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Virginia Ruth Norland

May 16, 2019
Emmetsburg News

A memorial service for Virginia R. Norland of Emmetsburg, formerly of Cylinder, will be held Saturday, May 18, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John's Lutheran Church in Depew. The Rev. Lee Laaveg and the Rev. Davis Moore will officiate.

Interment will be at South St. John's Cemetery near Depew. The Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg is in charge of arrangements.

Visitation is Friday, May 17, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Martin-Mattice Funeral Home in Emmetsburg.

Virginia Ruth Norland, 92, died Saturday, May 11, 2019, at PARC?Hall in Emmetsburg. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children, who, with the first verse of "Silent Night," sang her to her final rest, her sleep in heavenly peace.

Virginia was born Feb. 1, 1927, on a farm near Graettinger to Andrew and Marie (Mary)?(Simonsen)?Duus. She was baptized at South Walnut Lutheran Church and confirmed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Graettinger.

She had fond memories of her school days. Through eighth grade, Virginia attended a one-room country school. Her secondary education was at Graettinger High School, where she was active in vocal music, played basketball, was a baton twirler for the band, and had a role in a class play. She graduated in 1944, and as valedictorian of her class of 20, she gave a speech at the graduation ceremony. Virginia was the first in her family to obtain a college education earning an Associate Degree with an emphasis in business from Waldorf College in Forest City in the spring of 1946, graduating summa cum laude. While in college she played on the basketball and softball teams and sang in the Waldorf choir. After graduating she took additional classes in English and literature in preparation for a teaching position.

In the fall of 1946, at the age of 19, Virginia began teaching English, literature, typing, shorthand, and bookkeeping at Cylinder High School. In October of that year, she met her future husband, Gerald (Jerry)?Norland, at the Cylinder Cafe, which he owned at the time. After a short courtship, they were married at the parsonage in Cylinder on Feb. 14, 1947.

During their early married years, Virginia and Jerry briefly lived in Sioux Falls, SD, where Virginia worked as a bookkeeper, and in Comfrey, MN, before returning to the Cylinder area to farm. Except for a three-year period in the early 1960s when they owned a bowling alley in Decorah, they spent the rest of their lives in the Cylinder/Emmetsburg area. Following the death of Jerry in 1977, Virginia remained on the farm with her three youngest children. In the fall of 1980, Virginia became a teller at the Cylinder Bank, where she worked for 12 years. Eventually, she moved to Emmetsburg, living in her own home until the age of 90. She spent her remaining years at Lakeside Assisted Living and at PARC?Hall in Emmetsburg.

Virginia was a devoted and loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. As a young farm wife, she seemed to be working constantly - cooking, baking, cleaning, doing laundry, ironing, gardening, canning vegetables, dressing chickens, or helping outside with livestock, field work, and walking beans. Somehow, she also found time to play games or just sit and talk with her family. While taking care of the needs of eight children and later their extended families she made each of them feel special, as if he or she were her favorite. The truth is that they were all her favorites. Virginia was always a source of support, guidance, encouragement, and love. She instilled an appreciation for family and tradition that made everyone look forward to the food, fun, conversation and music that were so much a part of Christmas family gatherings and annual sibling weekends.

Her altruism extended into the community as well. A woman of strong faith, Virginia taught Sunday School and was an active member of her church Circle and Dorcas Society. She held the position of Corresponding Secretary for the county Children's Association for the developmentally disabled and was a den mother for Cub Scouts. In her retirement years she served on the Lakeside Lutheran Home Auxiliary Board, volunteered at Lakeside Retirement Home playing cards with residents, and tutored a student at Iowa Lakes Community College. Her many interests included playing cards and other games, bowling, singing, reading, and especially spending time with her family.

Virginia was preceded in death by her husband,?Jerry; infant daughter, Jeanette Verene; daughter, Jerilyn Reit and her husband, John Reit; infant grandson Aaron Goddard; grandson Paul Goddard; parents Andrew and Marie Duus; brother Richard Duus; sister Elvera Anderson; and numerous sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

She is survived by daughters Teresa (David)?Goddard of Montevideo, MN; Barbara (Charles) Corr of Clinton; Patricia (Greg) Wolf of Urbandale; Cynthia of Burt; Lorelei (Sean) Patterson of Naperville, IL; sons, Jeffrey (Annette) of Coralville; Michael (Betsy) of Cylinder; 20 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be given to St. John's Lutheran Church in Depew or Exceptional Opportunities in Burt.

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