Moorhead Dairy Queen Man Made Life Sweeter For Others - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Moorhead Dairy Queen Man Made Life Sweeter For Others

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A part of thousands of childhood memories, Robert Litherland, also known as "Bob" and better known as the Dairy Queen man of Moorhead, always had an ice cream treat waiting for so many lining up at the DQ window. Bob was well respected and loved by friends and family.

"I would describe him as a little bit of a jokester or a prankster."

That's how Teri Thorsen describes her father, the man who loved to make people smile.

"If there was an attractive young woman at the middle window and an attractive young male at one of the far window he would throw ice or peanuts out the window so the pretty girl would look at the attractive young man and he would try to get conversation going that way," says Teri.

Quite the charming matchmaker, Bob Litherland was the store owner of this Dairy Queen on 8th Street South in Moorhead back in 1949, one of the oldest Dairy Queens in the country. When Bob and his wife Phyllis sold the business in the 90's. It was his dream that it remain un-franchised and beloved for its hometown feel.

"They just knew that he wanted to keep the prices down for families," says Phyllis sitting in her living room.

Sixteen years later it still is. The famous Dilly Bar also remains a favorite to the young and old.

"He helped a couple of men from someplace in Minnesota who were trying to market this idea and I think mom he said, "this is a dilly." I can remember him saying that."

Heavy-hearted, his wife Phyllis has her own treasured memories.

"I loved him and we worked well together.

Love birds at home and business partners at work, Bob and Phyllis were by each others side 24 hours of the day.

"Not too many people can do that and still like each other," chuckles Phyllis.

Leaving behind an unforgettable legacy.

"Small contributions you know some people build sky scrapers and some people make people happy one person at a time," says Teri.

Bob passed away from conjunctive heart failure Monday. He was 91 years old. 

A public memorial service for Bob will be held Thursday from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. at Korsmo funeral chapel in Moorhead. The funeral will be held on Friday at the First Congregational Church on 8th Street South in Moorhead at 2:30 p.m. 


A man who ran a summer hot spot for years and is credited with inventing Dairy Queen's Dilly Bar right here in the Red River Valley, has died.

Bob Litherland passed away on Monday. Korsmo Funeral Home is meeting with the family Tuesday afternoon. A funeral time has not yet been set.

Moorhead Mayor-elect Del Rae Williams honored Litherland, who is her neighbor, on Facebook Tuesday morning. The post reads: "The flags in my neighborhood are flying half-mast in memory of Bob Litherland, our neighbor and longtime owner of the downtown Moorhead Dairy Queen. Bob was particularly proud of having invented the Dilly Bar. "That's a dilly of a bar". RIP, Mr. Litherland."

Litherland's Dilly Bars hit the market in 1955. The Moorhead Dairy Queen that he ran is an iconic one in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Located at 24 8th Street, it is well-known for it's seasonal openings and friendly owners.

It is one of the oldest Dairy Queens in the country, serving ice cream since 1949.  The walk-thru ice cream shop closes on Halloween every year and reopens the first of March.

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