|4/10/2013 9:47:00 AM|
Gertrude S. Norden, 100, of La Crosse, WI, formerly of Waukon, died Monday, April 8, 2013 at Benedict Manor in La Crosse, WI. Graveside services will be held Monday, April 15 at 11 a.m. at Oakland Cemetery in Waukon, with Rev. Lynn Groe officiating.
Martin Funeral Home in Waukon is assisting the family with arrangements. Gertrude asked to direct memorials to the radio ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Waukon, or a charity of choice.
Gertrude Sanders Norden was born February 25, 1913, the first child born to Gilbert Sanders and Ethel Ward Sanders. She was the fifth generation to be born in Postville, the town her ancestors helped to settle. A sister, Janet, and brother, John (Jack), were born after her.
Gertrude attended school in Postville, and spent summers traveling to the Western U.S. with her family, and exploring the hills along Yellow River where her father kept a hunting shack. She graduated from high school in 1930, after which she attended Coe College. Due to the Depression, she had to withdraw from college before graduation to work in Cedar Rapids and Postville. Thereafter began a lifelong passion for personal studies and self-education.
Gertrude married Dr. Frank Norden in 1941, and resided in Waukon where he had his optometric practice. When the U.S. joined World War II, and Frank served in the Navy, she followed him to Florida and then Washington State to make a home for him while he was in the service. Their daughter, Kristen, was born in Seattle, WA. They returned to Waukon after the war, and another daughter, Margaret, was born there.
Gertrude and Frank were devoted members of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and Gertrude taught Sunday school and was a member of Hannah Circle. In later years when they were unable to attend in person, they listened to the radio broadcasts. She especially loved the music, and looked forward every year to the ecumenical concerts. In addition to church activities, Gertrude volunteered at Veterans Memorial Hospital and delivered Meals on Wheels.
Gertrude and Frank traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada, and had special trips to their ancestral countries, Norway, Sweden, England and Scotland. Her interests included church history, theology, American and British history, politics, literature, art and music. To the end of her life, she read every day. She was also a sports fan who especially enjoyed watching Iowa teams.
In 2002, Frank and Gertrude moved to Onalaska, WI, to be near their daughter, Margaret. She remained interested and informed about friends and events in Waukon, and grateful for calls and visits. She spent the final months of her life at St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse, WI.
Her husband of 72 years, Frank Norden; her daughters, Kristen of Washington, DC and Margaret of La Crosse, WI; nieces and nephews, and their children survive her. Her sister, Janet Overhuls; her brother, Jack Sanders, and sister-in-law, Louise; and Jack’s daughter, Janet Sanders Orchard, preceded her in death.
Online condolences may be left at www.martinfunerals.com.
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