Fern Granle, 95

Published 8:51 am Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Fern Granle, 95

Fern Granle, 95, of Austin, Minnesota, passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2017, at Sacred Heart Care Center, where she received loving care for the past several years.

Fern was born Fern Alice Shope on Feb. 20, 1922, in McIntire, Iowa, to Atlee (Frank) and Christine (Ames) Shope. She was the youngest of five children. In 1924, her family moved to Hayfield, Minnesota, where she attended high school and after graduating in 1940, moved to Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, where she worked a short time at a local bakery, then the post office.

In 1943, at the age of 21, she joined the WAC (Women’s Army Corps) and during World War II she volunteered for overseas duty. She served in Birmingham, England and Paris, France. While in Paris, she was reunited with a high school boyfriend, Lester Norgaard and they were married in Paris. After the war and being discharged, they moved to Hayfield, Minnesota. They had three children: L. James (Donna) Norgaard of Roy, Montana, David (Mary) Norgaard (deceased), and Joann (Gary) Ciampi (deceased). Sadly, they were later divorced.

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Fern and her children moved to Austin, Minnesota, and in March of 1951, she married Wesley I. Granle. They had a set of twins: Kenneth (Anne) Granle of Mantorville, Minnesota, and Keith Granle of Denver, Colorado. Fern and Wesley lived a happy life up until 1977, when Wesley died of a heart attack while working.

Fern was a housewife and mother. She enjoyed reading, cooking, gardening and spending time with her children and grandchildren. She was very devoted to her five children and their families, always there for them helping them out with her time and generosity. Later in life, she worked for Kmart until her retirement. She was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church. She also was a member of the Legion Post 570 and VFW Auxiliary Sam Post, where they dedicated time and effort supporting amputee veterans with modified clothing.

Fern is survived by three of her sons, James, Kenneth, and Keith; grandchildren, Travis (Antigone) Norgaard, Lisa (Jeff) Hathorn, Tom Norgaard, Jon (Jennifer) Norgaard, Shelly (Mark) Mathis, Michael Ciampi, Adam Kopsidis, Kendra Granle, Kenneth Granle Jr, and Kendall Roberts; and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Frank and Grant; two sisters, Sarah and Marge; her husbands; son David, and daughter Joann.

Funeral services for Fern will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, July 13, 2017, at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary, 209 Second Ave. NW, Austin, with the Rev. Susan Li officiating. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of the service Thursday morning. Burial will be at Grandview Cemetery with Olaf B. Damm Post No. 1216 V.F.W. and Austin Post No. 91 American Legion in charge of military rites. A reception will follow at the Austin American Legion Club, 809 12th Street SW.