It was a life well-lived. After 98 vibrant years, Mabel Norgard died on June 8, 2017.
Mabel was born October 26, 1918 on a farm south of Arnegard, ND. She recites stories of close family living quarters, community dances, a one room school house and church as the pinnacles of her upbringing. Neighboring farmer Andrew Norgard always piqued her interest. When his mother passed away, Mabel helped with cooking during harvest. They were married in March 1940 and she continued cooking for him for next 63 years. They lived south of Arnegard until Andrew died in 2003.
Mabel modeled unconditional love for her family. Her children and their families spent weekends at the farm regularly. Watching her family grow was a source of pride and joy.
She developed close relationships with each of her grandchildren, in part because she engaged them in pinochle marathons, starting as young as 4 years old. All the grand-children’s significant others were required to learn to play pinochle before they could meet Mabel.
Baking for family and friends was a big part of Mabel’s life. In the early years, she sold cream and eggs to supplement the farm income. She was sought after for her wedding cakes for many years. Mabel’s caramel rolls, lefse, cookies and rhubarb-strawberry jam were in high demand. She always wanted to have something to “treat” people with, baking regularly until age 96.
Mabel was active in the community. She was an ever-present fixture at school functions, her church, Ladies Aid, Homemakers, political functions, the Good Shepherd Home board, and was a regular organizer of pledge drives and fundraisers. Mabel regularly sought to better the community around her and enjoyed any excuse to get together with friends.
Mabel had an effervescent personality that had a lasting effect on those she touched. She made friends of all ages everywhere she went. She was energized by engaging w people. She thoroughly enjoyed 10 years at The Horizon in Watford City, followed by the last 4 years in Fargo, where she enjoyed spending so much time with her family.
She will be greatly missed by her children Lowaine Lee, Missoula; Lucy (Charlie) Rotzien, Grand Forks; Jim (Carol) Norgard, Fargo; grandchildren Mike (Pauline) Norgard, Fergus Falls; CIndy (Nick)Tortorelli, Portland OR; Erik (Brandi) Lee, Missoula; Tami Norgard, Fargo; and Craig Rotzien, Grand Forks; and great-grandchildren Mikaela, Anna, Emma and Luke Norgard; Nikki and Zack Lee; Avery, Sebastien and Piper Zasada; and Gabby and Bodie Tortorelli. Mabel was preceded in death by her loving husband Andrew and her parents Harry and Josie Anderson.