Denis Lynn Horsager, age 69, of Valley City, North Dakota, died peacefully Monday, January 11, 2021 at  Sanford on Broadway in Fargo holding his wife Angie’s hand.  A private family funeral mass will be celebrated on Monday, January 18th at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City.  The mass will be livestreamed at www.lerudschuldt Monday starting at 10:30 AM.  Public visitation will be held on Sunday, January 17th from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Valley City.  Because of COVID-19, ND Department of Health guidelines will be followed, social distancing will be encouraged and masks must be worn.  A prayer service will be held at 7:00 PM Sunday evening at the church.  Interment will be in St. Catherine’s Catholic Cemetery in the spring.


Born April 26, 1951 in Ellendale, ND, Denis grew up in Berlin, ND with his parents, Blaine and Audrey, three brothers (Alan, Gary, Kevin), and two sisters (Beverly, Karen). Always ready to help out, he was a dependable big brother. He graduated from Edgeley High School in 1969.


Denis married Kathy Mildenberger in 1969 and the couple moved to Valley City, ND where they raised their six children, Jon, Sarah, Justin, Josh, Sue, and Jo.


He graduated from Valley City State College in 1973, launching his life-long journey as an educator. After teaching in Fingal, ND for a year, he began teaching at Valley City High School where he would teach hundreds of students Chemistry and Advanced Biology during his 30+ years as an educator, subbing after his retirement. Known for his no-nonsense attitude and rigor, Denis gave his all to his students, including bringing in deer for his classes to dissect. He coached football, was a regular announcer for the wrestling team, and, along with Dennis Friestad, coached the high school Science Olympiad team, taking several groups to the National Tournament.


In 1999 he married Angie (Bakkegard) in Valley City, ND and the two embraced each others children as their own.


He spent his summers playing softball, making several trips to the McQuade Tournament. Along with Bill Jansen and John Reed, (and any number of their children) he painted most of Valley City (and all of his children’s homes!), a task that frequently included death-defying balancing acts on “scaffolding” that would fit in better in a circus than most job sites.


Denis loved being outdoors and filled his falls hunting with his father, brothers, sons, countless friends, and grandsons. He spent hours feeding and watching the deer in his backyard, patiently taking many tiny helpers up the hill to scatter corn and sunflower seeds.


Known throughout the family as The Baby Whisperer, if there was a baby anywhere in the vicinity, Denis would soon have it in his arms. His eyes sparkled at each shrill call of “Pappa D!” and he’d spend hours playing games, rocking babies, pushing bikes, and answering chemistry questions. He adored his grandchildren and they adored him.


Denis was a listener and always made you feel like you were all that mattered in that moment. He was quick with a smile, emphatic with his hugs, and took care of everyone in his life right up to the very end.


Denis is survived by his wife of 22 years, Angie Horsager; his mother, Audrey Horsager, Edgeley, ND; six children: Jonathan (Wendy) Horsager, Augusta, GA; Sarah (Jeff) Neighbors, Hersey, PA; Justin (Sherri) Horsager, Valley City, ND; Josh Horsager, Tacoma, WA; Suzanne (Dan) Staver, Grand Forks, ND; Joanna (Dan Coleman) Horsager, West Fargo, ND; five step-children: Kristopher (Nicole) Bakkegard, Fargo, ND; Chaundra (Kendall) Railing, Fargo, ND; Rhonda (Jamey) Stephenson, Fargo, ND; Darcy (Jeff) Andersen, Fargo, ND; Andrew (Ashley) Bakkegard, West Fargo, ND; 29 grandchildren; brothers Gary (Sandi) Horsager, Edgeley, ND; Kevin (Sharon) Horsager, Reile’s Acres, ND; sisters Beverly Petska, Camp Verde, AZ; and Karen Savageau, Tempe, AZ.


He was preceded in death by his father, Blaine Horsager; brother, Alan Horsager;  brother-in-law, Rusty Savageau, and grandson, Jordan Denis Horsager.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent to the AO1 Outdoor Ministry (; Outdoor Ministry), EDUCATION FUND, LUNG CANCER RESEARCH FUND.