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Wilda Torkelson 1916-2013

January 4, 2013
Emmetsburg News

Wilda (Billie) Glennett Knutson was born Feb. 1, 1916, on a farm west of Graettinger. Her parents were Henry (Hank) and Mabel Knutson. They moved to a farm west of Emmetsburg around 1926, and Billie graduated from Emmetsburg High School in 1934.

She married Jack Harrison on April 4, 1937, and they worked together at the Nelson grocery store. Their son, John Roger, was born May 10, 1940. Jack died Oct. 23, 1941.

Over the years, Billie worked at several other local businesses, including John Brown Insurance, the Doris Doty Style Shop, and the Palo Alto County Bank.

In 1961 she married Spencer Torkelson. They built a home at 701 Harrison Street where they lived for 40 years. Spencer died March 31, 2001.

Billie was active at Bethany Lutheran Church, where for a number of years she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, worked on the Alter Guild, and participated in Martha's circle. She and Spencer also volunteered at Lakeside Lutheran Home, and Billie served on the board of Lakeside Auxiliary for several years. She loved flowers and also was a member of the Palo Alto County Garden Club. She was a member of Business Professional Women and Pythian Sisters.

On Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, Billie passed away at the Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg.

Billie had two granddaughters, Kimberly Offenbacker and her husband Todd of Kansas City, MO, and Jackie Harrison of Big Sky, MT; two great grandsons, Joshua Spencer and Justin Connor Offenbacker, both of Kansas City, MO; one sister, Betty Thompson, Mankato, MN; many nieces and nephews; and daughter-in-law Dee Harrison York, and her husband Gerald York, both of Cameron, MO.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her son, and her husbands Jack Harrison and Spencer Torkelson.

Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Bethany Lutheran Church in Emmetsburg. Burial is in Evergreen Cemetery, Emmetsburg.

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