Nora Hamness

      Nora Ellen Hamness, of Strathcona MN, passed away at the age of 86 on August 21, 2019 at LifeCare Greenbush Manor.

      Nora was born in Madoc, Montana on July 18, 1933 to Gwendolyn (Skerritt) and Arnold Wahl.  She was raised in Soler Township of Roseau County where she attended grade school at Island Home School Dist. #22, Haug, MN and graduated from Greenbush High School in 1951.  She was raised in the Lutheran Faith and was confirmed at Oiland Lutheran Church.

      During high school, Nora was employed at the M&Q Café in Greenbush.  Summers found her working on the Eddie & Annie Jackson dairy farm and for Christy’s Café of Roseau.  In the early 1950’s she met her husband, Chrest Hamness.  Nora and Chrest were married at Oiland Lutheran Church on September 21, 1951 and moved to Strathcona, MN where they farmed and raised their 5 children.  Nora was a lifetime member of Grace Evangelical Church where she was very involved in music & taught Sunday school during her early years.  Farming included growing grains, beef & turkeys.  In 1955 things were tough on the farm, so with their only child at the time they moved the family to Minnetonka, MN.  Things looked better in 1958, so back to the farm now with 3 children.  As a mother of 5 children, Nora was also employed 1970-74 at Arctic Cat where she enjoyed the engine department’s motor bench.  During the 80’s she was the in-house baker at the Strandquist Café for a short time.     

      Nora had a love for music.  She played guitar, accordion and particularly enjoyed doing vocal back-up for lead singers with her beautiful alto voice whenever opportunity arose.  Nora enjoyed & hosted hundreds of family & friends throughout 68 years of marriage, sometimes just a time of coffee, and other times for months!  She had an extra-large gift of hospitality.  Being grandma was important, she enjoyed her grandchildren and loved cooking her family & friends’ favorite foods. Baking, scrap booking, Dominoes, and reading the newspaper daily were her hobbies. Nora was famous (especially with her grandkids) for her bread, tomato soup cake, oatmeal cake, cream cake, potato dumplings, rice pudding, and how could we forget her famous popcorn cake!   

      She is survived by her husband, a few days short of 68 years, Chrest;  daughters, Naomi (Allan) Zak of Thief River Falls; Marvel (Guy) Strandberg of Strathcona, Kay Prothero of Roseau;  sons, Chris (Jeanie) Hamness of Roseau, and Dale (Laurie) Hamness of Strathcona;  grandchildren, Robin, Scott, Sarah, Karissa, Burt, Aaron, Melissa, Crystal, Brandon, Brianna, Chelsey, Logan; also 16 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grands;  sister, Sonja Hanson of Strathcona;  sister-in-law, Phyllis Wahl of Greenbush and several nieces & nephews. 

      She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Robert Wahl and Oswald “Buzzy” Wahl;  sisters, Fern Nelson and Juanita Newquist; son-in-law, John Prothero.

      The funeral service for Nora Hamness was held on Monday, August 26th, at Grace Evangelical Church in Strathcona at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Curtis R. Johnson officiating.  Music was provided by Bill Forbister, Val Hobbs, Chris Hamness Kay Prothero, Robin Johnson Chelsey Hamness, Aaron Weil & Pastor Bob Ludwig. Pallbearers were Scott Zak, Kameren & Isaac Johnson, Logan Hamness, Brandon Prothero, Aaron & Aidan Strandberg.

      Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Strathcona. Arrangements are with Gieseke Funeral Chapel of Greenbush, MN.