Harryette Sjursen, 90, formerly of Erie, Arthur, and Dickinson passed away peacefully Saturday, February 11, 2023 in Phoenix, AZ with family by her side.
Harryette was born April 3, 1932 on the Henry Hill Farm NW of Erie, North Dakota. She grew up on the family farm south of Erie and attended school in Erie. As a young girl, she enjoyed yodeling while driving the International H tractor; along with, sunning herself on the hood.
She graduated from Erie HS in 1949, attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, majoring in Science and Math. She completed an Internship in Minot, ND obtaining a degree in medical technology graduating with honors in the top 3rd of the National Registry. Harryette was hired by the Trinity Hospital in Minot, ND as a Medical Lab Technician. During that time, she met Ralph Sjursen who taught Science and Math at Dakota Lutheran HS. Ralph frequently donated blood at Trinity Hospital to earn extra income (It is suspected that he also went to visit “the cute girl”!). They married June 6, 1953 in Erie.
A career change for Ralph took them back to NJ where Ralph was from. While Ralph attended seminary, Harryette worked at Greystone Psychiatric Hospital at Morristown NJ. The couple then moved to Gilberton, Pa for their first parish assignment. They returned to ND where, together they served churches for the next 50 years. They loved all their churches and enjoyed keeping Saturdays open for family fun, often exploring the badlands of Southwestern, ND. She also enjoyed gardening, cooking, sewing and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchild.
While serving the Methodist Church in Dickinson, ND; the family’s need for a special education classroom led the couple to take a leadership role in the development of community services for children with special needs. Harryette enjoyed being a foster parent and was recognized for her work providing services to individuals with special needs.
Harryette was preceded in death by her husband Ralph Sjursen (6/10/1928 – 12/6/2017), daughters Susan (5/26/1955 – 4/17/1976) and Nancy ( 10/7/1956 – 4/21/2011) and grandson Stephan (8/6/97 – 11/22/1997), parents (Harry and Helga Albert), sisters Lorraine (Irie) Kuball, Darlyn (Martin) Sjursen, Betty (Warren) Wilson and brother Lowell (Lois) Albert.
Continuing through Love are; son Phillip (Sheila), Bismarck, daughter Greta, Phoenix, 5 grandchildren: Erik (Angel), Sarah, Kirsten, Joshua, Cole, and one great grandchild Nadia.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held June 17, 2023 at 1:30 PM and will be conducted at the United Methodist Church in Arthur, ND.
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