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Norma M. Lease

The Dickey County Leader of Ellendale, North Dakota

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January 19, 1925 — September 24, 2015

Norma M. Lease, 90, of Wahkon, MN died September 24, 2015, at GracePointe Care Center.

Services were held October 1, at Wahkon Presbyterian Church in Wahkon, MN with Rev. Anthony Oltmann officiating. Burial was at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls, MN.

She is survived by her daughters Claudia Nelson, of Mound, Becky (Joel) Dvorak of Sheridan, Wyo.; her son David (Audrey) Lease of Lindstrom; also three step children Jim (Becky) Lease of Deerwood, Owen Lease of Brainerd, and Pat (Mike) Walker of Bismarck, Ark.; and also six grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, and many great and step great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Claude Lease; infant daughter Deborah Mae; sisters Florence Ihme and Lillian Newton; brothers Raymond and Howard Ihme; step-brothers Barney and Le Roy Johnson, step-sister Goldie Williams, and one step-granddaughter, Mardie Steelman.

Norma was born on Jan. 19, 1925, at Deer River to Arvid and Ida (West) Ihme. At the age of three, she moved with her mother and siblings to Savo Township, SD to her grandfather's homestead. There her mother married Nick Johnson. They farmed at Hecla, SD, before moving to a farm near Ellendale, ND. She graduated from Ellendale High School in 1943.

Because of the war, farm help was hard to find, so she stayed at the farm to help from early spring until after harvest, and worked in Minneapolis during the winter months until her parents retired. She then moved to Minneapolis and worked for NW Bell Telephone Co.

On June 8, 1949, she married Claude "Bud" Lease at the "Little Brown Church in the Vale" in Iowa. Claude was in the Army, until his retirement in 1975. They lived in Trenton, NJ; Tokyo, Japan; Eatontown, NJ; Taipei, Taiwan, El Paso, Tex.; Anchorage, Ala. (twice); Minneapolis; Ft. Irwin, Calif.; Lawton, Okla.; and Nekoma, ND. After retiring from the Army, they lived in Langdon and Devils Lake, ND, until they put their belongings into storage and traveled fulltime in their motor home, going to the southern states for the winter months and staying in Minn. during the summers. In 1986 they purchased a home near Wahkon but continued to be "Snowbirds" in the winter.

Norma was an ordained Elder and member of the Wahkon Presbyterian Church and was active in Christian Women's Clubs.

Norma enjoyed keeping in touch with many dear friends who she and Claude met during their army days and as they traveled around the U.S. in their motor home, as well as her childhood friends.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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