Nellie (Lee) Bjelde, 97, was born in rural Aneta, ND to Norwegian immigrant parents, John G. and Ingeborg (Kvale) Lee. She died on Monday, March 14 in Essentia Health after a short illness. She moved to Evergreen Assisted Living, Fargo in January, but previously had lived on her own at River Square Apartments, Fargo. Nellie was raised in a family with six other siblings and three half-brothers. She attended country school in Griggs County.
Nellie farmed with her brother, Adolph, until she was 28, and then moved to Fargo. She married Melvin Bjelde, October 1948, in Moorhead. She did housework in private homes for over 40 years. She resided in Fargo most of her adult life, except for four years in Hastings, Nebraska, 1952-1956.
Nellie enjoyed horseback riding and trapping when she was young. When she was older she enjoyed bingo at the Fargo Senior Center, coloring (long before it became a popular adult activity), rock collecting, and traveling out west to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the Black Hills. She was thrilled to witness the re-introduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Her greatest passion in life was canning pickles and jellies. Many people enjoyed the benefits of her canning. She entered her first Red River Valley Fair competition for canned goods at age 95, earning four blue ribbons. She continued to enter her canned goods into the RRVF competition the last two years as well, receiving more blue ribbons. She was a long-time member of Olivet Lutheran Church, Fargo. Nellie was a loving and caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, and will be greatly missed.
Nellie is survived by her daughters, Kristine Bjelde (Gary Laber), Fargo, and Nancy (Richard) Stengl, Angus, MN; two grandchildren: Andrea Stengl Corcoran (Anthony Corcoran), Fargo, and Robert (Shanna) Stengl, Locust Grove, GA; four great grandchildren: Liam and Keira Corcoran, Seth and Reed Stengl; and seven nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and all nine siblings.
Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m., followed by the funeral at 2 p.m., Friday, March 18, 2016 at Olivet Lutheran Church in Fargo. Burial will be in Norway Lutheran Church Cemetery near McVille, ND at a later date. Memorials are preferred to the Yellowstone Park Foundation (www.ypf.org), and Olivet Lutheran Church. Arrangements by Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo.