Myrtle Nord

Myrtle Nord

  • Funeral Date: 1/30/14
  • Funeral Time: 11:00 AM
  • Date of Birth: 7/27/15
  • Date of Death: 1/21/14
  • Funeral Location: St. John's Lutheran Church - Northfield


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.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.


  1. Janet Witcher

    Myrtle Nord was amazing! She worked hard but always had fun. I loved her laugh and that wonderful twinkle in her eye. One Christmas we decided to go to Minnesota. It was an unbelievable trip with lots of memories, one of which was Mrytle having wrapped lots of presents but neglecting to put name tags on them. She would shake them, laugh, and say…I don’t remember what’s in this one, maybe it’s for the neighbor. We laughed literally until we cried. I’m not sure who got what but it was hysterical. Other people would have gotten angry but not Mrytle!
    You will be greatly missed…but I know you are having a great time with the fantastic homecoming seeing all the saints who went before you. My thoughts and prayers are with all your loved ones.

  2. Donald P Reidel

    I remember Myrtle & Oscar very well as my folks worked the Pye farm—I was 9 and I drove the Farmall they when haying ect Her
    cooking was great and I was ready to help when Dad said Oscar
    needed me—We had Great times on the farm when they all got
    together—-I wish the Family the best as you had wonderful

  3. Renee Berthiaume

    So many good memories of Myrtle, Oscar, and all of you. I can remember the visits when you lived on the farm and all of the fun we had. Jerry putting me on the cows while we all played hide and seek in the barn. Your Mom always had good food for all, and even when just her, always had some dessert frozen in the freezer to cook when someone would come to visit. She had so many good pieces of wisdom, and so talented whether it was cooking, sewing, gardening, or helping others. David and I laughed so hard the day she was showing us the garden at the house, and was saying she had to stay on top of it all for Jerry. Each of you, Jerry, Rick, Jean Ann, and Diane, and your families are in our thoughts and prayers. Your Mom will be greatly missed. I feel so bad I cannot be there for the service, I have no one that can pick up a shift for me. If there was anyway, I would be there. Love you all! David and Renee

  4. Taylor Collins

    Myrtle was one of the most delightful women I have had the pleasure to get to know. I was first introduced to her work as a writer when she submitted an article for a book published during my administration as president of the National League of American Pen Women. The League had the book project during the Abraham Lincoln biennial celebration and Mrytle’s contribution was “The Heritage of the Homestead Act.” Her writing was wonderful and over the course of the next few years we corresponded.

    I found her so delightful and engaging made even more so that she was one of the oldest contributors to the league’s book. She was 90 at the time. Even more surprising is that she was writing and submitting regularly to other publications. I was awestruck. Myrtle bowled me over! I spoke of her often as I spoke around the country commenting often on an article she submitted to the League’s magazine. The article mentioned bundling which at first glance, and knowing her age, brought to my mind old courting customs. How delightful it was to discover she was writing about the modern day use of the word as related to her bundled cable package and how she was having computer problems. She kept up with modern things more than I could begin to convey.

    I recall at one point she had no working ‘e’ on her keyboard. Her humorous comments writing ‘e’-less were too funny. Knowing Myrtle, she could probably recall more details than I could about this even though I am several years her junior. She was always truly a delight and knowing her was a such an honor, truly an honor.

    Life is much too short it seems. Fortunately for her friends and family there were many years to enjoy. But life never is quite long enough as we often wish we had just one more chance to connect, to hold a little longer conversation, to send one more card. Mrytle was everything I would want to be in my older age if I ever reach what could be considered old. I would hope I could keep submitting and keep up with current things enough to still be a contributing voice into my nineties like she was. She was full of wit and vigor and all were truly blessed who knew her.

    To her family and friends my deepest condolences. My heart goes out to you. Mrytle was a delight and will be so missed. Peace. N. Taylor Collins, Past National President, National League of American Pen Women

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