MYRTLE JOSEPHINE (OTTERNESS) NORD
July 27, 1915—January 21, 2014
Myrtle Josephine (Otterness) Nord was born July 27, 1915, in Leon Township, Goodhue County, Minnesota, to Benjamin and Randi (Ramstad) Otterness. She was baptized and confirmed at Urland Lutheran Church, attended country school in Wastedo and in Cannon Falls. She worked for a Norwegian farm couple in Roscoe Township, Goodhue County where she met her future husband, Oscar Nord, when he came to do the threshing on the farm. Myrtle and Oscar were married in the “Little Brown Church,” in Iowa, on November 21, 1936. After marriage, they lived in Lynxville, Wisconsin, where Oscar was employed to help build the lock and dam on the Mississippi River. Later, they traveled to different places in Minnesota and near the Canadian border where Oscar worked on heavy construction, building roads. In 1944, Myrtle and Oscar began farming east of Northfield where they first rented and then purchased and operated their own farm of 200 acres. Later, before they sold the farm, Myrtle began working part time at the Northfield City Hospital. When they moved to Northfield, Myrtle also worked for many years in the food service at St Olaf. Oscar passed away in November, 1976, but Myrtle continued working and even put the addition onto the back of her house that she and Oscar had discussed earlier. Following her retirement from St. Olaf College, Myrtle enjoyed traveling frequently with her sisters, working on leaded and copper foil glass projects, volunteer work, and of course, spending much family time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. In recent years, Myrtle and her daughter, Jean Ann, wrote a memoir of Myrtle’s life called My Story, and just recently, another memoir, Our Story, about Myrtle and Oscar’s lives. She enjoyed recalling their life experiences and seeing pictures incorporated into the book; it recognized her life story as important. In June, 2011, Myrtle fell and broke her hip and was unable to live in her house, in Northfield. She lived for a while in the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care unit and more recently, in an elder care home, in Northfield. Myrtle passed away on January 21, 2014. She is survived by her sons, Jerry Nord (Jim) and Rick Nord, daughters Jean Ann (Nord) Searles (Dale) and Diane Nord; five grandchildren, Julie (Nord) Malecha (Tony), Monica Brockton, Kirsten (Searles) Eickenberg (Paul), Steven Brockton, and Mark Searles (Teri); 3 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her husband, Oscar Nord; one daughter, Olive Marie Nord; one grandchild, Allen Brockton; nine sisters and brothers: Edna Benson, Ruth Otterness, Clara Benson, Nettie Braaten, Lydia Witcher, William Otterness, Edith Esterby, Ruby Lundell, and Donald Otterness.
A memorial service will be held on January 30, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, Minnesota, with visitation at 10:00 a.m. Private interment will be at a later time at the Oaklawn Cemetery. Memorials are preferred in lieu of flowers to St. John’s Church or N.A.H.A. (Norwegian American Historical Association) at St. Olaf College, in Northfield.