Edna Waller’s advice to moms: Always hold your loved ones tight

Crookston Times

    Readers: This Mother’s Day month, The SUMMIT Assisted Living, part of Benedictine Living Community – Crookston, is partnering with the Crookston Times to spotlight tenants who have children and/or grandchildren who work at Benedictine. The series wraps up with a feature on Edna Waller.

    Edna Waller’s story began when Edna’s parents, who immigrated from Norway, met on a train in North Dakota in the early 1900’s.  Born in Strathcona, MN in the Roaring 20’s,  Edna was second to the youngest  of 7 children who grew up in the days before electricity and today’s modern conveniences but recalls many fond memories going to dances and enjoying various hobbies like gardening, embroidery work, making lefse, donuts and breads.

    Before starting high school in Greenbush and graduating from Grand Forks High, Edna remembers her excitement getting to attend the new school in Strathcona, built as a relief fund project.  She said it was, “The best school ever, it was a TWO room building!”.  

    “One memory that really stands out is from my younger years.  A neighbor came running to our house to ask my dad to turn on his really tall battery operated radio.  We were under attack at Pearl Harbor. I will never forget that.  Harvey was stationed later at Pearl Harbor and now my great-grandson is stationed in Hawaii too, I am SO PROUD.” She adds with a smile.

Babysitting job leads to new life

    While living in Grand Forks, Edna babysat the next door neighbor Helen’s children. Helen’s brother Harvey happened to be on army leave, it was love at first sight and as they say, the rest is history. Wedding bells rang in 1947.  Edna and Harvey moved to Crookston and made their forever home.  Edna worked various jobs, Herberger’s, Johnson’s Jewelry and retired as the Secretary at the Eagle’s Club. Edna had a sparkle in her eye when she shared how Harvey, was one of the 1st entertainers to perform LIVE in studio at KROX. “He was a talented singer, guitar & piano player and a frequent wedding dance performer throughout the years at the Eagles!   I loved how he would play piano for the grandkids and make up songs on the spot with each of their names!” Exclaimed Edna.

Granddaughter makes it extra special at The SUMMIT

    Edna is content to make her home at The SUMMIT.  “I enjoy Bingo, reading, cooking and playing cards with my friends here at The SUMMIT.  And I most love my family visits.  Everyone is very friendly here and makes you feel so welcome. Having my Granddaughter Marcie (Haugen, Laundry/Housekeeping Manager) work here though, was basically the main reason why I decided to move in here at The Summit; she was the icing on the cake!”

    During the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day, The SUMMIT AL is highlighting tenants who have children/grandchildren who work at Benedictine.  Edna said her greatest advice for moms?   “Hold your loved ones tight, always!”

Edna Waller and granddaughter, Marcie Haugen