Norma Hopperstad

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 16, 2009

Norma Hopperstad, 88, died Monday evening, Oct. 12, 2009 at her daughter’s home in Decorah, Iowa.

Norma Muriel (Wright) Hopperstad was born Aug. 28, 1921 in her Grandpa and Grandma Strand’s house at Nordness in rural Winneshiek County, Iowa, the daughter of George and A’Lettie (Strand) Wright. She was baptized at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church by the Rev. Paul Koren and confirmed at First Lutheran Church by the Rev. T.A. Hoff.

She attended Decorah High School and then graduated from Spring Grove High School, Minn., after her senior year there. Norma then attended Pitzen Beauty School in Waterloo, Iowa. She owned and operated her beauty shop in Ridgeway, Iowa, for six and a half years.

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Norma married Lawrence E. Hopperstad on Jan. 11, 1946, in Kansas City, Kans. Three daughters were born to this union: Lana, LaVonne and Lila. They lived in Ridgeway until 1958 and moved to Austin where Norma operated Norma’s Ceramic Studio for 16 years. In 1974 they moved back to the Decorah area. They spent the first years in Hesper, Iowa, until Lawrence passed away on May 12, 1991. She then moved to the home farm, living next door to her youngest daughter and son-in-law. In June of this year, she moved in with her youngest daughter and son-in-law in their home in Decorah.

Norma loved to go on Sunrise one-day bus trips with other senior citizens. She spent her winter months in New York and Louisiana with her two older daughters during the last six years. She loved her garden and flower beds. She was always helping out and caring for others in need. She was known as “Dr. Hesper,” as Dr. Kvamme called her. She loved to help out and be around her family and all the grandchildren. She went sliding with most all of them until she was in her early 80s. She will be deeply missed by her family.

She was preceded in death by her husband Lawrence in 1991, her father George in 1987, her mother Lettie in 2003, her sister Maxine Gunderson in 2001 and a grandson Emil Joseph in 1984.

Norma is survived by her three daughters, Lana (Warren) Pressler, Naples, N.Y., LaVonne (Daniel) LaVoie, Lake Charles, Louisiana and Lila (Roger) Bjork, Decorah, Iowa; her grandchildren, Scott (Molly) Pressler, Shareen Pressler, Nicole (Lee) Davis, Christine (Byron) Racca, Michelle LaVoie, Tamara Bjork, Jason (Annette) Bjork and Joshua (Nicol) Bjork; step-grandchildren, Danielle Cunningham and D.J. LaVoie; 12 great-grandchildren; seven step-great-grandchildren; two step-great-great grandchildren; her two beloved brothers, Vernon (Bayonne) Wright, Decorah, Iowa and Calvin (Donna Jean) Wright, Dorchester, Iowa; and several nieces, nephews and first cousins.

Funeral Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah with the Rev. Marion Pruitt-Jefferson officiating. Burial will be in Lutheran Cemetery in Decorah. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is in charge of arrangements.

Friends may sign Norma’s guest book or send condolences online at