119 Third Street Southwest ~ Rugby, North Dakota ~ 58368-1797
Chapel of the Cross ~ Towner, North Dakota
Jon M. Stork - President / Licensed Director

Phone: 701.776.6381 ~ 701.537.5130
Fax: 701.776.5916
email: afhrugbytowner@gondtc.com


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Norma Blessum

Clarice Norma Blessum passed away on the morning of May 4, 2018 surrounded by family at Heart of America Care Center in Rugby ND. Clarice Norma Oksendahl was born February 2, 1922 in Rugby, ND to Ingvall and Mabel (Anseth) Oksendahl. She was raised on a farm and attended country schools. Traveling the three miles to school required a ride via horseback or a horse drawn sleigh with warmed bricks for her feet in the winter. She graduated from Rugby High in 1940 and was the oldest graduate to attend the all school reunion in 2017.

Being the eldest of four children, Norma assisted her dad taking care of livestock and working on farm machinery. During World War II, she traveled to California where she became employed at Lockheed Air Craft and later at Birmingham Army Hospital. In January 1946 her childhood sweetheart, Lester Halvorson, returned from Army Services; they married February 1946. They moved to the Halvorson farmstead where they farmed and raised dairy cattle. This union was blessed with five children. As a lifelong member of Bethel Church, Norma actively volunteered with Ladies Aid, Luther League and Sunday School. She lived a life of faith and enjoyed its many blessings. Her “green thumb" was well trained from years of farming, gardening and canning. In later years, her love for the outdoors was evident in plants and flowers. She was very health conscious and enjoyed an active lifestyle filled with exercise and shopping.

Lester passed away on May 30, 1962. Norma’s hard work, determination and strong faith provided her the ability to preserve the farm while raising five small children. In 1978 she married Melvin Blessum. They enjoyed traveling and spent 27 winters in Arizona. In Arizona Norma was an associate member of Epiphany Lutheran and shared her gifts through Alter Guild, ushering, circle, quilting, needle work, Sons of Norway, American Legion Auxiliary and Red Hat Society. Mel and Norma enjoyed traveling to Alaska, Hawaii and Mexico. As members of the Holiday Ramblers they traveled the country with good friends each winter. Norma was a wonderful hostess, an excellent cook and loved to entertain for guests. Cookbooks were among her favorite reading materials. She loved to play cards with friends and great-grandchildren and was enthusiastic about learning new games.

Those who have shared in her life are children Lorna (Dale) Hammerlund, Moorhead, MN; Lois (Larry) Sattler, West Fargo, ND; Steven (Kathy) Halvorson, Rugby, ND; Richard Halvorson, Whitewater, WI; son-in-law Bruce (Kris) Due, Moorhead, MN; grandchildren Robert (Greta) Hammerlund, Lake Elmo, MN; Travis (Brenda) Halvorson, Minot, ND; Jill (Tim) Graveline, Fargo, ND; Sarah (Chris) Cerney, Fargo, ND;  Jodie (Steve) Radford, Lancaster, CA; Kimberly Sattler, West Fargo, ND; Stephanie Halvorson, Rugby, ND; Eric (Beth) Halvorson, Fargo, ND; Trevor Due, Fargo, ND; Brandon (Leigh) Due, Roseville, MN; Rebecca (Derek) Lahr, Howell, MI; Tristan (Laura) Halvorson Seattle, WA; great-grandchildren Andrew and Holden Hammerlund; Megan (Rory) Selk and Kelsi Halvorson; Anna, Elizabeth and Lauren Graveline; Addison, Isaac and Reid Cerney; Gracie and Payne Radford; Layton and Lucas Rud; Opal and Alton Hackel; Benjamin Halvorson; Halvor and Livia Due; great-great-grandchildren Abbie and Mollie Selk; sister Ione Grove; sisters-in-law Lois Oksendahl and Marlene Oksendahl; step-children Glory Monson and Jan (Bob) Leach; seven step-grandchildren; and 19 step great-grandchildren; cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends.

Those who greeted her in heaven were her parents; daughter Nancy Due (2010); daughter in-law Kathy Halvorson (2017); husbands Lester Halvorson (1962) and Mel Blessum (2010); son-in-law, Bill Monson; brothers Merwyn and Bradley Oksendahl; brother-in-law Sig Grove; and nephew, Robert Grove.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor can be donated the to Heart of America Hospice Program, Rugby, ND.

Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 12th at the First Lutheran Church in Rugby with private family burial in the Bethel Lutheran Church cemetery, rural Rugby.  Pastor Sharon Baker, officiate.

Posted Condolences:

Sincere condolences to all who knew this beautiful lady.  I didn't know her personally but feel like I did after reading this moving obituary.  God certainly directed her path as she became a blessing to many throughout the years.  God bless each of you.
Lynn Johnson

Norma was such a lovely lady and I send my sincere sympathy to her family.
Wanda Blessum Ohly

I have very fond memories of Norma. Her infectious smile and here awesome sweet treats. She lived a great life. My parents, Ray and Betty Brustad so enjoyed Norma and Mel and their many years in AZ together.
Now they are all together again.
Love, Judy



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