Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Nita McKelvey

Nita Jean was the first of 3 children born to Glenn & Ducey (Alpha) Randle. She was born on a hot August 4th day in Mayville, ND, in 1942. A sister arrived 18 months later, and a brother 2 years after. They lived in Mayville for five years before moving to Devils Lake. Two years later, their family of five moved to Ft. Totten where Ducey began teaching for the government school for the next 20 or so years. Nita attended grade school in Devils Lake & Ft. Totten and high school in Sheyenne.

In her first marriage, she lived in Fargo and Fresno, CA, where 2 daughters were born. Two years later they took their single engine airplane to Fairbanks, AK. They returned to ND and had a son. Things were not looking well in their marriage and a divorce became final. Shortly after Nita then attended college at Lake Region Junior College and then moved to Grand Forks where she attended Aakers Business College, enrolling as a medical secretary. She worked at UND School of Medicine – Anatomy Department.

She met and married Johnnie (Bud) McKelvey, a dairy farmer from Warwick, on February 16, 1973. A new life began for them by joining families. There was gardening to do, insemination classes to attend, a baby girl born too early, and 1 ½ years later, a healthy baby girl was born. She also learned how to milk cows, combine grain, feed an army (the family) and later in life worked at The Fashion Boutique in Devils Lake. They recently celebrated 50 years of marriage with a small surprise party held at their farm.

Having been brought up on the reservation, she understood the many sorrows and heartaches some of the natives endured, some because they were good friends with Bud and Nita. God provided many opportunities to listen and to share their love of Jesus with them.

Nita attended New Life Fellowship for 30 plus years until poor health kept her from attending. She held Bible studies in Leeds, held revivals in their home, and various opportunities to share the love of Christ Jesus.

She died of kidney failure directly related to a 40-year history of diabetes & heart problems. She passed into the loving arms of her Savior Jesus Christ, while on the farm, on May 24, 2023, under the care of her daughters, a granddaughter Becca, and Hospice of the Red River Valley.

Survivors include husband, Johnnie (Bud); children, Cleasa (Marty) Anderson, Oriska; Melanie D. McKelvey, rural Tolna; Todd Nelson, Devils Lake; Melanie L. (Michael) Carter, Devils Lake; Tanya (Jonathan) Schoessow, Fargo; brother, Chuck (Joan) Randle, Pequot Lakes, MN; sisters-in-law, Audrey Gjestvang, Bismarck, ND & Ruth McKelvey, Underwood, ND, brother-in-law Dayton (Kay) McKelvey, Devils Lake, ND; 18 grandchildren; 28 great grandchildren and an aunt, Ava Wadholm, Sylmar, CA.

Preceding her in death by her parents; son, Chet; daughter, Teri Ann; sister, Karen Marsaa; brothers-in-law, Verle Marsaa, Harlan McKelvey and Arnold Gjestvang and three grandchildren.


Nita Visitation will be Wednesday, May 31, 2023 from 5:00PM – 7:00PM followed by a Prayer Service 7:00PM all at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford.

A Funeral Service will be held Thursday, June 1, 2023 at 11:00AM at New Life Fellowship, rural Hamar, ND.

Her Burial will be at the Warwick Cemetery, Warwick, ND.

Posted Condolences:


  1. Many prayers to the LaCroix girls and family on the loss of their Gramma. I have fond memories of riding horses on the McKelvey’s farm with Uncle Joey and Aunt Melanie many years ago. Rest peacefully Mrs. McKelvey.

  2. my sincere condolences to Bud and all of the family.

  3. So sorry to hear this. She was a beautiful lady.
    Hugs to her family.

  4. Nita Jean as I knew in several years together in high school was a very dear and close friend. She and her beautiful family were instrumental in my coming to know Jesus Christ as my savior. I loved her and look forward to a great reunion when I get HOME.

  5. Sending healing thoughts and loving prayers for the McKelvey family. Nita was an amazing lady & she will be dearly missed. Cherish the precious memories & hold each other tight. (((hugs)))

  6. Nita was my second mom growing up. She was a one of a kind lady. She provided me spiritual and emotional guidance through the loss of my son and I will forever be thankful for her. Rest in peace Nita! Prayers for peace for the family.

  7. We enjoyed having Bible studies at Bud and Nita’s a couple of winters plus getting to know all the kids when we were with the Bible camp. She always had a beautiful smile and a deep love for the Lord. Truly a special lady!

  8. Our deepest condolences in your loss. Nita Jean was so giving and helpful during Mae’s illness and funeral. We are so sorry to hear of her passing.
    David and Dolly Wadholm

  9. Praying for the family especially for the grandchildren who loved her so much. May the Lord bless you and comfort you as you grieve the loss of your precious Grandma. May He draw close to You and remind you that He is always with you. Very sorry for your loss.

  10. We are so sorry for your loss. God bless all of you.

  11. My family moved to the Tolna area and were welcomed by Nita and Bud when we came to New Life Fellowship. Nita made me feel instantly welcome and always had that sparkling smile, even when going through hard times. Her love for Jesus, her family and for us was inspiring and showed that Jesus is bigger than any problem! I’m so glad we will be together before Jesus’ throne soon!

  12. So sorry to hear of Nita’s passing but happy she is in the arms of her savior Jesus Christ! We always liked praying for her when we were at New Life Fellowship! She always came for prayer for herself but mostly for her family! I know she will be missed!

  13. My condolences to the family. She was such a pillar for Christ and the community. Wow, and the patience she had with us as teens. You know she had to be talking with God. ❤️


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