VIOLA MAY NORDEEN

V. Nordeen webphotoViola May Nordeen, of Rush City, formerly of Braham, passed away Monday, January 13, 2014 at the Golden Living Center in Rush City.  She was 91 years old.

A graveside service and burial will be held in the spring of 2014. 

Viola May Nordeen, of Rush City, formerly of Braham, passed away on Monday, January 13, 2014 at the Golden Living Center in Rush City. A long-time breast cancer survivor, she was 91 years old.

Viola, lovingly known as May, was born on May 6, 1922 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Harry and Elizabeth (Speed) Gibson. She attended school in Chicago, graduating in 1940. After high school, she lived in Crete, Illinois for a few years before joining the United States Navy. After her discharge in November of 1945 she returned to Crete where she started her own beauty shop. She was proud of her military service and was a member of the Cambridge American Legion.   

In 1972, May was united in marriage to Laurel “Chip” Nordeen in Rush Point, Minnesota. May and Chip lived on the family farm north of Braham. May worked as a beautician at the beauty salon in Braham until it closed and then worked as a beautician at Park Manor for many years.  She also worked in Mora at Amoco and Sheller Globe, the Inn in Hinckley and Walmart.   May was a volunteer driver transporting people to and from medical appointments for a number of years.  In the mid-80’s May thought there was a need for a thrift store in Braham with the proceeds from sales going to support the community.  She worked endlessly to see it come to fruition.  May solicited various organizations for start-up funds and went to the pastors asking for help finding volunteers to work at the store. In July of 1989 her dream came true, Tusen Tack opened in a little store on the main street which they outgrew in a short time.  May then approached the bank about a loan to purchase the vacant grocery store on the main street.  When May applied for the loan the bankers told her a man would have to co-sign the loan, so she found one who evidently also believed in the project and was willing to be a co-signer.  She was especially proud of the role she played in bringing TusenTack to Braham and volunteered there as long as her health permitted.                 

May loved to spend time outdoors; especially fishing with Chip. She was a very good cook and enjoyed preparing meals for family and friends, a talented seamstress and late in life took a class in painting and completed many beautiful pictures.  

May is preceded in death by her parents, husband Chip, brothers Ed and Harry, sister Katherine, brothers and sisters-in-law John Nordeen, Evelyn Johnson, Kermit Nordeen, Marjorie House, Merle Nordeen, and Phyllis Lammi.  

She is survived by special niece, Georgie Anne Stephanson of Anaheim, California, brothers-in-law, Jim (Carole) Nordeen of Cambridge; Duane Nordeen of Chicago, sisters-in-law Elaine (Jerry) Stoeckel of Minneapolis, Frances Nordeen of Braham; several nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

4 guestbook entries for VIOLA MAY NORDEEN

  1. Sanda Oslin January 25, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

    I met May in 1978, fresh out of high school, when I began working at Amoco Plastics in Mora. I have thought of her often over the years and especially in the last 2 weeks and I open the paper and see her Obit. Am sad she is gone from this world. She was so much fun, full of good natured mischief and an all around “good egg”. Hadn’t seen her in over 30 years, but always remembered her with a smile. I am so sorry for your loss, the world will be less bright for awhile, but memories of her sense of humor will continue to give a smile. You have my sympathy in your time of loss.
    Best Regards,
    Sanda Oslin (Sandy)

  2. Deborah Stephenson February 7, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    My beloved,beautiful and wonderful Aunt May. I called her Aunt May. Because my beautiful mother (Georgie Stephenson) called her Aunt May MOM. Our family had grand times with Aunt May. Our trip to Hawaii was the best.
    The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. Aunt May touched our hearts and will be FOREVER missed. I LOVE YOU. For you and Uncle Chip your best days of fishing are ahead of you.

  3. Julie Gustafson February 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    Thanks to May for all the wonderful work she did in the community to make Braham such a great town to live in! From the first time I met her, she was all smiles and full of fun! What a heart for people and community!! We extend our sympathies to the family of May!

  4. Georgie Stephenson February 17, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    I remember being 10 or 11 yrs of age. Having no place to call home. I was going to placed with other families but, my Aunt May would not hear of it. She took me in and made her home my home. She taught me so many things. Love and patience!!!!! How to grocery shop, cook and how to keep a clean and tidy home. Cleaning not my favorite. It made her happy so it made me happy. I would always get my chores finished after school. Because I so looked forward to OUR time together at the end of our long days.
    Her beauty shop was in our home. My Aunt May did all the neighbors hair not to mention my teachers. Which kept me on my best behavior!!!!!!
    Aunt May had many hobbies. One was sewing. She could make anything from bras to coats. With a purchase of a new sewing machine came lessons. She gave those lessons to me. She praised me for all I tried to make. But, I knew that I could never fill her shoes.
    Aunt May loved dogs. Her customers would buy her ceramic dogs. Even know I had to dust all of them. She had a beautiful collection from all over the world.
    I envied her great sense of humor. She was a very special person. She made life so fun!!!
    We had good time together in our adult lives. Our trip to Hawaii with myself and two of my six kids. Grand trips to Laughlin and to Vegas with my husband and I. She loved my husband. She called home BIG DADDY.
    My Uncle Chip always encouraged her to live life which she did with such passion.
    She will never be forgotten She became my SPECIAL MOM AND ALWAYS WILL BE MY SPECIAL MOM!!

    We begin to remember not just that you died but, that you lived. And that your life gave us memories to beautiful to forget I LOVE YOU AND WILL MISS YOU. MY SPECIAL MOM…………

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