Remembering Marijo Shide

May 30, 2017

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Marijo Shide, GFWC International Past President from 1980-1982, on Monday, May 22, 2017.

Born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Marijo managed her father’s grain-testing laboratory until she married Don Shide, a lawmaker and farmer. The couple settled in Larimore, ND and community improvement became the focus Marijo’s active volunteer career — a career that culminated in becoming GFWC’s 33rd International President.

President Shide assumed office during a turbulent time in America’s history and at a point when volunteers were greatly undervalued. However, she was among the first to answer President Reagan’s call for a “rejuvenation of the volunteer spirit” and her term included many impressive accomplishments. From launching a marketing campaign to promote Federation, to oversight of the first GFWC Distinguished Volunteer Awards, to the creation of a national crime prevention program, President Shide’s administration not only achieved its many goals but made a lasting impact on our organization. As remarked by GFWC International President Sheila Shea, Marijo fulfilled her life-long belief that “Volunteer service is the rent we pay for the privileges we enjoy.”

During her term, President Shide traveled extensively in order to visit GFWC international affiliates, to attend the eighth International Congress of Women in Germany, and to participate in the 6oth anniversary of the National Federation of Woman’s Clubs of the Philippines. When asked about meeting clubwomen from such different cultures President Shide stated, “They spoke different languages, had different levels of education, lived in different economic circumstance, but the interesting thing was that the women were the same…these were givers, not takers. It was an awe-inspiring adventure. And to meet people who are in service to others and to be part of it—I guess I enjoyed everywhere I was and was happy to be there.”

At the conclusion of her administration, Marijo returned to Larimore but she did not stop volunteering with either her local club or the many other organizations she supported. President Shide went on to serve six-years on the State Board of Higher Education, to receive the U.S. Air Force Distinguished Public Service Award in 2009, and to accept the Henry Havig Award for Community Service — the highest recognition given to her community’s civic society leaders.


A memorial service will be held in honor of President Shide at 4:30 p.m on Thursday, June 1. at Parkwood Place in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 3 at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Larimore, ND.

Visitation will be held Friday, June 2 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. rosary held in the Bakke Funeral Home of Larimore. Visitation will also be held for one hour prior to the funeral mass in the church on Saturday.

Please send condolences to:
The Bremer Wealth Management
Attention: Carol Svendson (Marijo Shide)
3100 South Columbia Rd
PO Box 13118
Grand Forks, ND 58201-3118



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