(September 1, 2921 - September 2, 2016)
Loretta Marie Hanssen was called to her heavenly home, by her Lord and Savior, Jesus on September 2, 2016, at the age of 95 years young. She was born September 1, 1921, to John and Ella (Strassburg) Behm, #6 of 11 children. As a lifelong member of St. Andrew Lutheran Church, she was Baptized into Christ on October 8, 1921, and was Confirmed on April 14, 1935. On September 11, 1946, she was united in Holy Matrimony to her childhood sweetheart and husband of 66 years, Gregor Hanssen. This union brought two children into their family. A bouncing baby boy, Dale Lee, and 11 months later, a beautiful baby girl, Diane Kay. They lived and worked on the Hanssen farm side by side, relying on God’s strength and guidance. Loretta’s green thumb produced many a bountiful garden and was known for her ability to grow African Violets and get Poinsettias to bloom in July. She was a woman of many trades. She built toys, she sewed clothes, and could bake without measuring a grain of salt. She could have trademarked her fried potatoes and her gravy. Loretta loved children and babysat many of her nieces and nephews and later her grandchildren. She enjoyed teaching Saturday School and VBS for many years. She was a meticulous record keeper on the farm. She wrote every day on her calendar, the temp/weather, what the men were doing, who was there for coffee, if she baked or not. She kept track of cow/calf pairs and acres covered. We could aways look back on her calendars to see what happened when. Those calendars decided who won or lost a “discussion” many times! Loretta enjoyed many hobbies including paper quilling and crafting. Winter days brought puzzles and painting. She enjoyed feeding her birds and even took delight in raising ducklings from eggs that came back to her call of “Here Ducky Duckies” in the spring for a few years that followed. She had many hummingbirds come to her feeders and was known to tell the feistier males to “quit pestering the females and let them eat.” Loretta was known for her use of sayings that we have found ourselves using. “This too shall pass” and “This is the day that the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” In the last 2 years, when asked, “How are you doing?” She would reply with “I’m as good as I can be but not as good as I wanna be.” The twinkle in Loretta’s eye faded a bit when Gregor passed away in January 2013. She found comfort and a connection to him in a blanket that he received as a gift shortly before he died. She said that blanket was always warm. So that blanket is draped over her casket. She is survived by her daughter, Diane and Jeff Falin, Rapid City, SD. Daughter-in-law Kathy Hanssen of Niagara ND, 5 Grandchildren, Charity and Birk Baker of Elmwood NE, Melissa and Tim Sutton of Alamo ND, Angel and David Steffan of Michigan ND, Amber and Sean Rauschendorfer of Grand Forks ND, and her Number One Grandson, Jamie Hanssen of Niagara ND. 11 Great Grandchildren, Adriana, Tristen, Constence, Wyatt and Lydia Baker, Ansir, Dezzi and Lucas Sutton, Brayden, Kaylee and Kenzie Rauschendorfer. Sister Vera Odegaard of Niagara and brother, Ed Behm of Fordville. Sisters-in-law Ruth Hanssen, Marlys Berdal, and Vivian Behm. She was preceded in death by her husband Gregor, her son Dale, Sisters, Ellen, Louise, Adeline, Doris, and Caroline. Brothers, Fernie, John and Art. Jamie says, “She would have left earlier, but God had Grandpa and Dad preparing her mansion.” In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to St.Andrew Lutheran Church and Worship for Shut Ins. FUNERAL SERVICES: 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Niagara, ND. VISITATION: Monday, September 5 from 6-7 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service held in the Bakke Funeral Home of Larimore, ND. Visitation will also be held for one hour prior to the funeral in the church on Tuesday. INTERMENT: St. Andrew Lutheran Cemetery, rural Niagara, ND.
I will start this blog post with the obituary of my mother. Angel Hanssen my niece did an excellent job writing this. I did help with some parts but mostly I thank her for her choice of words and topics that best describe and celebrate the life of my mother.
|My moms last trip past the Hanssen Farm on the way to the cemetery.|
|At the St Andrew Cemetery.|
|Mom is tucked in next to my dad. |
Together in Heaven.
|Time for a little visit with my second to oldest Cousin, George.|
|This is my brothers grave on the opposite corner of the cemetery. His 3 children wanted to include him as we lay my mother to rest so each put a single gladiola flower on his headstone.|
|I laid one flower by the two tractors I had placed several years ago.|
|Looking at other relatives graves.|
|The four girl cousins read dates on some of the graves and catch a tiny frog.|
|Love these smiles on this sad day. Our oldest daughter chats with my mothers younger 91 yr old sister. It had been over 3 years since they had seen each other.|
Pictures back at the church of the luncheon served by the Lutheran Women group.
|Me with cousin Lillian. So nice to see and visit with this special lady.|
Jeff and I with our two daughters. Below is according to age.
|Our family who made it to the funeral. Missing 2 grandchildren and our youngest son-in-law, due to new job and college obligations.|
|One of our more relaxed poses.|
|My brothers family along with ours.|
|The more relaxed silly picture.|
At least we can see everyone's face.
|This arrangement was made of 11 different flowers types for the 11 Great Grandchildren.|
|This very lovely peace lily was given to my mothers memory by her niece LaDonna.|
|Notice the 5 beautiful purple iris representing the 5 grand children.|
The red rose was given by my mothers assisted living friends who she grew to love.