Pelican area friends from across decades have showered the
couple with well-wishes after summer wedding in lakes area
By Louis Hoglund
Something was missing at the annual, July 4th weekend family shuffleboard tournament.
Most of the extended Siegle family was there — but not Judy Siegle.
She had a valid excuse for missing the family tourney in the Pelican area lake country. She was on her honeymoon; out west in Medora, North Dakota.
“I had a pretty valid reason for missing the tournament,” laughed Judy, who was married July 3 at the Barn at Dunvilla. Plus, she chuckled, “it reduced the competition,” at the family’s 35th annual tourney.
The wedding of Judy Siegle and Dean Aamodt was for the most part a family gathering, in the era of COVID-19.
“We knew it was not going to be a big wedding, but family is very important to us…and this was a chance for us to introduce people who have been important in our lives,” said Judy, who spoke with the Press from the couple’s home in Fargo.
Things are going great for the couple. “We have yet to see a marriage counselor, so its going fabulous,” said Dean
Aamodt with a laugh. “Really, we couldn’t be happier…we’re thrilled that God put us in this position.”
Despite the smaller scale due to the pandemic, there were nearly 60 gathered in Dunvilla. Many Pelican Rapids area friends were overjoyed with the news. The late Al Siegle, Judy’s father, was a beloved figure as longtime educator, coach an athletic director in Pelican. Al, wife and mother Faye, and the Siegle kids have been an integral part of the Pelican community since the 1960s
It was brother Tim who presented the bride; while sister Susan (Siegle) Richards was Matron of Honor.
Seven great nieces and nephews were honorary flower children and ring bearers.
Relative Dave Christensen, a Lutheran minister in North Dakota, officiated at the ceremony.
Judy and Dean rekindled a romance that dates back nearly 40 years.
The marriage is a heartwarming story for the untold number of people the couple has connected with over the decades.
Judy, a Pelican Rapids graduate, is a motivational speaker and visible figure as director of womens ministry at Hope Lutheran, a large, three-campus ministry serving upwards of 10,000 parishioners.
As a career teacher, Dean has impacted hundreds of young lives—retiring last year from the Wahpeton school district.
“God is leading us in our relationship,” said Judy.
The couple were dating 40 years ago, when Judy was paralyzed as a result of a car accident—when a drunk driver struck the car Dean and Judy were in. They broke up some time later.
Pelican classmates and friends of the Siegle family followed Judy’s recovery and remarkable journey across the decades. A determined and faith-driven individual, Judy became a world-class para-athlete—competing across the globe. In addition to her motivational speaking, she became a public figure with the international organization that distributes wheelchairs across the globe.
Groom Dean gained his own notoriety, as a dedicated educator—who was named “North Dakota Teacher of the Year” in 2015. Interestingly, Dean found himself in the “national spotlight,” when he competed on the “Wheel of Fortune” television game show.
The couple is making their home at the Edgewood Vista Senior Living complex in Fargo.
Perfect for both of them, noted Judy. With her committment to health and exercise, Judy especially appreciates the a full fitness center.
Both Dean and Judy embarked on “different journeys…but God brought us together,” said Judy, who described their relationship as a miracle.
“We each have our little quirks, ut we’re working though them—just like anybody,” said Dean. In addition to his years in Wahpeton, he also taught for 20 years in Southern California, and also a dozen years in Pelican Rapids—so Dean is no stranger to the lakes area.
The pair plan to enjoy the outdoors—and indoors, cribbage. “She’s a tough competitor—but she has let me win a few times,” laughed Dean.
For Pelican area friends, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to greet both Judy and Dean. With mom Faye enjoying retirement in Pelican Rapids; Tim Siegle a seasonal property owner; and sister Susan a frequent visitor; they all maintain strong ties to the greater Pelican area.
And, they all have fond memories of their hometown.
“Pelican was such an awesome place to grow up,” said Judy. “The support of the community continues to this day. We had so many greetings, cards and well wishes from the Pelican area after the wedding….it was overwhelming.”