With gratefulness for a long and satisfied life, the family of Helga Helen Nordin of Laramie, Wyoming announces her passing on October 10 at the age of 91, just hours before her 92nd birthday, with her family by her side.
Helga was born October 11, 1927, in Viking, Alberta, Canada, one of eight children (which included three sets of twins) to Nils and Bertha Pederson. In 1937, when Helga was 10, her family emigrated to Hayward, where they made their living farming and logging.
Helga and her twin sister Helen had many adventures in their lifetime. At a 90th birthday celebration, the ladies shared many fun and interesting stories. They told tales of growing up with a father who was a bootlegger back in the day while still living in Canada. Helga and her sister would sometimes get involved in shenanigans, which included taking joyrides on customer’s horses while they were purchasing moonshine. They also spoke of times that the Canadian Mounties would visit their home.
The girls developed a strong work ethic at a very young age, driving and riding work horses in the fields, tending crops. It was told that they would rather work outside than be in the kitchen, which is interesting since they both turned out to be excellent cooks.
Helga always wanted to be married to a dairy farmer, and in 1945 she married Harvey (Ted) Nordin in Hayward. Ted’s family owned and operated a Grade-A quality dairy. Ted and Helga worked side by side operating that farm for 20 years, and it was there that they began raising their family of five children, along with Ted’s sister’s three children, Teddy, Joe and Christine. Helga always had five or six horses. She introduced her children to riding, and participated in horse events and activities throughout their lives (which came with a few wrecks). In 1964 they packed up their children, two dogs, very few belongings and moved to Wyoming. There, Helga continued her love and passion for horses, animals and a country way of life as they accumulated more animals, farm equipment and land.
Ted and Helga were also actively involved with woodchopper events and activities. As a family they would travel to logging shows and competitions. It was a true family affair! However, Helga was usually the one to come home with the most trophies and was often titled the Woman’s All-Around Champion.
Helga went to work for the University of Wyoming in 1967 and retired in 1992, after working in the microbiology and veterinary science departments for 25 years. She made many friends there. Her love for people inspired her to often take on side jobs where she also made many lasting friendships — a real hard working gal!
Helga spent her life taking care of her family, her animals and her home. A good day for Helga was a day spent at the barn. However, she always welcomed friends and visitors with the best homemade fresh apple pie and a cup of coffee.
Helga was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Ted Nordin; her parents, Nils and Bertha Pederson; six of her siblings and their spouses, Melvin (Fern) Pederson, Delores (Glen) Alexander, Ted Pederson, Fred (Ester) Pederson, Gordon (Florence) Pederson, Jordon Pederson (infant), and brother-in-law Harold Shiley.
Helga is survived by five children and their spouses, Judy (Lee) Miller of Wheatland, Wyoming, Gene (Steve) Yundt of Garden Valley, Idaho, Joyce (Mike) Benedickt of Sheridan, Wyoming, Jody (Brenda) Nordin of Laramie, and Anni (Paul) Baker of Ponca City, Oklahoma; 15 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; 7 great-great-grandchildren; twin sister Helen Shiley of Indianapolis, Illinois; sister-in-law Vivian Pederson of Hayward; and many extended family members.
Helga’s legacy of strong moral values, work ethic, love for family, and spunk is evident in those she leaves behind. She is loved and adored by many, and will be greatly missed.
Services will be held at Montgomery-Stryker Funeral Home, Laramie, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 19, with a celebration of her life following the services at the home of Jody and Brenda Nordin.
Go to www.montgomerystryker.com to send condolences or to sign the online guestbook.