Cover photo for Justin Disterhaupt's Obituary
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1980 Justin 2024

Justin Disterhaupt

December 27, 1980 — January 16, 2024

This is my life story as seen through the eyes of my wife Jennifer of 14 years, my parents Jodi and Doug Disterhaupt who brought me into this world in Thief River Falls, MN and my sister, Sara who arrived four years ahead of me and laid down a path, that made it easy for me to be labeled the “do gooder.”

The names haven’t been changed to protect the innocent and all are equally complicit in this thriller obituary. I have listened to them tell these lies so many times, even I believe them and now it’s your turn to listen to this B.S.

It was Christmas of 1980 and mom was feeling larger than normal; that’s how women feel when you are nine months pregnant, have a four year old who wants to open presents, and a husband who is pressing for this child to arrive so he can get the tax deduction this year. Well, Sara says it was Santa who brought me to life and I say God, brought me to life on December 27 – a bitterly cold day similar to the day I died on January 16, 2024. Think about it … I arrived on Gods earth in the bitter cold and I went home to see my heavenly father on an equally cold day. “There are no coincidences in life. I know this to be absolute truth.”

I had a normal childhood really, or so I thought I did when I was a kid. My parents loved me, but they also loved the ten kids who showed up every day at mom’s daycare. I was one of them, except, I didn’t go home at the end of the day, I had to stay to clean up the toys. Seems I was meant to clean up – my wife Jenn sucks at loading a dishwasher! Dad was the outdoors guy, taught me how to hunt, take care of guns, drive cars, and Bonanza – for those of you who don’t know, that’s an old western TV classic with a character called Hoss- that’s my dad. I called him Hoss – he knew I loved him. Love was everywhere, even next door where a nurse, named Jennifer and her husband Stan moved in. They opened my eyes to the cultural side of this earthly life.

Those days working the daycare after school showed me what real shit is – one baby diaper after another until my nephew, Wyatt arrived on this earth – his shit didn’t stink so much because he belonged to Sara and I adored this little guy. Changing diapers was easy. Then came my nephews Izeck, Ty, and Tucker and I became really good at changing diapers as I loved those boys so much. Mom, you taught me well!

Small town living awarded me a humble life. School wasn’t hard for me and sports wasn’t my thing, so I went to work at the McDonalds. Yes, Thief River was big enough to have a franchise restaurant. I saved my money, ate junk food, worked so hard, it’s hard to find my fingerprints. It’s true. Ask Jenn. I continued to work hard, got good grades and got scholarship money to go to a fancy college that has fancy rings when you graduate. I was a Cobber at Concordia College in Moorhead and that is where I met Jennifer Brend. We were members of the Cobber Sauna Club. I know, it’s hard to believe a college had an official “Sauna Club.” It’s a Scandinavian thing, just ask Dr. Massey, doctorate of Scandinavia Studies. He’ll tell you. What else is there to do when it’s cold, but sit in a sauna? See, there’s that cold word again.

Jenn and I loved the sauna club so much I got down on one knee in the sauna at Concordia a few years after I graduated – (yes they gave me a diploma with some fancy business and Spanish degree) and I asked that princess to marry me. I wasn’t surprised she said yes as I knew the princess needed a prince to take care of her and boy did I shine at taking care of her. She can fill you in the proposal, the bill paying, the cooking of many dinners, the cleaning of her car, tending to the boxes delivered to the house and crap, there were so many boxes each week.

Many of you know I learned to love smoking – no, not the illegal stuff, but the good protein stuff, on a smoker, outside with pellets and spice rubs and big gloves. Manly food prep. You all saw many of my pictures on social media. Jenn says she taught me to do food photography, you all know the truth. Princesses believe in fairy tales. That’s all I’ll say about that.

Bismarck is where Jenn and I made a cozy home – if you haven’t seen it, please stop and visit Jenn there. She will need the company. She wasn’t meant to live alone. If she has your number, get ready, she’ll be calling you.

I made many good friends in Bismarck and Prairie Heights Church became my Bismarck Family. I had so much fun serving on the advisory board at church, eating potluck food, praying together, and figuring out how I can help with the Sunday school, the worship team and finances. You see checking boxes and keeping things organized is my thing. The Bismarck Mandan Elks 1199 was my social club where I served as an Exalted Ruler and I left this world serving as a trustee.

If you knew me, you knew my humor was sarcasm, and much of my sarcasm was riddled with truth. If you are reading this thriller obituary, I know you cared about me as much as I cared about you. The last few days of my life here on this earth were not great. I felt horrible, had shortness of breath, no energy, felt dizzy and it sucked. The medical people didn’t figure it out, because God wanted me home with Him. I now know I had a pulmonary embolism – fancy words for a blood clot in my lungs. In case you were wondering, I did not get the C19 vaccine. I didn’t suffer too much. Jenn kissed me goodbye that morning and I knew my princess was going to be okay. I will watch over her and be by her side as long as she needs me. Mom, Dad, Sara, Brad, Wyatt, Izeck, Ty and Tucker you’ll be okay in the days to come. Trust God as much as I did, believe in his word as much as I did and always hug each other a bit tighter. To the rest of my family and friends, cheers! Can’t wait to see you here, at my new home …. Until we meet again. By the way, there’s no need to rush to get here … I’ll keep the lights on.

Please join Jennifer and my family for a Celebration of Justin event at my church, Bismarck Prairie Heights on Saturday, January 27th at 3:00 pm. Pastor Karl Kreutz will officiate this blockbuster along with the worship team who will be playing most of my favorite songs. Following the speeches, and I know there will be many, stay awhile and eat some funeral food. My church does funeral food like no other church, except maybe those in northern MN. Bring your favorite funeral dish to share that is if you feel like sharing.

If you are thinking of sending flowers, may I ask you please make a donation to Bismarck Prairie Heights Church instead?

Bismarck Prairie Heights is located at 4409 Centurion in south Bismarck.

Thank you Weigel Funeral Home for assisting in the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Justin Disterhaupt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 27, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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