ND.

    Richard worked for the ND DOT retiring in 2010. He continued to work part time helping Mike Nelson and Nate Thorsrud with their farming operations.

    Richard was an incredible advocate for the veterans. He served on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs since his appointment in 2011 by Governor Burgum, the Legislative and Post War Trust fund committees and was chair of the ND Department of Veteran Affairs Committee since 2015.  He was a member of VFW (past state commander and National Council Member), American Legion (past post 308 Commander), Vietnam Veterans of America, DAV and AMVETS. He also served on the ND Veterans Home Foundation Board and was named the Red River Valley Hometown Hero in 2018 which he was very proud of.  He was very dedicated to the Service Dogs for America PTSD dog program-even had a service dog named after him (Whopper-which he also had tattooed on his leg). He recently helped with the creation of the ND Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans coin which has begun being distributed just his month.  He has done much more than this for his ND brothers and sisters in arms and will be greatly missed.  

    He is survived by his wife, Denise; two children, Kim (Mike) Crist and Chris (Donny O’Brien); his fur-baby, Buffy Marie; his siblings, Harvey (Leonette) Belling, Irene (Richard) Birklid, LeRoy (Ruby) Belling, Arlys (Kermit) Sorby, Gerald Belling, Shirley Rosales, Ellen Stice and Cheryl Belling; mother-in-law, Beverly Bergrud; many nieces, nephews, and family members/close friends.

    Richard was preceded in death by his father and mother; sister’s, Gail and JoAnn Simpkins; sister-in-law, Dorothy Belling; brothers-in-law, Michael Rosales and Mike Stice; father-in-law, Ardell Bergrud; and his fur-baby Bailey Bichon.

Memorial Service:  Friday, November 3, 2023, at 11 AM at West Funeral Home, West Fargo, ND, with visitation from 9:30-11:00.


Interment: Friday, November 3, 2023, at 2 PM, Fargo National Cemetery, rural Harwood, ND.

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