Eleanor Annie Torkelson,97, of Mesa, AZ passed away November 24th, 2012. She was born October 22, 1915 near Crookston to Ameel and Ellen Torkelson. Her parents had recently moved from Balaton, Minn.and built the farmhouse that she was raised in.
Eleanor had a half sister and brother (Evelyn and Emmet Olson) from her mother's marriage to Otto Olson, who died. Evelyn died at age 5, then Emmet was the only sibling older than Eleanor until his death at age 85.
Eleanor is survived by two sisters, Ethel Bliven and Alta Brown and one brother, Glen. Also surviving are five nieces and five nephews.
She graduated from Northwest School of Agriculture (high school) in 1933 and then Deaconess School of Nursing in Grand Forks and came to work as a Registered Nurse at Bethesda Hospital in Crookston.
Eleanor joined the Navy Nurse Corps Reserves in 1945 during World War II and was stationed at the U.S. Naval Hospital, Ft. Eustis, VA and the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Maine from 1945-1946. After her release from the Navy, Eleanor attended Montana State College, earning her Bachelor's degree in nursing and then took a position in pediatrics with the Great Falls Clinic in Great Falls. Montana.
She was recalled to active duty in 1951 during the Korean conflict and was assigned to the Oakland Naval Hospital where she worked in the orthopedic operation room until she was again placed on inactive duty and honorably discharged in 1953 as a Lieutenant.
She remained in Oakland and for 20 years worked as the charge nurse in the pediatric clinic at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Clinic.
Eleanor married Warren H. Hem October 22, 1967 and they made their home in Oakland and Walnut Creek, CA. Following Warren's death in 1979 Eleanor moved to Arizona and lived in the cities of Sun City, Peoria, and Mesa.
A private memorial service was held Jan. 14 at the home of Alta Brown in Leisure World, Mesa, AZ officiated by Vickie Longenecker, a retired Army Colonel.