Bertha Soffie (Stenbakken) Hagboe, the daughter of Peter and Nellie (Aaenson) Stenbakken was born on June 4, 1913 in the Riga Township, McHenry County (just east of Granville) farm home of her parents. She died at the age of 101 years on Monday, March 2, 2015 at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby.
Bertha attended a country school near her home and graduated from Granville High School. She completed her education at Minot State Teachers College, earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Following college, the first school she taught at was the Denbigh School, then moved on to teach at the Barton School where she would meet Bertinus “Bert” Hagboe, the son of the local Pastor. The couple was united in marriage in the home of her parents on June 29, 1941. Following their marriage, they lived in Granville and owned an ice cream and dry goods store. In the spring of 1944, the couple purchased the small “Hageseth” farm two miles east of Berwick, where they raised turkeys. A loving wife and homemaker, Bertha continued to teach at many of the area’s rural and town schools. Bert died July 17, 1959. Bertha continued to live on the farm during the summers, Rugby in the winter months and eventually Rugby became her permanent home residence. She ended 40 years of teaching at the Silva school and the last 10 years of teaching was at Rugby elementary, retiring in 1979. She always said “her students were her kids” and dearly missed the everyday hustle and bustle of her “children”. In 2007, Berth gave up her apartment and moved to the Haaland Estates Assisted Living. After breaking her ankle and needing physical therapy more often, in 2011 she moved to the care center.
Bertha was a long-time member of the Berwick Lutheran Church until its closing and a current member of Bethany Lutheran where she was active in their respective Ladies Aide. She also enjoyed a life career membership in the North Dakota Teachers Association and loved to crochet.
Bertha is survived by first cousins, Mary Strandberg of Minot, Annie Kingsley of Bismarck and Eddie Aaenson of Phoenix, AZ; other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.
The Funeral Service was held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 6, at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Rugby with spring burial in the Granville Community Cemetery, Granville. Pastor Dana Holter, officiating.
Organist: Jane Ekren
Casket bearers: David Lindseth, Mike Sitter, RJ Paul, Ole Bryn, Mark and Marvin Nelson
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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