Helen Olson Kjellberg, 100, Minot, passed away Saturday, March 15, 2014, in a Minot nursing home.
Helen Olivia Olson was born June 22, 1913, to Otto and Annie (Nelson) Olson, in Blaisdell. She was the third of six girls in the family. She was raised in Blaisdell, attending 12 years in the Granada School District, first grade through high school, graduating from Blaisdell High School in 1931. She grew up on a dairy farm having to milk cows, wash the cream separator, herd cattle, help with the haying and walk a half a mile uptown every day delivering milk, cream and butter to customers.
She rode horse nine miles south of Blaisdell to Shell Creek Lutheran Church every week, where she was confirmed in October 1927.
Following graduation from high school she went one year to the Minot State Normal School, now Minot State University, and then taught for five years at the Oswald School, Clauson/Lovdahl School and the Rugland School, all in Mountrail County. Then she went back to college and received her standard teaching certificate in June 1939 and taught one more year in Lonetree in Ward County. She talked about the Depression years and how everyone struggled through those hard times.
Helen married Nels R. Kjellberg on June 23, 1940, in a double wedding with George and Thelma Solberg at their Blaisdell home. Helen and Nels lived in Blaisdell, where Nels managed the Farmers Elevator there for more than 20 years. They raised four children there, Rodney, Eldora, Dorothy, and Marie. They were very active members of the Blaisdell Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, where Helen taught Sunday school, confirmation classes, vacation Bible school and had many offices in the Ladies Aid. She was very involved in the school Parent-Teachers Association and for several years was administrator of the Title 1 Program in the Granada School District. She also sat on the election board in Blaisdell. She was a charter member of the Madagascar Mission Society that met in that area.
Helen and Nels moved to Minot in 1973. They later joined First Lutheran Church in Minot, where Helen was an active circle member and rolled many pie crusts and taught many how to roll the “perfect round lefse.”
Nels passed away in 1987 and Helen continued to live in her own home until moving to Edgewood Vista in January 2011. She enjoyed the meals, activities and love and support she received from the Edgewood family.
Highlights of her life were family reunions, especially the two Kjellberg Reunion trips to the Scandinavian countries in 1986 and 2001. She was very proud of her 100 percent Norwegian heritage and her husband’s 100 percent Swedish heritage. She was a member of the Scandinavian Heritage Society and the Swedish Heritage Society in Minot.
She was blessed with four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and enjoyed going to as many of their activities as possible. She enjoyed reading and watching special TV programs, especially Lawrence Welk. She was happiest when family or friends would come over and sit down to the table with coffee and something to eat.
Her Christian faith was an inspiration to all who knew her. The six Olson sisters were often asked to sing at many occasions throughout the years and they spoke of their Christain faith by their song. She was an honorary guest at the Minot State University commencement exercises held on May 10, 2013, because of her being 100 and the college celebrating 100 years.
Helen is survived by: her loving family, children, Rodney (Marlys) Kjellberg, of Grand Forks, Eldora (Don) Eliason, of Minot, Dorothy (Michael) Lukach, of Minot, Marie (Louis) Mazza, of Garland, Texas; grandchildren, Daren (Sheila) Eliason, Beulah, LaNae (Barry) Williams, East Lansing, Mich., and Jon Kjellberg, Grand Forks; great-grandchildren, Rachel and Evan Eliason and Ian and Brielle Williams; sisters, Thelma Solberg and Norma Kjellberg, both of Stanley; and also a number of nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Nels; parents, Otto and Annie Olson; granddaughter, Ashley Mazza in 2010; and sisters, Alice Hebig, Gladys Strand and Doris Gorseth Kabanuk.
Funeral service: Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 11 a.m., in First Lutheran Church, Minot.
Visitation: Friday, March 21, from 4 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Burial: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online guest register or share memories of Helen may access the online obituaries at (www.thompsonlarson.com).