Nancy Thorndal

Nancy Wright Herbison Thorndal, 83, Fargo, died Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, at home, surrounded by her family.

Nancy was born on March 3, 1930, in Minnewaukan, to Herbert Wright and Pearl Marie (Brayton) Herbison. She was the third of four girls and remained close to her sisters throughout her life. She received Christian baptism at her home in 1934. She graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1948 and was very active in band, choir, pep club and many other groups. She graduated from North Dakota State University in 1953, majoring in home economics.

Nancy married Herbert L. Thorndal Jr. at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Fargo in 1951. They lived in Mankato, Minn., and Columbus, Bismarck, Minot and Fargo. Together, they raised nine children in a home full of love, lists, laughter and chaos. They survived having teenagers in the home for nearly 20 years! Nancy spent the summers of her girlhood at the Herbison lake cabin on Round Lake in Becker County, Minn. In the 1960s, she and Herb purchased their own cabin and instilled a love for “the lake” in all her family.

She was a certified home economist and taught home economics in New Salem, N.D., and later at the North Dakota State Industrial School from 1968-1978. She did private consulting on educational equity and worked as the Coordinator for Educational Equality for the State Board of Vocational Education until her retirement in 1993. Nancy remained active in many professional and community organizations throughout her life. She was a charter member of the Becker County Historical Society and continued participating in Fargo in her high school Potluck, the Fine Arts Club, Book Club, Women’s Club, Gethsemane Cathedral Altar Guild and Touchmark Resident Board. She was a proud member of and joyously performed with the Touchmark Choir.

Nancy was loved as a wife, mother, sister and friend. She loved to study the Bible, cook, sew, read and sing and absolutely loved to spend time at the lake and with her sister Kay. She always worked hard, had infectious enthusiasm and was the eternal optimist.

Nancy is survived by: her children, Herbert (Soledad) Thorndal III, Columbus, Ohio; Ann Thorndal (Robert McKenzie), Fargo; Matthew (Lilia) Thorndal, Tucson, Ariz.; Earl Thorndal (Barbara Olson), Minneapolis; Helen (Charles) Adams, Tucson, Ariz.; Christine (Patrick) Tate, Vancouver, Wash.; Joseph (Christine) Thorndal, Elk River, Minn.; Pearl (Douglas) Thorndal-Stewart, Torrey, Utah; Janet (Kenneth) Lebsack, Ankeny, Iowa; two sisters, Kay (Ro) Grignon, in Minnesota, and Mary Wenger, in Virginia; 25 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; and many in-laws, “out-laws” and others.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert; sister, Phyllis; and her parents.

Visitation: 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 27, with a 6 p.m. prayer and share service at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, 3600-25th St. S., Fargo, ND, 58104.

Funeral Mass: 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral, followed by interment next to her husband in the chapel at Gethsemane. There will be a reception at the church following services.

Open house reception: 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28, at Touchmark at Harwood Grove, 1200 Harwood Drive, Fargo.

Memorial contributions: May be made to charities Mom loved and supported, such as Heifer International, Nokomis Child Care Center of Fargo or your favorite charity.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home, Fargo. Online condolences may be shared by visiting (