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William Delmore 1948-2024 Wednesday, June 5, 2024

William (Bill) Delmore, a Yale-educated environmental lawyer, top-shelf basketball player, renowned psychic and avid outdoorsman, died on May 30 in Minnesota, while doing what he loved, fishing with his son Shane.

A life-long champion of the environment, Bill worked for three decades in North Dakota environmental enforcement. Throughout his career, he represented many clients in the interests of justice and fairness. Bill served as Chief Judge of the Standing Rock Reservation, Asst. District Attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency of North Dakota, Bismarck City Commissioner, Burleigh County Commissioner and as a partner at the Kelsch law firm and later at his own firm.

He represented his close friend, Jim Laducer, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, on the purchase of Apple Creek Country Club and in the founding of Turtle Mountain State Bank, the first and only privately owned Native American bank on tribal lands. Most recently, in November 2023, he proudly represented the Friends of Rail Bridge nonprofit before the North Dakota Supreme Court to save the Bismarck-Mandan rail bridge.

Bill had an intuitive gift that allowed him to see and sense patterns that most of us are unable to see. In the early 1970s, a substantial research effort was undertaken at J. B. Rhine's Institute for Parapsychology to study his reputed psychic abilities. According to a published report at the time, this effort yielded "perhaps the most dramatic psi results to be produced by a single subject in the last twenty years." He was studied again by the same investigators in 2022, now at the University of Virginia, and in a soon-to-be published report, they wrote "it is remarkable that participant BD was able to perform well at a novel psi task at a later stage in his life, approximately 50 years after [the earlier tests]."

After learning of his death, Ed Kelly, Ph.D., Dept. of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at UVA School of Medicine, wrote the following: "I was the lead investigator for almost all of the published scientific work with Bill Delmore, and in light of that experience I can state without reservation that his reputed psychic abilities were genuine. He altered the course of my own life, in fact, by convincing me that these phenomena really do exist as facts of nature (whether we like that or not), and that our science-based picture of the world must find a way of accommodating them. I am profoundly grateful for the time we spent together."

Bill believed these abilities exist in all of us and carry on after death. So it goes.

A standout basketball player for the St. Mary's Saints in Bismarck, Bill claimed all his life that he was a 'Saint' and that his wife Stephanie (Lundberg), a graduate of Bismarck High's Demons, was a 'Demon.' For those that knew them both, the irony was self-evident. They were married for 43 years and both have contributed much in their own way to the Bismarck community. 

He was born in Yankton, South Dakota on October 22, 1948, and spent his earliest years on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Bill reconnected with his Sioux ancestry later in life. 

With perhaps a premonition of his upcoming death, Bill recently completed many items on his list, including undergoing the psychic tests at UVA, rounding up the usual suspects from Yale for a dinner in DC, visiting his son and family in Pittsburgh and taking the fishing trip with Shane.

Bill was known to his kids and many closest to him simply as 'Chunk.' Chunk is survived by his wife Stephanie and his sons Bill (and Cate) Axtman of Pittsburgh and Shane (and Erin) Delmore of Boston, and six grandchildren, Charlie, Ali, Kristen, Grayson, Teague and Estella. He is preceded in death by his remarkable son Cole Delmore.

This larger-than-life storyteller, trivia master, movie lover and one-of-kind bar mate will be deeply missed by his family and his many friends. A celebration of Bill's life will be held at Sleepy Hollow Theater and Arts Park in Bismarck on Saturday, June 15th at 2pm.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to North Dakota MathCounts in Bill's honor.