Norine was born on January 30, 1933 in Verndale, MN, where she grew up. Her father worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad replacing old or damaged tracks. Her mother tended to their home and cared for Norine and her older sister, Ruby. At the end of their father’s work day, the girls would be so excited to see him that they would run down the street to greet him. Although Norine had to get her chores done before should could play, she remembers having a lot of fun. Some of the activities she enjoyed were playing with her dolls, being outside with the neighborhood kids, and playing the violin in band. She recalls a moment when she felt bad for her friend, Arlys, because she didn’t have any dolls. Norine decided to give Arlys her favorite rubber doll. She says it was a tough decision but the right one.
Verndale Public School is where Norine studied until she was sixteen or seventeen. She enjoyed spending a lot of time in the school yard there. She liked playing softball and being with kids her age. When Noreen was about nineteen, she met her future husband, a nice farmer named Thorvald. It’s a cute story about knowing when the right one comes along. In October 1953, Noreen was waiting for a bus in Fargo, ND. There was a certain driver whom she liked, but it turned out he wasn’t driving that day. A man she didn’t know approached her and they started talking. She recalled her parents warning her not to talk to strangers, but she couldn’t help wanting to talk with him. She says God let her know it was alright. Obviously, the man was Thorvald. She accepted his request to take her on a date and that was it. In December 1952, the two were married. Thorvold worked for the city of Wadena while they were married and Norine cared for young children. Over time, they had four children; Joyce, Alvin, Bernice and Cheryl. Sadly, Thorvold passed away in 1970. Norine feels they didn’t have enough time together, but what they had was wonderful. She has nine grandchildren to focus on now.
Family is very important to Norine. When she was a child, her family used to visit her grandparents for Christmas. She recalls the love they had for her and her sister. Now, every Christmas, her entire family gets together for their annual Halaas gathering. Norine is proud that she has passed on such a wonderful tradition. Activities she finds enjoyable include; embroidery, coloring and watching Dr. Phil. Eating healthy food is also something Norine is passionate about. When she was younger, she became a member of TOPS (Take Pounds Off Sensibly) after a diabetes scare. She lost weight and learned a lot about eating healthy which she still practices today and the food at Good Shepherd doesn’t disappoint!
Norine has been at Good Shepherd for about three years. Walking through the entire campus provides her with plenty of exercise. She’s very glad to have the Northern Delights store available so she can treat herself at times. Staff members are always friendly and helpful. When asked about her thoughts on living here at Good Shepherd, Norine said emphatically, “When I found out what Good Shepherd was like, I fell in love with it! It’s not just a place for older people to live out their days. There are more activities to attend than you can imagine.” We are proud Norine calls Good Shepherd home.