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Ray and Gena Flick1

Husband's Full Name:  Ray Sylvester Flick

Husband's Place of Birth:  Red Willow Lake, ND

Husband's Father's Name: Sylvester Flick

Husband's Mother's Name: Martha Lyon Wylie

Husband's Siblings' Names: Walter, Blanche Jones, Roy and Edward

Wife's Full Name:  Gena Mathilda Melby Flick

Wife's Place of Birth:  Manfred Township, ND

Wife's Father's Name:  Kristen Melby Rogne (C. C. Melby)

Wife's Mother's Name:  Anna Olsdotter Stokkebryn Melby

Wife's Siblings' Names:  Clarence, Clara Shearer, Anna Cook

Children's Names:  Clayton, Margerette, Marian Nicholson, Edgar, Roger

Ray, Gena, and children.jpg

Roger, Marion, Edgar Allen,

Gena, Ray Flick


Five children were born to Gena and Ray at their homestead north of Malta, Montana: Clayton 1921, Margarette 1923, Marion 1926, Edgar 1928, and Roger 1930. Two of the children, Clayton and Margarette, died when they were young. Clayton passed away November 14, 1935 at the age of 14 from pneumonia. He rests in the Vang Cemetery Manfred, ND.  Margarette born January 6, 1923, passed away October 18, 1923 of spinal meningitis. Because of this contagious disease, her remains could not be moved to the family plot at Manfred, ND so she rests at Malta.


Ray and Gena’s farm was located 50 miles north of Malta, Montana and 6 miles south of the Canadian border. Despite living 50 miles from town during the depression, they were always well fed because of Ray’s wonderful gardening and Gena’s cooking abilities.  They farmed their land, and also farmed Emma Nordtorp’s quarter each year for her. 


At night, the children slept on a rollaway bed that served as a couch during the day. Their daughter Marion recalls her mother sitting nearby in the rocking chair knitting or crocheting by kerosene light.  Until they fell asleep each night, a favorite activity for Marion was asking her mother to teach them Norwegian. They would ask her things like “How do you say ‘lamp’ in Norwegian? How do you say…” and on, naming items in the room.  Gena would also play them tunes on the piano such as “Springtime in the Rockies.” During Ray’s bi-yearly trips to Malta, he would buy sheet music to bring home. He also bought an accordion and taught himself how to play. 


Gena’s father had died in 1930, and her mother and two sisters were all living in California so no family was left in ND. In the fall of 1935, Ray and Gena decided to sell their farm in Montana and move back to ND to carry on with her parent’s homestead. It was in the middle of this move, that Clayton suddenly took ill and died. That winter the family lived in the apartments above the C.C. Melby Store, and the next year moved to the family farm to begin farming.


Gena was a gentle soul, wonderful sewer, hard worker, pianist, and a good cook. Ray was a good violin player and was full of good nature. The children have fond memories of their parents, and their house filled with music. Ray and Oscar Melby who was Gena’s cousin enjoyed playing their violins together. Their daughter Marion recalls enjoyable evenings either at their home or over at the Oscar Melby home hearing music such as the waltz, polka, and schottische.  A favorite tune was “Life In the Finish Woods” fondly known as Oscar’s Waltz.  Following a short illness, Gena died August 19, 1950. Ray passed away on December 5, 1962. They are buried at Vang Cemetery.

Source:  New Manfred News – August 2005

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