Sylvia Cordelia Solberg, 104

Published 8:53 am Friday, February 22, 2019

Sylvia Cordelia Solberg, 104

With a sense of joy and celebration for a life of love and faith, the family of Sylvia Cordelia Solberg, 104, announces that she died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, at her home in Park View East, Northfield Retirement Community, Northfield, Minnesota. Family members were with her during her last week and when she died.

Sylvia was born Jan. 11, 1915, in Holloway, Minnesota, the oldest daughter of George and Maria (Mamie Fischer) Klemenhagen. She grew up in Makoti, North Dakota. As a young woman, she worked as a secretary in the new statehouse in Bismarck, North Dakota, and then at Gamble Robinson Co. in Minot, North Dakota. She married Jerrald Solberg in December 1941 and cared for their first two children while Jerry served in the Philippines during World War II. After the war, they moved to Heimdal, North Dakota, for several years and then to Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where they raised their family. In 1966, they moved to Austin, Minnesota. After Jerry died in 1986, Sylvia lived in Sun City, Arizona. She moved to the Northfield Retirement Community in July 2005.

Sylvia began playing organ at her church in Makoti at age 12 and was the organist at churches she attended in Minot, Fergus Falls, and Austin. After retirement, she continued as a substitute organist into her 90s, until her sight began to fail. She also worked as a recreational and music therapist in the Fergus Falls State Hospital and at Burr Oak Manor in Austin. She enjoyed crossword puzzles until her eyes gave out, and loved playing Scrabble. We think heaven has a new Scrabble champion! She radiated kindness and was able to connect with people even as her eyesight and hearing failed. She was a humble woman of deep faith and devotion.

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Sylvia is lovingly remembered by her five children, Nancy (Paul) Haugsjaa of Acton Massachusetts, Jonathan (Laura) Solberg of New Brighton, Minnesota, Jane (Dennis) Rinehart of Northfield, Philip (Jill) Solberg of Sun City and Timothy (John Ansehl) Solberg of St. Louis, Missouri; her ten grandchildren, Erik, Kjeldy, Todd, Robert (Rob), Laura, Angeleen (Angel), Daniel, Sarah, Jennifer and Matthew; and 16 great-grandchildren, Ansel, Leander, Owen, Peter, Torin, Ben, Meghan, Annie, Samantha, Magdalene (Maggie), Griffin, Sydnee, Silas, Veda, Rocco and Ivy. Sylvia is also held dear by her nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2019, at the Chapel of the Northfield Retirement Community. Interment will be this spring in Hillside Cemetery, Fessenden, North Dakota. Memorials may be sent to ELCA World Hunger, Global Health Ministries of Minneapolis, the Northfield Retirement Community Spiritual Life Endowment Fund or the charity of your choice. Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. Condolences may be made online at