Sorter, Selmer Odin (1915-2005)

Selmer O. Sorter, 89, died on Thursday, May 26 at Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, May 31, at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Holt, with Pastor Nancy Hanson officiating. Casket bearers included Selmer’s grandchildren. Interment was held at Finnish Cemetery in Middle River.

Selmer Odin Sorter, the son of the late Ellef and Hannah (Oslund) Sorter, was born September 30, 1915, in East Valley Township, Marshall County, in the Ringbo community near Holt. His mother died when Selmer was three and he lived with his grandmother, Karen Oslund in Wannaska, until age 12. He then returned to the Middle River – Holt community. He attended school at Wannaska and Holt, and also attended the AC at Crookston for a year.

Selmer was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. On September 20, 1941, Selmer was united in marriage to Tyyne Leskinen at the Nazareth Lutheran Church in Holt. The couple lived and farmed in Spruce Valley Township. Selmer also worked on road construction for Schenkey’s and for Benson Construction.

Following retirement, he worked as a land viewer for several local watershed projects. Selmer very much enjoyed fishing. He was a member of the Nazareth Lutheran Church for many years, a 4 – H Leader, and served as the local fire warden. In 1979, Selmer was named Marshall County Outstanding Senior Citizen. Tyyne died Sept. 1, 1993, and Selmer continued his home on the farm. On Sept. 21, 1995, he was united in marriage to June Hagen in Wannaska. They resided at Roseau from 1995 until 2003, then moved to the Valley Home in Thief River Falls. Selmer, 89 died on Thursday, May 26 at Northwest Medical Center in Thief River Falls.

He is survived by his wife, June; two daughters, Sylvia (Dale) Cole of Maple Grove, and Julie (Tom) Gast of White Bear Lake; four step-daughters, Janice (Brian) Ornquist of Detroit Lakes, Eileen Hagen of Whitehouse, Tenn., Lenae Hensley of San Francisco, Calif., and Kathy Hagen of Bemidji; 16 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; two brothers: Myron (Gladys) Sorter, of Newfolden and Ernest (Lorraine) of Blaine; in addition to several nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Selmer was preceded in death by his first wife, Tyyne, his parents, one sister: Anora Dunham, and step-son, Milo.

Thief River Falls Times

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky