Notable Germans from Russia in North America

Updated: 22 April 2018

Monsignor George Aberle (deceased), Hague, ND, author, writer

Phillip Anschutz, native of Russell, KS, businessman and entrepreneur

Dr. Armand Bauer (deceased), soil scientist, translator, editor of Heritage Review

Glen Lee Beck, talk show host and producer, his Kost grandmother has ancestry to Works, Beresan District, South Russia

Gordon Bietz, former president of Southern Adventist University, ancestry to Alt-Posttal, Bessarabia

President Gordon Bietz Announces Plan to Retire in 2016
Craig Bohl, native of Lincoln, NE, head football coach, University of Wyoming

Thomas Daschle, native of Aberdeen, SD, U.S. Senator from South Dakota (1987-2005), served as both Majority and Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate, ancestry to the village of Kleinliebental, Liebental District, South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine)
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress - Thomas Andrew Daschle
John Denver (deceased, 1943-1997) Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., singer, songwriter

Angie Dickinson, native of Kulm, ND, actress

Steven Dietz, native of Denver, CO, University of Texas, playwright

Mike Dosch (desceased), Strasburg, ND, accordionist and organist, KFYR Television, Bismarck, ND, 1950s-1960s

Weston Dressler, Bismarck, ND, professional football player, plays for Winnipeg Blue Bomber (CFL), Saskatchewan Roughriders (CFL), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL)

Arthur E. Flegel (deceased, 1917-2018), Menlo Park, CA, businessman, genealogist

Merle Freitag, native of Mitchell, SD, United States Army, Lieutenant General (3-star), distinguished alumnus of South Dakota State University

Viola Frey, native of Lodi, CA, artist, ancestral villages of Kassel and Neudorf, Glueckstal District, South Russia
Charles Gemar, native of Scotland, SD, Lieutenant Colonel, NASA astronaut with three shuttle missions

Dr. Adam Giesinger (deceased), native of Holdfast, SK, author, historian

Ashley Graham, model, Henderson, Nebraska, Mennonite German heritage

LeRoy Hehr, native of Logan County, ND, opera singer

Dr. Joseph S. Height (deceased), native of Tramping Lake, SK, author, historian

Josh Heupel, Aberdeen, SD, quarterback football player at Oklahoma, NFL football player, now head football coach at the University of Central Florida, ancestry to Glueckstal District colonies

Richard J. Hieb, astronaut

John Leonard Hopp, Jr., (deceased), native of Hastings, NE, baseball player in the 1940s and 1950s

Chris Isaak, native of Stockton, CA, rock singer

Alvin J. "Al" Jaeger, native of Beulah, ND, Secretary of State of North Dakota (1993 to date)

Rhoda Janzen, Harvey, ND native, grew up in Mennonite German family, writer, author

Bruce Kison, native of Pasco, WA, Major League Baseball pitcher: Pittsburgh Pirates (1971-1979), California Angels (1980-1984), Boston Red Sox (1985)

Johnny Klein, Jr., (deceased), native of Strasburg, ND, drummer on the Lawrence Welk Show for 25 years

Dr. Timothy J. Kloberdanz, native of Sterling, CO, anthropologist, author and writer

JoEllen Koerner, native of Freeman, SD, nursing and patient care
Legacy of Achievement: Hall of Fame Inductee JoEllen Koerner
Cheryl Ladd (Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor), native of Huron, SD, actress, singer, author

Bernd G Längin (deceased), journalist, author

Debra Marquart Iowa State University, native of Napoleon, ND, author, poet, musician, appears in award-winning Prairie Public documentary, “Its All Earth and Sky”
Ben Meier (1918-1995), native of Napoleon, ND, Secretary of State of North Dakota (1995-1988)

Randy Meisner, native of Scottsbluff, NE, musician, singer, songwriter and former band member of the Eagles

Joe (Smokey) Mendel (deceased), native of Hutchinson County, SD, minister, teacher, athlete
Joe (Smokey) Mendel: Champion of Excellence
Reuben F. Mettler, (deceased), born in Shafter, CA, with roots to Menno, SD rocket pioneer and CEO of the aerospace firm TRW, ancestry to the colony of Kassel, Glueckstal District

Michael M. Miller, bibliographer, writer, executive producer of documentaries
Michael M. Miller Biography
Kara Mund, native of Bismarck, ND, Miss America (2017)

Allan Neuharth (deceased, 1924-2013), Eureka, SD, journalist, founder of USA Today, appears in the award-winning Praiire Public documentary, “Its All Earth and Sky”

Leona Wasinger Pfeifer (desceased, 1929-2019), Hays, KS, German Language Professor at Fort Hays State University, folklorist, writer

Gwen Black Pritzkau (deceased), native of Salt Lake City, UT, genealogist

Joey Schmidt, native of Napoleon, ND, musician, former member of Alan Jackson Band, performed on Lawrence Welk Show

Brian Schweitzer, former Governor of Montana (2005-2013), appears in award-winning Prairie Public documentary, “Its All Earth and Sky”

Harold Serr, native of Tyndall, Bon Homme County, South Dakota, was a longtime employee in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, becoming head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in 1964. In 1921, he was one of a group of young men from southeastern South Dakota who traveled to Europe by ship to care for more than 700 milk cows that had been donated to the German people by South Dakota farmers.

Rev. William C. Sherman, Grand Forks, ND, sociologist, author and writer

Rebecca Staab, actress, born in Hays, Kansas, grew up at Omaha, Nebraska

Armin Mueller-Stahl, actor, first in East Germany, then in West Germany and later in USA

Miriam Toews, grew up at Steinbach, MB, writer, novelist

Jonathan Toews, NHL professional hockey player, Chicago Black Hawks, native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, played at University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, Mennonite German heritage

James Unruh, Jamestown, ND College graduate, former President of Unisys Corporation, businessman

Brian Urlacher, native of Pasco, WA, former Chicago Bears football player

Charles F. Wald, native of Minot, ND, General in U.S. Air Force, former deputy commander of the U.S. European Command Headquarters, Honorary Doctorate, NDSU

Brad Wall, Swift Current, Saskatchewan, former 14th Premiere of Saskatchewan (2007-2018)

Lawrence Welk (deceased, 1903-1992), native of Strasburg, ND, musician, accordionist, bandleader and television personality
The Lawrence Welk Collection
Carson Wentz, Bismarck, ND, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. The ancestry of Carson Wentz relates to the Black Sea German village of Worms, Beresan District, South Russia.

Hayley Wickenheiser, first-time member of the Canada Women's Ice Hockey Olympic Hockey team, captain
Hayley Wickenheiser - One Hundred Percent German-Russian!
Rudy Wiebe, native of Fairholme, SK, Canadian author and winner of the Governor’s General Award, has Mennonite German heritage
Historica Canada: Rudy Wiebe
Ted C. Wills, mayor of Fresno, California from 1969-1977

Harvey Wollman, native of Frankfort, SD, 26th Governor of South Dakota
Trail of Governors: Governor Harvey Lowell Wollman (1978-1979), Lieutenant Governor (1975-1978)
Roger Wollman, native of Frankfort, SD, Justice on the South Dakota Supreme Court, and Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals of the Eighth Circuit.

Related Links:

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller