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Bob Lind, Published June 16 2012

Lind: Large family makes mark in military, sports

If you were going to get the whole Bodine family together for Father’s Day today, you’d maybe have to rent the Fargodome to get them all in.

The late Frank Bodine and his wife, Elizabeth, of Velva, N.D., had 18 children, 14 of whom are still living. And there are 99 grandchildren.

The family has stories galore. Many of them relate to the military.

There is, for instance, Francis, one of Frank and Elizabeth’s children.

Francis, now 92, who with his wife, Virginia lives in Bloomington, Minn., was a bomber pilot during World War II and participated in the D-Day invasion. His succeeding generations have made serving in the military a proud part of the Bodine family history: Nine of his children were in the service. And his grandchildren are continuing the tradition.

Take the three sons of Francis’ son William “Bill” Bodine, Velva, for example. All are Air Force pilots.

Doug Bodine is a retired major who flew numerous missions in a

B-1 in Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He now flies corporate flights out of Rapid City, S.D.

Lt. Col. Ron Bodine is a B-2 squadron commander at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and was deployed several months in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Capt. Dan Bodine flew many missions in a KC-135 out of Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan and is flying drones out of Beale Air Force Base, Calif.

All three were in the Air Force ROTC program at Montana State University, Bozeman.

Many others in the extended Bodine family have or are serving in the military.

But there’s another area in which the Bodines have made their mark: sports.

Playing the all-stars

This goes back to when the Bodine boys had a baseball team that was coached by their dad Frank and which twice, in 1956 and 1961, played teams of area all-stars.

Two of those boys, Bill and Jerry, were on the Minot (N.D.) State University baseball team that played in the national tournament in 1961 and is in the Minot State Hall of Fame.

Two of Frank’s grandsons – the sons of Francis – are in the Minot State University Athletic Hall of Fame: Bob, who played football, baseball and basketball there from 1956 to 1961 and Jerry, a football and baseball player there from 1958 to 1962.

Another of Frank’s grandsons, John M. Bodine – son of John I. Bodine – Geneva, Ill., was an All-American in track and field for North Dakota State University, was an academic All-American there, was awarded the first annual Distinguished Alumni Award from the NDSU College of Business and is in the NDSU Hall of Fame.

Yes, there are many dads in the Bodine family who have much to celebrate today.

Happy Dad’s Day to all of them and to all you other dads out there, too.


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