Cover photo for Orletta L. Kilen's Obituary
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1948 Orletta 2024

Orletta L. Kilen

October 31, 1948 — May 26, 2024


Orletta Kilen, 75, of Almont, ND passed away May 26th, 2024 at her residence.

 A visitation will be held from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday, June 2nd at Weigel Funeral Home in Mandan followed by a 6PM Prayer Service.   Funeral services will be held 1:00 PM Monday, June 3rd at Sims Lutheran Church in rural Almont, ND with Pastor William Dodd officiating.  Burial will follow in Sims Cemetery will full military rites offered by the US Army/USARNG honor team and the American Legion Post #261 of Almont.

Orletta was born October 31, 1948 in Mandan, ND to Johan “John” Kilen & Ruth (Seim) Kilen.

She attended the Bismarck Hospital School of Nursing and received a Bachelor’s of Nursing degree from Mary College.  She was commissioned to the U.S. Army Medical Division as a Registered Nurse.  She served active duty in Presidio of Monterey (CA) and Korea.  She was later stationed at Fort Leavenworth (KS) before returning to Bismarck where she then worked locally as an R.N.  Orletta was in the US Army Reserves for many years and was activated for Desert Storm where she was stationed for a time in the United Arab Emirates.  She retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Orletta was a proud member of the American Legion Post 261 in Almont for 32 years.  She held many positions within the American Legion including District Commander, West Region Vice Commander, Department Commander-Elect, Department Executive Committee Chair and served as the ND Department Commander (2016-2017).  She served on the National American Legion Committees of VA&R and Health Administrative.  Orletta was dedicated to veterans throughout North Dakota and served on the Administrative Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACOVA), ND Vets Home Governing Board and the North Dakota Veterans Legislative Council (NDVLC).  She was also a member of the AMVETS and the VFW.

Orletta was a lifelong member of the Sims-Almont Lutheran Parish. She was baptized at United Lutheran Church of Almont on November 28, 1948, when she was less than a month old. She was confirmed at the church June 17, 1962. Orletta transferred her membership to the Skandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sims upon her marriage to Ted in 1992. Orletta was devoted to the church and always proud to be one of the “Sims People.” Orletta participated in many Sims Christmas Programs over the years. She served on the church council, including several terms as president. She also served as leader of the Altar Guild, changing the seasonal paraments at the church. Orletta was humble, generous, kind and a loving Christian. She was a dear friend and we will miss her.

She is survived by her husband, Ted Becker of Almont;  sister, Amy Traxel;  three brothers, Arvin (Patty) Kilen, Duane Kilen, & Loren Kilen;  two nieces, Janelle (Brandt) Dick and Jennifer (Chad) Weishaar;  three great-nieces, Brenna Dick, Britta Dick, & Finley Weishaar.

Orletta was preceded in death by her parents (Johan & Ruth), one brother (Sheldon), and brother-in-law (Bob Traxel).

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the North Dakota American Legion Foundation, P.O. Box 5057, West Fargo, ND 58078 or by emailing

To send flowers to the family in memory of Orletta L. Kilen, please visit our flower store.
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