USS Cleveland CL-55 Reunion Association

Francis Lyle Neshem
A Division

Francis Lyle “Bub” Neshem, 84, Berthold, died Monday, Dec. 10, 2007, in a Minot, North Dakota healthcare center.

Francis, the son of Henry and Emma (Braseth) Neshem, was born Aug. 25, 1923, on the family farm near Lonetree and was raised there. He graduated from Lonetree High School in 1941. He entered into active duty service with the U.S. Navy in May 1944 and served during World War II in the Pacific Theater until receiving his honorable discharge in February 1946. He was a machinist on the USS Cleveland which accompanied Gen. Douglas MacArthur on his return to the Philippines.

Bub was united in marriage to Julia Nicolaisen on Jan. 24, 1945, at Minot, ND. They made their home in the Berthold area, where they operated a small grains farm which served as the base for their other business interests.

In 1949 Bub founded an earthmoving construction business called F.L. Neshem Construction which he operated for 20 years. His company built more than 200 miles of roads in Renville County, graded the land for Bishop Ryan High School, the Town and Country Shopping Center, the railroad track-bed to the Minot Air Force Base and completed many soil conservation projects for area farmers. The business continues today as Gratech Company, Ltd.

In 1955, at great personal risk, before the advent of mechanical heart assists, he “loaned” his heart for experimental open heart surgery performed in Minnesota on the young son of longtime family friends. In 1961 he and a partner purchased a welding supply business in Minot which they expanded and later sold to a large, national company. In 1978, Bub began a grain elevator construction and millwright business known as Western Builders, Inc. He sold this business to his employees in 2003, but remained actively involved until 2006.

Bub was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Berthold and a member of the Berthold Lions Club and American Legion Club. Bub enjoyed creating things, working hard, dancing with Julia every Saturday night and spending time with family and friends. He was always ready, day or night, to help anyone with an emergency repair. He was considered a genius with metals and mechanics and was especially proud of the John Deere tractors that he re-powered with Caterpillar engines.

His loving family includes: wife, Julia Neshem, Berthold; children, Harley (Nancy) Neshem, Berthold, Larry Neshem, Berthold, Evonne Richardson, San Marcos, Calif., Gary (Becky) Neshem, Berthold, Laurie Neshem, Scottsdale, Ariz.; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Clara Neshem and Eunice Neshem; and several nieces and nephews.