Dwight F. Kalash | Grand Forks Herald
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Dwight F. Kalash

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Dwight F. Kalash

Dwight F. Kalash died on Sunday, February 2, 2014 at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, ND. He was 66 years old.

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Dwight Francis, son of Darrell and Louise (Fletcher) Kalash was born on February 22, 1947 in Wadena, Minnesota. He grew up in the Breckenridge/Wahpeton area, attending grade school in both Minnesota and North Dakota, and graduated from Wahpeton High School with the class of 1965. He continued his education at the University of North Dakota, in Grand Forks, where he was a member of ?? (Theta Chi) Fraternity and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1968. In 1971, he received his Juris Doctor from the UND School of Law, where he also served as the Editor of the Law Review.

Dwight was united in marriage to Sharon "Sherri" Ujka on August 30, 1968 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wahpeton. They made their home in Grand Forks until they both finished college, at which point Dwight entered the U.S. Army and served in the Judge Advocate General Corp. He was stationed on several bases, including the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1974, and was honorably discharged that year with the rank of Captain.

Dwight and Sherri returned to North Dakota, and Dwight began working for the Criminal Justice Standards and Goals Commission. He then entered into partnership with Carlton G. Nelson of Grand Forks, creating the law office of Nelson and Kalash. Carlton said that Dwight was "the best legal scribe he had ever known." Dwight eventually shared offices at various times with attorneys Gary E. Euren, David Jones, Jackie Gaddie, Karen Braaten (now Judge for the North Dakota Northeast Central Judicial District), Connie Triplett, Rebecca Heigaard McGurran, Tom Kuchera and Kim Sharp. He was a member of the North Dakota Bar Association and served on the N.D. Lawyers Disciplinary Board. Dwight retired in 2000. But retirement did not mean giving up practice completely, as Dwight worked on a part-time basis for Kalash & Pettit Law Office (Kristi Pettit Venhuizen, owner) until 2007.

In 1978, Dwight began his tenure as the Grand Forks City Prosecutor, and served in that capacity for 22 years, retiring in 2000. He also became the City Judge in Thompson, ND in the mid-1980s, retiring from that position in 2000 as well.

Dwight was respected as an attorney for his honesty and fairness a "gentleman lawyer" who dedicated himself to seeking justice for all those who called upon him.

The city of Thompson was dear to Dwights heart, and he was very active as a Cub Scout Leader and Boy Scout Master. During his time as Scout Master, Thompsons Troop 19 produced four Eagle Scouts: Chad Wocken, Justin Bergeron, Nathan Kossover and Ryan Kappedal. Dwight had also received his Eagle Scout at age 13, and was inducted into the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow. In addition, Dwight enjoyed membership in the Thompson American Legion, Post #181 and worked diligently to support Legion activities.

Dwight managed his Multiple Sclerosis with courage and determination, and supported the National MS Society. He was an avid golfer and bowler, and participated with dear friends in various leagues for more than 25 years. He also served as an Elder at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Grand Forks, and participated in the Grand Forks Kiwanis club. He owned and managed residential property, and founded a security company with partner Jerry Rupe. In March of 2009, Dwight and Sherri built a wheelchair-accessible home in Devils Lake. Many special people assisted with Dwight's care. Since that time, they have reconnected with relatives and enjoyed new friends and neighbors.

He is survived by his beloved family: wife Sherri of Devils Lake and three sons, Christopher Kalash (Nicole Hager) of Bismarck, ND, Matthew Kalash of West Palm Beach, FL, and D. Joseph (Lori) Kalash of West Fargo, ND; grandchildren, Caine Kalash, Bailey Hager, McCayla Jordan and Isabella and Joseph Jason Kalash; brother-in-law, Bill Woehrmann of Eau Claire, WI, and sister-in-law, Jane Collier of Lawndale, CA; nephews Lou Woehrmann (Nicole) and Sam Woehrmann (Seth Cotterell) also survive.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Scott Kalash, sister Sandy Woehrmann, and father-in-law and mother-in-law Louis and Treva (Matz) Ujka.

A Celebration of Life for Dwight will be held on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 11:00 at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Devils Lake.

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