Florence Irene (Hjelle) Crawford, the daughter of Frederick and Inga (Braaten) Hjelle was born on April 11, 1924 in Tunbridge, North Dakota. She died at the age of 89 years on Friday, January 17, 2014 at the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva, North Dakota.
Florence was raised in the home of her parents on the family farm near Rugby, North Dakota and graduated from Rugby High School. She worked in Rugby for a brief time before spending a year at a Bible College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following her education, she spent many years working for the Crawford and Gunnerud Hardware Store in Rugby. She was a talented and generous lady. In high school she had a lead role in the play, ‘Little Women’, helped put two of her sisters through nurses training and was involved in all kinds of volunteer work, especially with the First Lutheran Church where she was busy with Sunday school classes, Luther League and a Senior League. On February 10, 1953, she was united in marriage to Charles Crawford at First Lutheran Church in Rugby. Florence was accepted into his family with open arms and suddenly became a wonderful mother to Charles’ 3 daughters, Arlene, Jeanne, and Sally, whose mother had died in 1951. Florence and Charles shared a wonderful life together, hunting, fishing and flying. She earned her pilot’s license under the instruction of Charles. She was the last of the four Hjelle girls, Esther, Marion and Verna. Fond memories of Florence are when she would tune into the Lawrence Welk Show; it always put that big, bright smile on her face.
Florence is survived by her step-daughter, Sally (Herb) Nill of Eugene, Oregon; several grandchildren, nieces, nephews; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles (October 5, 2005); her step-daughters, Jeanne (Crawford) Hanson (1980) and Arlene (Crawford) Markwardt (1991); her sisters; Esther Haagenson, Marion Hanson and Verna Heizelman; and her parents.
Memorials in her name may be directed to the donor’s choice.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, May 24 at First Lutheran Church in Rugby, with burial in Persilla Watts Cemetery. Pastor Mike Pretzer, officiating.
Organist: Pam Anderson
Soloist/Guitarist: Sonja Smith
Casketbearers: Grandchildren, Marty Nill, Shannon Nill, Eric Nill and Kimbal Marwardt
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby.
Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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