|Harriet Wangberg, 96|
|Written by TRF Times|
Bemidji - Harriet Lucille (Thorn) Wangberg, 96, of Bemidji died Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at her home in Tamarack Court. In a message to her family to read upon her death, she proclaimed, “This is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” She awaited this day graciously sharing her dreams that “heaven is a beautiful place,” and stating “I hope it won't take too long.” During advent she joyously arrived at that end.
A celebration of her faith-filled life was held Saturday, Dec. 15 at First Lutheran Church, Bemidji, with Rev. Corey Fuhrman officiating.
Harriet was born January 18, 1916, in Binford, N.D., the second daughter of Julius and Clara (Hitterdal) Thorn. She was raised and educated in Binford, graduating from high school in 1933.
Stories of life shared there and at Red Willow Lake with her sister Norma and life-time friends were favorites. Her family moved to Moorhead, while she attended Concordia College, from which she graduated in 1937. At Concordia, she met the love of her life, Reuben Wangberg. Following his seminary education and Harriet's four years as a parish worker at Zion Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, they were married there Oct. 4, 1941.
From 1941 through 1973, she joined Reuben in serving at Lutheran Congregations in Lemmon, S.D., Omaha, NE, Webster, S.D., Madison and Thief River Falls. The traditional pastor's wife, she devoted time to religious education programs for youth and adults. She wrote and directed plays with youth groups; she worked with women's groups giving bible studies and serving as a guest speaker at Mother and Daughter banquets; and in earlier days she reviewed Christian books for Augsburg Publishing House.
After Reuben's death in 1973, Harriet moved to Moorhead, where she continued her involvement with the Lutheran Church Women and Concordia College alumni/C-400 giving. An avid Concordia alum, she held true to their motto, “On Firm Foundation Grounded,” and carried her faith with her into all avenues of daily living. Following a stroke in 2007, she moved to Tamarack Court Assisted Living in Bemidji, to be near family.
A highlight for Harriet was maintaining her summer place on Strawberry Lake, where she hosted her family and friends. She delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and together they created a mutual admiration society. She enjoyed travel to Israel, Norway, Germany, and a 90th birthday celebration cruise with family to Alaska. In her later, years she enjoyed wintering with her daughter Eunice in Florida, and there, too, witnessed to her Christian faith. Upon saying good-bye to a friend for a final time, she said, “I'll see you in heaven.”
Harriet loved to tell people that she and Reuben had a family size of “two and a half dozen.” They are survived by their six children: Paul (Wendy) Wangberg, Coral Springs, Fla., Eunice (Donald) Phillips, Ypsilanti, Mich., Rolf (Pat) Wangberg, Rochester, Joayne (Alan) Judson, Park Rapids, Mark (Vickie) Wangberg, Bemidji and John (Vicki) Wangberg, Bemidji; 14 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, brother-in-law Eugene and sister Norma Sussex, and son-in-law Don Phillips.
As her life and legacy are celebrated, those who know her “thank God every time (they) remember her . . . because of (her) sharing in the gospel from the first day until now.” And to that we say Amen . . . .
Messages of condolence may be left at ceasefuneralhome.com.