Phyllis Norstedt

Phyllis Norstedt, 82, took a walk with Jesus to be with him in heaven on April 4, 2014. She passed away at her home, Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center in Bismarck, where she had great caregivers who became great friends.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at 11 a.m., at Faith Lutheran Church in Bismarck. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Bismarck. Visitation will be Monday, April 7, from 5 to 9 p.m., at Parkway Funeral Service, Bismarck, where a rosary will be said at 7 p.m., followed by a time of sharing.

Phyllis Arlene Willmert Norstedt was born Sept, 9, 1931, on her grandparents’ farm south of Buchanan, N.D., to Ervin H. and Kathryn (Neva) Willmert. She received her education in Jamestown, Wahpeton, Berthold, and Stanley, N.D., graduating from Stanley High School, class of 1949.

Phyllis married Leslie Norstedt of White Earth, N.D., on May 28, 1950, in Stanley, N.D. They had many addresses in the first three years of marriage: Bowbells, N.D., Seattle, Wash., White Earth, N.D., Minot, N.D., settling down in Bismarck, N.D., in 1953 until 1993, when they moved to their lake home at Brush Lake near Mercer, N.D. In 2003 they moved back to Bismarck.

When Phyllis was only 6 years old she won $5 singing “O Johnnie O” in a Major Bows Amateur Show; the beginning of a long career in singing for church, weddings, and funerals.

Phyllis was a hard worker all her life. As a young girl she peeled potatoes and washed dishes for the restaurants that her mother owned. Being promoted to doing waitress work, she met her future husband, and over the next 40 years and many businesses she met many good friends.

Some of the places she worked at were the Bus Depot (on 7th & Broadway), the Spotlight Night Club, Apple Creek Country Club, the Eagles Club (on 7th & Broadway), the first Holiday Inn, where she poured the FIRST CUP OF COFFEE. Her doctor told her she had to find a job where she wasn’t on her feet all the time, so she worked as an office clerk at Saks News Agency for 18 years. From there she went to work at North Dakota Grocers Association for 12 years, retiring in 1993.

In 1955, Marian Park Association was started. Leslie and Phyllis were charter members of this housing project, where 60 families worked together to save money and build their own homes. This allowed the young family to move into a brand new house on Jan. 15, 1959.

When Phyllis’ children were young, she was a “leader” for Brownies, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Boy Scouts. Phyllis made some very good friends in the Jolly Homemakers Club, as well as participating in the Eagles Auxiliary for 50+ years. While in the Eagles Auxiliary, she served all the chair offices, served as treasurer for 10 years, becoming auxiliary president in 1974-75. She also belonged to the Ritual Team and was part of the team when they took first place in national competition in Columbus, Ohio, in 1987-88. Phyllis was Mrs. Eagle in 1984-85 and 2007-08, along with being Mrs. Eagle for the state in 2008-09.

The Roy Wagner VFW was a passion of Leslie and Phyllis’. Both of them were charter members of the Amvets Post #9, as well as members of Disabled Veterans Auxiliary. While they lived near Mercer, they became involved with Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. Phyllis quilted with WELCA and was secretary of the Mercer Booster Club for a couple of years.

Phyllis is survived by: her children, Anastasia (Larry) Schlafman, Bismarck, Linda Norstedt, of Lincoln, N.D., Sharon (Allen) Wagner, Turtle Lake, N.D., Steven (Rosalyn), Bismarck, and Kenneth, Boise, Idaho; her grandchildren, Kari Peterson, Helena, Mont., David (Tess) Schlafman, Bismarck, Jodi Norstedt, Bismarck, Jaden and Blake Wagner, Turtle Lake; her great-grandchildren, Gabe Norstedt, Ayden and Alex Schlafman, and Elizabeth Renfrow, all of Bismarck (to them she was known as “Grandma Great.”) Phyllis has six sisters surviving her: Mickey (Elwyn) Nohr, Fargo, N.D., Dodie (Merle) Baumer, Deep Haven, Minn., Karen Werner, Minneapolis, Minn., Beatrice Benda, St. Louis Park, Minn., Beverly Benda, Grand Forks, N.D., and Barbara (Paul) Nagle, Moorhead, Minn. Also surviving are her brother-in-law, Dale Carter, of Stanley, N.D.; sister-in-law, Esther Norstedt, Fowl, Texas; and many nieces, nephews, and their families.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Leslie, in 2008; her parents, Ervin Willmert and Kathryn Benda; her sister, Sylvia, in 1966; her in-laws, Ralph Norstedt and Elvira Nelson Norstedt; her brothers-in-law, Frank Norstedt and Ralph Norstedt, Jr.; her sister-in-law, Louise Norstedt Carter; and her nephew, Jerry VonRuden.

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