Lee Howe passed peacefully at home on October 17. We miss her dearly, but know she is safe in the hands of the Lord. Dagrun Magna Elfrida Nilsdatter, the youngest of 11, was born February 7, 1931 on the Slupphaug farm in Norway to Nils Løfaldlie and Serine Slupphaug.
Dagrun’s life changed greatly at age 9 when the Nazis occupied Norway from 1940-1945. She was confirmed in 1945, this meant she was an adult and so began her working life. Aunts from America visited in 1950; they agreed to sponsor a Slupphaug in America. Dagrun said “Yes” and became Dagrun Lee, because her father was Nils Lie when in America.
After 10 days at sea on Stavangerfjord, and days of train travel, she arrived in Northfield MN to Tante Oline on Halloween 1951. She moved to Faribault MN to nanny for her Sjulstad cousin, while working nights at the Faribo Woolen Mills to finance beauty school. She learned to speak excellent English in about 3 months, self-taught from TV and conversation. Dagrun got her cosmetology license in 1956 and became a US citizen in 1957. The Sjulstads and the Howes set up Dagrun Lee with Bill Howe. It took; they were married in 1959 on Dagrun’s birthday. They lived in Minneapolis, where they both had jobs, and daughter Debbie was born late that year. In 1960 they bought a house in Brooklyn Center, where Dagrun stayed until 2019. Daughter Mona came in 1968.
Dagrun and Bill were involved in Sons of Norway and Cross of Glory church. Dagrun especially enjoyed working at Norden’s Gift shop and quilting with the church ladies. Dagrun made 14 trips to Norway to visit beloved family. Bill and Dagrun traveled many other parts of the world, especially after Bill retired in 2000 and before he passed in 2007.
Siblings Oskar, Martha, Gudrun, Ragna, Alfred, Erling, Tormod, Gunnar, Jon and Nelly are deceased. Surviving family: daughters Deborah Lumendal, Mona Schwarz (Matt), grandchildren Serina, Marina and Micah, 24 nieces and nephews and countless relatives in Norway.
Memorials to pancan.org—Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in honor of Bill and Dagrun Howe.