Othelia Torkelson, age 94 of Forest City, died Wednesday, February 22, 2006 at the Good Samaritan Center in Forest City. Funeral service will be Saturday, February 25 at 2:00 PM at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City with Rev. Lee Laaveg officiating. Burial will be at Ellington Township Cemetery in rural Forest City. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 PM Friday, February 25 and an hour prior to service at the church.
Othelia Cornelia Torkelson, the daughter of Osmund and Bessie (Olson) Torkelson, was born near Humboldt, Iowa on April 21, 1911. The family moved to a farm near Thompson, Iowa, where Othelia met and married Clarence Torkelson. Othelia was a lifelong homemaker while she and Clarence raised nine children. Later in life she started the career she totally loved and had been in training for almost her whole life, a cook at the Good Samaritan Center in Forest City.
God came first in her life followed closely by her family. Her family and friends will remember her warm and caring ways. Otheliaís children all feel they were especially blessed to have her as a mother. Her heart had a special spot for each of her 26 grandchildren whom she lived to spend time with. Each one of them has special memories of times spent with her. She was definitely a cookie-baking grandma.
Otheliaís love of music was instilled in all her children. She taught herself to play the piano and read music like a professional, a skill she used for many years as her churchís organist. She was especially proud of any grandchildís music ability and was an encouraging force in their involvement in music. Otheliaís children and grandchildren witnessed her boundless love of Godís creatures. Birds, numerous cats and dogs and children found a safe haven in her care.
Othelia was born to teach. Her home became a classroom to her family and friends. She especially loved to teach the story of Jesusí love but you could also have lessons in baking, sewing, crocheting, knitting, canning, baby care, animal care, music, wallpapering, quilting, gardening and any part of nature.
Othelia was a life-long learner. She was an avid reader and loved to complete crossword puzzles. She could master any craft she tried, soon becoming the person who taught others her newly learned skill. She loved to travel and was especially proud of her trip to Mount St. Helens soon after it erupted. In her late sixties, she was the proud owner of her first car and the driverís license she worked hard to obtain.
You would often find her family gathered at her house on Sundays experiencing a delicious meal and special time together. Her children remember special foods she would make just for them. She always had a very special relationship with all her daughters-in-law and sons-in-law and found a very special spot in that big heart of hers just for them. Othelia loved to spend time with her brothers and sisters. She spent many happy hours quilting at her sister Thelmaís house.
Those left to cherish the memory of her life include her children: Margie Sogard of Ames, Bernice Voelker of Charles City, Carroll Torkelson of Fertile, Ronald (Lucille) Torkelson, Leslie (Paulette) Torkelson, Roger Torkelson, Wayne Torkelson and Marsha (Mark) Brunsvold, all of Forest City; 24 grandchildren and 35 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers, Orrin Torkelson, and sisters: Lavina Askeland, Thelma Sunde, Louise Jermeland, Julaine Albertson, and Darlene Hanna. Also surviving are two sisters-in-law, Linda Kesler and Bonnie Torkelson and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Clarence, son Clarence Junior, daughter Margie Helen , grandchildren Lisa Tate, Hollis, Debra and LaRae Torkelson. She was also preceded in death by her brothers and sisters, Joe, Clifford, John, Arthur, John, and Myrtle.
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