Sons of Norway on the Radio

It's Norsk Hostfest time again, and Sons of Norway is again sponsoring Oslo Hall. That in and of itself is pretty big for us; having a platform in front of a crowd that can swell to more than 20,000 people per day is really exciting.

But what's even more exciting is that as part of this year's largest Nordic festival in North America, Sons of Norway took to the airwaves yesterday! Well, to be more accurate, Fraternal Director Linda Pederson did. Linda was interviewed at Norsk Hostfest by Merrill Piepkorn, host of Prairie Public Radio's "Hear it Now."

To hear her interview, click here and forward to the 17:00 mark to listen to Linda talk about Sons of Norway and our flood relief efforts in Minot, ND. 

For those of you listening online or in North Dakota, tune in live tonight because Linda, as well as a number of Norsk Hostfest performers, will be on the air raising money for Minot flood relief.

James Lewallen

James A. Lewallen, 67, of Poteau, OK passed away Wednesday, September 28, 2011 in Poteau. James was born in Zoe, OK on January 21, 1944 to Marion J. & Lucinda J. (Dunn) Lewallen. HE was a farmer. James was a veteran of the US Army.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Williams of the home; Daughters, Rose Baker of Cuba, MO, Shella Turner of Cuba, MO; son, Melvin Turner of Chester, CA; grandchildren, Tamara Turner of McAlester, OK, Tonya Gates of McAlester, OK, Delilah Pahl of Chester, CA; many great grandchildren and nieces & nephews; sister, Nora Steelman; brothers, Orville Lewallen & Wayne Lewallen all of Poteau, OK.

Services will be 2 pm, Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at the Oakland Cemetery Pavilion with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow.

Charles "Droop" Anderson

Charles L. Anderson, 77, of Poteau, OK passed away Wednesday, September 28, 2011 in Ft. Smith, AR. Charles was born August 11, 2011 to Benjamin Woodrow“Woody” & Leona McKenna Anderson. He was an attendant at the Feed Store. He was a veteran of the US Air Force.

Survivors include his 2 daughters, Sharon Campbell of Shady Point, OK, Shelia Bunch of Poteau, OK; 7 Grandchildren, Joseph Bunch, Tasha Martinez, Keisha Sanchez, Leightina Wright, Michael Terry, Kevin Terry and Melanie Anderson; 14 Great Grandchildren, Taygan Bunch, Nathion Bunch, Jordan Martinez, Destiny Martinez, Aaliyah Sanchez, Damion Sanchez, Tobin Wright, Katrina Wright, Cody Terry, Jace Terry, Mercedes Terry, Gracie Terry, Britney Terry, Hunter Terry; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Thursday, October 6, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Oakland Cemetery, Poteau, OK. Pallbearers will be Jr. Terry, Michael Terry, Cody Terry, Joseph Bunch, Genaro Sanchez, Michael Martinez

Barnehage Programs Begin

Have you had the chance to read "The Bilingual Boost" in the September issue of Viking? In her article, writer Holly O'Dell features the innovative programming at Barnehage, Concordia Language Villages' (CLV) Norwegian immersion preschool in Edina, Minn.

For those who live in the Twin Cities, Barnehage offers a couple of programs that are just starting up. Tussetroll, a parent-child class for 2-1/2 to 4-year-olds, begins Oct. 20. Valerie "Magne" Borey, who teaches at Barnehage, says "the Norwegian language is something a lot of us associate very intimately with our families, so it's a great way for little ones to start learning the language, when that connection to parents—and grandparents—is so firmly central to who they are."

Norge Rundt, for children ages 4-11, meets one Saturday a month, beginning Oct. 8. "This is a wonderful opportunity for young children who can't attend Barnehage during the school week, or Skogfjorden villagers who want to continue what they've begun during the summer." Borey says. She adds that she's excited about the theme they've chosen for the year: norske helter (Norwegian heroes).

For more information on Barnehage programs, visit the CLV website or call 1-800-222-4750 to register.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Bonnie Jo Dameron

Bonnie Jo Dameron, 68, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, went to be with the Lord on September 27, 2011 while surrounded by her family. Bonnie was born in Chicago, IL on December 22, 1942 to Floyd and Helen McKinney. She had one older brother (whom she adored), Wayne Floyd McKinney.
Bonnie found and married the love of her life, James Wesley Dameron on April 14, 1986. She had three children, Linda Lee Larson, Wayne Louis McCabe & Vickie Jo Buchanan. She had one step-son, Brian Keith Dameron.
Bonnie never met a stranger. Her special gift was her love and desire to take care of other people. Bonnie had a fighter’s spirit and always rooted for the underdog. She never wanted anyone to feel left out or unwanted so she lived her life making sure others felt loved and special. Bonnie had so many incredible talents. She was an excellent artist and loved to paint and make pottery. She also loved to sew and created several amazingly beautiful baby blankets. But most of all, Bonnie was an outstanding cook. She loved creating new recipes and cooking for her family and friends.
Bonnie & James shared many wonderful years together and those years were the happiest of her life. They enjoyed just being together, but Bonnie particularly loved traveling and watching football (the Chicago Bears held a special place in her heart).
Bonnie also loved spending time with her children and grandchildren. She always made birthdays and Christmas so special for them. After Bonnie became ill in 2007, James never left her side. They continued to live life together until she left her broken body behind and went home to heaven.
Bonnie is preceded in death by her parents, Floyd & Helen McKinney and her brother, Wayne McKinney (what a joyful reunion that must have been!)
She leaves behind husband, James Dameron; daughters, Linda Larson, Vickie Buchanan & husband, Brandon; sons, Wayne McCabe & wife, Crystal, Brian Dameron & wife, Misty. She leaves 14 grandchildren, Shandi, Zack & Mikaela Fienen, Stephanie, Haley, Addison and Carter McCabe, Raegan, Ellason, Sophia and Ava Buchanan and Blake, Keelan, and Parrish Dameron; and 3 great grandchildren, Marissa, Kruz and Fisher
Bonnie left the family that cherished and loved her much too soon. We love you so very much and will miss you everyday until we see you again.
Services will be 10 am, Saturday, October 1, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK. Interment will follow in Vaughn Cemetery, Gilmore, OK. Pallbearers will be Keelan Dameron, Ronnie Humphries, Ron Dameron, Justin Dameron, Justin Wilson, Nicholas Watts & Wayne McCabe.

Madeline Herman, Organ Donor, Florida 2003 - 2011

8 year old Madeline Herman was a fun-loving girl.  She loved to dance, sing, give hugs and play dress up.

Above all Madeline loved her family.  Madeline's parents Sonny and Shera and her brother and sister, Dakota and Erin, loved to play with Madeline, listening to her funny jokes.  Madeline danced around the house and always with a smile on her face.

Madeline was diagnosed with a seizure disorder at the age of 10 months and developmental disability however that did not stop Madeline from enjoying life to its fullest through activities through the Special Olympics such as cheerleading, soccer and softball.

At the time of her death Madeline's life continued to impact others.  Her kidneys went to an 8 year old boy and a 28 year old mother of three.  Madeline's corneas gave the gift of sight to a 3 year old and a 46 year old man.  Her liver went to research and her heart valves will one day help another individual.

The Herman family is working to create an organization in memory of their daughter called Madeline's Gifts to help other children and adults with special needs.

Freda Juanita Phillips

Freda Juanita Phillips, 88, of Poteau, OK passed away Saturday, September 24, 2011 in Poteau, OK. Juanita was born in Porum, OK on July 11, 1923 to H.S. & Eula (Carmell) Bowen. She was a nurse. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, George; one grandson & brother, Bob Bowen.

Survivors include her son, David Phillips of Poteau, OK; daughter, Wynama Bowman of Poteau; 3 grandsons; 6 great grandchildren; 1 half-sister. June Bowen; 2 half-brothers, Dewayne Nelson & Jack Nelson.

Services will be 2:00 p.m. Monday, September 26, 2011 at Oakland Cemetery Pavilion with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow.

Gerald D. Brickman

Gerald Brickman, 67, better known to his friends and family as Pop, died September 24, 2011 as a result of a sudden cardiac event.

Gerald was a farm boy who learned the meaning of hard work from an early age. He understood the mechanics of farm equipment, automobiles, animals, and his fellow humans. The love of the farm held his heart throughout his life. After graduating from Okeene High School in 1963 and marrying his lifelong partner, Penny in 1964, he began a career that would see him as Plant Supervisor of Waldon Inc., Fairview, OK. Gerald held precious his memories of Waldon and safely guarded letters written to recognize his accomplishments by his employer, Don Martens.

The year 1987 found the Brickman family relocating in Colorado where Gerald worked for nearly 20 years for Phil Long Ford. He began his career there as manager of their custom van division but later moved to parts and then on to the body shop. He was a supervisor of the huge Phil Long Ford Body Shop.

In 2007 Gerald and Penny returned to their Oklahoma roots by moving to Poteau, OK. Gerald, always an Oklahoma boy at heart, was thrilled to be back in his home state and stated at numerous times that he would never want to leave the Poteau area.

While Gerald is celebrating his heavenly arrival he leaves behind a host of people to miss his humor and smile, as well as the many thoughtful things he continually did for them. His wife, Penny, son and family Larry, Lori, Blake, & Ashley Brickman of Yukon, son and family Jeff, Sherri, Chase & Sarah Brickman of Poteau; grandson Brandon Brickman of Tulsa; granddaughter Kaley Brickman of California; father, Leslie Brickman; sister and family Karen and Roger Parsley of Arlington, TX, sister and family Doris & Ralph Cross of Ringwood, OK, sister Audine Felder of Pauls Valley, and brother Willis Brickman, nieces, nephews and lifelong friends Kathey and Floyd Rauh of Oklahoma City and their family as well as a host of friends whose lives he touched in very tangible ways. Gerald was preceded in death by his mother Iral Brickman, sons Tracey Scott Brickman and Stephen Brett Brickman.

Services will be 2 pm, Thursday, September 29, 2011 at Springhill Baptist Church, Monroe, OK with Rev. Monty Brown & Rev. James T. Smith officiating.

Andrew J. "Buddy" Rogers

Andrew J. “Buddy” Rogers, 88, of Poteau, OK passed away Saturday, September 24, 2011 at his home in Poteau. Buddy was born August 20, 1923 in Bokoshe, OK to Burl & Mattie (Tolbert) Rogers. He was a pot ash miner. Buddy served in the US Army in the Battle of the Bulge under General Patton. He was a member of the First Baptist Church, Poteau, OK. He was preceded in death by his parents; son, Ronald Rogers; grandson, Michael Hughie; great grandson, Buddy Hughie; sisters, Bernice Conti, Marie McCafferty, Lila Davis & Jackie Restine.

Survivors include his wife of 70 years, Dimple; daughters, Joyce & Jack Barbaree of Panama, OK, Deloris Hughie of Poteau, OK; grandchildren, Julie Hughie Hicks, Tonia Rogers, Denise & Roger Jones, Robert Meier, Stephanie & Jessie Puentez, Jon Rogers, Mattie Rogers, Zachary Rogers; great grandchildren, Dennis Hicks, Jenny Claiborn, Waylon Parrott, Vance Parrott, Tyler Hayes, Dustin Hayes, Cassie Hayes, Garrett Rogers, Jayton Toros, Kaylee Puentez, McKinzie Puentez, Logan Rogers, Alexis Hughie; numerous Great Great Grandchildren;
other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2:30 pm, Saturday, October 1, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Poteau with Rev. Jim Cook & Rev. Phil McGehee officiating. Interment will follow in Old Bokoshe Cemetery, Bokoshe, OK. Pallbearers will be Dennis Hicks, Dustin Hayes, Waylon Parrott, Vance Parrott, Jeremy Oliver, Randy Mc Kinney, Phil Partain. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Bill Willis, Phillip Streetman, Greg Claiborn, Johnny Bell, David Black, Doug, Joe & Charles Henderson & R.D. Bryant.

The family will be at the funeral home on Friday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Barbara Farris Backlash and SCAMMER ALERT

It seems Barbie is biting off more than she can chew, yet is sticking to her guns. I just posted the latest news story on Barbara Farris, which has sparked outrage in Florida. Barbie, true to form, has started her "Sex Offender Solutions" site:


Sex Offender Solutions

5036 Dr. Phillips Blvd Suite 255
Orlando, FL 32819
I'd like to point out that not only is the SOS name a knock on SOSEN (justlike AZU's now defunct "Operation SORoarful was), it is a jab at Randy Young, and her housing/ real estate scheme is patterned after Young's system.

I must warn any registrant/ sex offender seeking housing, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, use Barbara Farris's program. She not only asks some odd questions, she also demands a $45 application fee. It is called a SCAM. If you are on the registry, then she can look you up for FREE. 

An interesting comment was posted in yesterday's article, which was a cut and paste of a comment on another blog. I tracked down the original article. I wonder how many bridges she's burned over the years? At any rate, here is an interesting comment. The original article seems pro-Barbie, but that is not the focus, the comment section is:
This Woman is Crazy says:

Carol Bond, whom Portia Yates testified was her girlfriend, called the lounge several times and left an angry note on Portia Yates’ car.Bond told Farris when she returned from Ohio that the couple had reunited.Fantl said that at the same time, Farris learned she was pregnant and said Yates was the baby’s father.The defense attorney also described Farris as an amateur screenwriter who usually names her heroines “Barb.”He said she wrote one plot in which “Barb” foils a murder attempt.Fantl said Farris made up the story to destroy any chance that Yates might return to his wife.”Hell hath no fury,” Fantl told the jury.”She (Farris) wanted to marry him and she found out that they were getting back together.”Fantl reeled off a list of contradictions in Farris’s testimony and said the story was concocted to get rid of Yates and any possible claim he might have against the couple’s business assets.After the trial, Fantl was wrapped in a bear hug by Yates outside the jail.”I lost my job, my truck (it was repossessed) and my apartment,” Yates said.”I will probably have to leave town, (but) justice was done.”This past week on a local radio show, Bucket Head, Barbara claimed that her family has said that her money comes from the mafia.This is not a claim that her family makes out of the blue, read Barbara’s book and discover that it is her claim of such a connection.She claims that she worked for them for years.The story that she tells in the book is about being raped as a child and as a result a runaway that found herself as a drug and money runner for the mob.On the same show, she also claimed that she is currently filming and launching a reality show.This is a pattern, she also claimed to be doing a movie about Bruce Yates.Ask her for proof of a reality show.There are true victims in this world and they need the help of honest people, not ones that manipulate the hurt and pain of others for personal attention and gain.I hope you all begin to see this woman and this situation for what it really is.Barbara helps no one but herself.She only uses and abuses.3of3 posts.

CheatedInOrlando says:
I’m not surprised at all by your story.
Ms. Farris still owes my small company serious money for work done in conjunction with the supposed “kick off” of Bee Aware in June 2009. We poured heart and soul into the work that was done for her “organization” and were promised that she had “contacts” in place that would launch a national tour, and make this a “multi-million dollar enterprise.”
Immediately after our work was completed (print work, brochures, designs for merchandise, e-mailers, original music, and other intellectual property) Ms. Farris, under the guidance of her lesbian lover and a battery of attorneys, informed us that she was “shocked” by the cost and would not pay.
She continued, however, to use the materials we’d created, displaying them on her website, even advertising our merchandise designs as being for sale. In fact, the song used on the You Tube clip shown here is MINE – it was never paid for (and never completed, this being just a demo).
As for “protecting children,” Ms. Farris had also assembled a cast of young actors to portray the Bees in this supposed “national touring company.” Many of these actors were underage at the time – and Ms. Farris regularly hosted “after-rehearsal parties” for this cast at which alcohol and drugs were present.
Protecting children indeed.
Like you, I’ve come to believe she was never in this to “help kids” – everything I’ve seen her do is simply about promoting herself…

I'll let this sink in for a bit. Just think, both WENDY MURPHY AND JANE-VELEZ MITCHELL have defended this woman.

There is more on Barbie here, with documentation:

 There is so much info there but I'll just try to sum it up briefly.

Her criminal past includes grand theft larceny, (2nd degree) one exceeding $25000 Okaloosa County, Fl. and (3rd degree) one exceeding $10,000 Orange County, Fl. thefts.  Further, she has countless misdemeanors and a couple others that were originally felonies she pleaded down and admitted in court 'no contest' to the charges.

Farris has had 31 known addresses of residence over the past 20 years, created 19 corporations in the past 14 years alone.  All - ALL of those corporations report a 'loss' or she never reported the income at all.

JustBeeAware has had 4 corporation name changes in 7 years alone.  She has scammed companies and professionals to the tune of $100,000 during that time. Not once paying her bills.  Its no wonder she remains on the move.  Farris has done the same with most of the places she rents.  She'll pay first and last month, stay for about 4 months and skip out on the landlord.

Yes I have confirmation Barbara Jo Farris screwed over poor Jim Fowler with a fake development. The fraud statute has not run out on that scam. Nationally known? She sold less than 200 books.

1 conviction was grand theft auto. Waiting on the details for the other felony. She has passed numerous bad checks / restitution orders in Okaloosa & Orange County over the years. Most of those, she's left unpaid. 

 Wow. How does a person this messed up get any publicity? Hopefully she'll soon have publicity of a different kind-- JAIL TIME.


Someone did  a WhoIs Search on Barbie's new website. She doesn't cover her tracks too well.

Domain name: housingforoffe

Registrant Contact:
   bee aware ()
   605 east club cir
   longwood, florida 32779

Administrative Contact:
   bee aware ()
   605 east club cir
   longwood, florida 32779


Barbara Farris wants to create sex offender concentration camp

Wow. How desperate for attention IS Barbara Farris these days? Even this site is starting to struggle to keep up with Barbie's antics? In the past year, she was arrested for Menacing, almost arrested for harassing a registrant and posting it on YouTube, tried to turn that bad publicity into the Bzz Busted reality show, was the only person in America buying the Casey Anthony molestation defense, and now, this crazy vigilante bitch wants to run a sex offender camp. You've got to be kidding me!

Plans For Sex Offender Village In Lake County

A Tampa woman is planning to open a village within a Lake County town that would house sex offenders and predators--perhaps hundreds or thousands of them.Barbara Farris said the town of Sorrento is a great place to re-locate registered offenders because of its distance from the hustle and bustle of places like Orlando."[It's] far enough from civilization from where they're not around parks and kids," Farris said. "They're not going to be surrounded or have temptations."Farris recently started a company called SOS, which is short for Sex Offender Solutions. It provides registered offenders with housing, transportation, jobs and counseling.When asked if the idea of a town for sex offenders could actually happen, Farris said she thinks it could."It's absolutely realistic," Farris said. "We've joined on with some people making it very realistic for us."But many people in Sorrento didn’t agree."She might have a big fight on her hands if this happens," one resident said.Gregg Welstead, Director of the Lake County Conservation and Compliance Department, said the county does not have any specific rules related to this.But the county relies on and follows the guidelines set in state statute with regard to distances that sex offenders can live from schools, parks and playgrounds, he said in a statement.He also said there could be zoning issues or density considerations that might require a public hearing.Farris said she has plans to open other housing villages in South Florida and California."The goal is to prevent another abduction, death or abuse," she said.

Phyllis Ann Hayes

Phyllis Ann Hayes, 78, of Spiro, OK passed away Thursday, September 22, 2011 in Fort Smith, AR. Phyllis was born August 23, 1933 in Poteau, OK to Aaron Baxter & Edith D. (Sloan) Skinner. She was a homemaker. Phyllis was a loving mother, grandmother & friend. She was preceded in death by her parents; 2 husbands, Charles Knight & Red Hayes; brother, “Big Jim” Skinner; & sons, Kenny Knight & Fred Hayes.

Survivors include 3 daughters & son in law; Charlsi Bandy of Spiro, OK, Janet & Chuck Sandlin of Spiro, OK, Doris Sitton of Winslow, AR; 2 sons & daughters in law, Phillip & Virginia Knight of Ft. Smith, AR, Cecil & Peggy Hayes of Huntington, AR; 15 Grandchildren, Kristy Davis, Chad Bandy, Cody Sandlin, Chuckie Sandlin, Jerry Sitton, Barry Sitton, Paul Knight, Rebel Knight, Derrick Knight, Keith Lindley, Karen Grubbs, Craig Hayes, Brandy Hayes, Joey Knight, Mandy Clark; 25 great grandchildren; 1 great great grandson; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 11 am, Monday at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook & Rev. Roger Mattox officiating. Interment will follow in Monroe Cemetery, Monroe, OK. Pallbearers will be Paul Knight, Rebel Knight Derrick Knight, Bryce Bandy, David Crossland, Mark Morrison.

The family will be at the funeral home Sunday afternoon from 2-4 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Response to July 22 Tragedy

Skogfjorden, Concordia's Norwegian Language Village, is collaborating with Nordmanns-Forbundet to respond to the July 22 terror attacks in Norway. The event will take place on Fri., Oct. 7 at 7 pm at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Edina, Minn.

Hallgrim Berg, President of Nordmanns-Forbundet, will discuss the impact the attacks have had on Norway and the role the royal family has played in helping the country in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Skogfjorden villagers will share their perspectives on the attacks and will work with staff members to create a program featuring narrative, poetry and song. This event is free and open to all.

Viking will remember the events of July 22 with a special commemorative article. Look for it in our December issue.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Elitatt.

No Peace for David Rowe

Who is this person, you ask? This is David Rowe, the self-proclaimed leader of a small vigilante group called "No Peace For Predators." The group's goal is "That the Sexual Predator becomes Exposed, Exiled, and ultimately, Extinct." They were founded in 2009 as a response to the Somer Thompson case, so they claim on their FB page:

Just your run-of-the-mill vigilante group. In fact, their only real claim to fame was harassing a former offender who, desperate for income, bought an ice cream truck. While I agree a registrant shouldn't be driving an ice cream truck (if nothing else than for appearance reasons), I was appalled by the threats and harassment by Rowe and company, who videotaped the harassment then posted it online. 

David Rowe states in many places he is a "Christian." He even quotes Bible Scripture:

David Rowe even invites individuals to a church. What a nice guy, right?

Here is another inspirational post:

I just wonder, if you go to a David Rowe Bible Study, what would you REALLY see? Maybe this?

What is with the devil horns? Are you trying to tell us something, Davie boy?

How about Rowe bragging he punched someone out at a bar? (click the pic to enlarge)

Here is some more "Jesus speak" from Mr. Christian. He misunderstands the concept of "laying of hands:"

No, idiot, speaking Jesus's name while talking about murdering people in cold blood speaks volumes about your douchey character. i should also  this: 

Oh, you are soooo "famous." I guess he's trying to quote "Young Guns." Whatever. This asshat lives around Orange Park, FLORIDA. I heard Rowe changed his Facebook page. I wonder why?

It is too bad the local authorities won't arrest this clown, but Florida has the monopoly on vigilante thugs (like Judy Cornett and Barbara Farris). NO PEACE FOR DAVID ROWE!

James William Ward

James William Ward, 86, of LeFlore, OK passed away Wednesday, September 21, 2011 in Fort Smith, AR. James was born January 3, 1925 in Vantress, OK to Hollie James William & Julia Ann (French) Ward. He was a veteran of the US Army serving in 3rd Battalion CO.K 115th Inf. Regiment, 5th Army, 29th Infantry Division. He was a WWII veteran involved in the D-Day landings in Normandy, a purple heart recipient; Presidential Unit Citation; Combat Infantry Badge, Victory Ribbon, Good Conduct Ribbon, Theater Ribbon. He had 3 Bronze Service Stars. He was retired from working at the VA Hospital. He was a farmer and loved to garden. He was preceded in death by his parents and foster brother, Roy Walters.

Survivors include his wife, Juanita of the home; sons & daughters in law, Ronnie & Karen Ward of Norman, OK, Mike & Patty Ward of LeFlore, OK; daughter & son in law, Nita & Don Chitwood of LeFlore, OK; grandchildren, Julie & Danny Atwell, Teri & Nick Starr, Dustin & Kasey Ward, Lindsay & Jeremy Farris, Brad & Penny Neal, Joanna Roberts, Jodi & Shawn Ward, Jami & Cody Blaylock, Micha Chitwood, Ashley Chitwood, Daton & April Chitwood; 19 Great Grandchildren; sisters & brothers in law, Barbara & Wayne Austin of Wilburton, OK, Dora & Bill Willard of Red Oak, OK, Margaret Austin of Minco, OK; numerous nieces & Nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Saturday, September 24, 2011 at the LeFlore Baptist Church, LeFlore, OK with Rev. Jim Cook and Rev. Ron Bess officiating. Interment will follow in LeFlore Cemetery, LeFlore, OK. Pallbearers will be Mike Deere, Dallas Ward, Larry Ryles, Larry McAlester, Casey Warren, Darrell Epperly, Jimmy Booth, James Cantwell. Honorary pallbearers will be Lee Zuck, Harvey Walden, Bill Ward, Frank Carpenter, Harold Mings, Kenny Monroe.

The family will be at the funeral home on Friday evening from 5-7 pm to visit with relatives and friends.

You may leave an online message at

Gerald Conley "Jerry" Hinton

Gerald Conley “Jerry” Hinton, 81, of Poteau, OK passed away Monday, September 19, 2011 in Poteau. Jerry was born July 10, 1930 in Bokoshe, OK to Oscar & Lula (Richardson) Hinton. He worked at the Del Monte Cannery. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Lorene Tabor & Neva Thomas; brother, Ben Hinton.

Survivors include his sister, Leona Alkire of Manteca, CA; sister in law, Glenna Hinton of Poteau, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am Thursday, September 22, 2011 in Evans Chapel of Memories- Poteau, OK with Rev. Phil McGehee officiating. Interment will follow in Old Bokoshe Cemetery, Bokoshe, OK. Pallbearers will be David Hinton, Roy Vineyard, Chris Horton, Kendall Horton, Barry Hughes, Johnny Bell.


We're in our fourth week of school here and I'm finally feeling like we're getting into a routine.  It's true that I still couldn't find a better time to blog than at 10:30 at night, but still, things seem less hectic than they did a few weeks ago.  Here's what we've been up to:

We spent Labor Day in Teton National Park hiking, picnicking, skipping little rocks and climbing on big rocks, water-bending, and enjoying the beauty of nature.  Our only complaint was having to get back to real life the next day.
A 3+ mile hike satisfies some Webelos requirements!

Gordon practicing his water-bending skills
Since school is back in session, the boys no longer have the luxury of staying up past a certain time every night.  It doesn't really seem fair to send all three boys to bed at the same time, though, so usually we've just let Tom stay up and read in his room for a while before he has to turn out the lights.  For the last several nights, though, Tom has been going into his room at the same time as the other kids, waiting a few minutes, then sneaking back downstairs to play a game with Chris.  They usually play Mastermind-- it's quick and fun and they can get several games in before I send anyone back upstairs.  It has been fun to see these two enjoy some one-on-one bonding time.

Gordon is playing soccer and had his first game last week.  He loves it, of course, and has been negotiating his reward for if/when he scores a goal.  So far, we've agreed that we'll go out for ice cream after the game. 

It seems a little bit cruel to post a picture of us in all of our red gear after such a painful game (painful even for the winners) on Saturday, but I would be remiss if I didn't share that football season is alive and well in the Hansen home.  Chris had the boys singing "Utah Man" and marching around in their matching shirts all day long.  Little goobers.

I need to update my book list with some books I've read over the past little bit.  My favorite of those has been The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma.  Additionally, Gordon and I have been reading books from the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems and they are just plain awesome.  Five stars, thumbs up, and huge recommendations from me-- if you have an early reader, they are a must.

Lisa Peirce & Betty White

Bertha Olsen,Warren Wakefield,George Wakefield,Hubbard Warren,Neita,Floyd,Wanda,Flora,Myrtle,Leland, Bertha

Shirley Evonne Crandell

Shirley Evonne Crandell, 75, of Poteau, OK, passed away Sunday, September 18, 2011 in Poteau, OK. Shirley was born February 1, 1936 in Wister, OK to Tom & Della (Hicks) Johnson. She was a retired bookkeeper from Mingo School in Tulsa, OK. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob.

Survivors include 3 sons, Kenneth Wayne Crandell of Broken Arrow, OK; Michael Eugene Crandell of Poteau, OK; David Forrest Crandell of Tulsa, OK; sister, Lou Ellen Solomon of Tulsa, OK; brothers, Donald Wayne Johnson of Claremore, OK and Ronald Hoyt Johnson of Wister, OK; 7 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren; and other relatives & loved ones and many beloved friends.

Services will be 11:00 am, September 24, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories in Poteau, OK. Interment will follow in Ellis Chapel Cemetery, Wister, OK.

Billy Mack Ramer

Billy Mack Ramer, 79, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, September 18, 2011 in Talihina, OK. Bill was born July 31, 1932 in Red Oak, OK to Alvin & Ila Beatrice (McAlester) Ramer. He was retired from Wister Schools. Bill was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served in the Korean Conflict. He was preceded in death by his parents and 2 brothers, Norval Ramer & Johnny McGowen. Bill loved horses and loved to trail ride.

Survivors include daughter, Karen Barragan of Santa Anna, CA; 2 grandsons; 3 sisters & brothers-in-law, Gail Morrison of Poteau, OK, Sue & Ronnie Burke of Broken Bow, OK, Phyllis & Rick Sanders of Howe, OK; brother & sister in law, Herman & Linda McGowen of Summerfield, OK; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 2 pm, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at Summerfield Baptist Church, Summerfield, OK with Rev. Charles Caughern officiating. Interment will follow in Fanshawe Cemetery, Fanshawe, OK.

Annie Lou Witt

Annie Lou Witt, 82, of Wister, OK passed away Monday, September 19, 2011 in Wister, OK. Annie was born July 22, 1929 in Eufaula, OK to Fred & Ruby (Eskridge) Williams. She was a restaurant cook. Annie was preceded in death by her parents; son, Donald Adams; daughter, Betty Adams; husband, Eschol “Hank” Witt; 3 sisters & 1 brother.

Survivors include one son & daughter in law, Darrell J. & Ginger Adams of Wister, OK; 3 Daughters & Sons in law – Carolyn & Robert Gutierrez of Belton, TX, Reah & George Maynor of Wister, OK, Linda & Garry Skinner of Poteau, OK; grandchildren, Kristy & Brad Hill of Howe, OK, Jerrod & Jeannie Adams of Wister, OK, Kevin & Becky Adams of Wister, OK, Brian & Becky Maynor of Choctaw, OK, Chris & Dayla Adams of Wister, OK, Dustin & Heather Adams of Weatherford, TX, Bruce & Leslie Maynor of Wister, OK, Amanda & John Goode of Humble, TX, Robert Gutierrez of Hurst, TX, Bradley Adams of Tahlequah, OK; 14 Great Grandchildren; 2 brothers & sisters in law, Lester & Nancy Williams of Newstrum, KS, Dean & Diane Williams of Heavener, OK; 1 sister & brother in law, Ellen & Thomas Brown of Wister, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Wister, OK with Rev. Keith Stewart & Rev. Brad Hill officiating. Interment will follow in Ellis Chapel Cemetery, Wister, OK. Pallbearers will be Jerrod Adams, Kevin Adams, Brian Maynor, Chris Adams, Dustin Adams, Bruce Maynor, Robert Gutierrez & Bradley Adams (her grandsons)

The family will be at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with relatives & friends.

Norwegian Experience: Day 4, 5 & 6

It has been a busy couple of days for Norwegian Experience winner, Nancy Madson, but it sounds like she is loving every minute. Last time I spoke with Nancy was on Thursday, so we had quite a bit to catch up on this morning. Since then Nancy has visited six stave churches, the emigrant museum, the historic Kvikne's hotel and the Flåm railway and more. So here goes!

In Lillehammer we visited the ice arena for 1994 Olympics. The arena roof is shaped like an upside down Viking ship. We didn’t go inside but it was interesting to see the building. The most notable part of that day was the emigrant museum in Hamar. We had traditional rommegrot and dried reindeer and sausage with flat bread. The curator at the museum was wonderful too and very interesting. He dispelled so many myths about immigration! One myth was that traditionally we think of Norwegian emigration happening beginning in 1825 but many left prior to 1825. He also talked quite a bit about the number of emigrants who returned to Norway. It was also interesting to hear that the most Norwegians emigrated in 2010—30,000 last year. Which is the most ever in absolute numbers. The curator was very thought provoking, a bit of a philosopher, it was very educational.

Later we drove through the Gudbrandsdalen Valley.
I know everyone thinks of Norway for the fjords but this valley is a real contender to the fjords, it is so beautiful!

So far we’ve been able to see eight different stave churches in various stages of remodeling, reconstruction and restoration. When the churches were first constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries they were very basic and dark, changing to be more ornate during the Catholic years, and then changing again after the reformation. It was wonderful to see these churches and hear about the changes they went through over the years. On Sunday we saw the Borghund stave church in Lærdal, which is currently undergoing a restoration. We were able to climb the scaffolding and actually see many of the areas being repaired in detail. It was the best. I can’t imagine having a better tour of the stave churches!

We had a wonderful time in Undredal on Sunday evening as well. We had dinner at a goat cheese factory. We enjoyed a delicious course of cheeses as well as my favorite brown cheese, geitost. I love that cheese! We also participated in some Norwegian music and folk dancing.

When I visited in 2000 I didn’t participate in any organized tours. However, I can’t stress enough how wonderful this tour has been. I have learned so much more. Linda McCormick and Borton Overseas have done a fabulous job putting this together. If Sons of Norway decides to do another tour, I would so highly recommend it, not only because of the things you see but also because of the camaraderie with tour members. I’ve made quite a few connections with members I wouldn’t have otherwise met. It is a totally different experience than when our members get together for the convention, a tour like this helps you meet those everyday members. It really is a fabulous tour. I just hope Sons of Norway and Borton Overseas does this again!

Don’t forget to check the blog later for more updates, and be sure to visit the Sons of Norway website if you’d like to be the lucky recipient of this amazing contest for 2011!

September 19th: International Talk Like a Pirate Day

If you didn't already know, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! That means that people around the world will spending the day gleefully saying YARRRRR and AVAST in celebration of this parodic holiday that was created back in 1995.

Now, I'm sure you're probably wondering why the Sons of Norway blog is playing host to this mirthful holiday, right? I mean, pirates were localized to the South Seas and Caribbean islands only, like in the movies and Disney rides, right?


The North Seas, especially throughout Scandinavia, actually played host to their own pirate culture. While southern oceans were the home of colorfully named pirates, like Blackbeard and Calico Jack Rackham, the North Sea was sailed by pirates named Otto Stigsson and Knut Ellingsen. In fact, North Sea Piracy was such a developed culture in the 14th and 15th century that the oceans were ruled by an organized group, called Fataljebrødrene. In fact, they even codified their behavior with strict rules of conduct, called “Likedelere”, which means “Those who share equally”.

So, now that you've had your pirate lesson for the day, join me in saying YAAARRRRRR!

Norma Hanna

Norma S. Hanna, 70, of Panama, OK passed away Saturday, September 17, 2011 in Panama. Norma was born November 28, 1940 in Spiro, OK to Voyd T. & Bertha M. (Thomas) Boitel. She was a homemaker. Norma was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Billy Boitel; and niece, Angie Shepard.

Survivors include her husband, James J. Hanna of Panama, OK; sons, James Allen & Alta Lynn Hanna of Kansas City, MO, Larry Joseph Hanna of Cameron, OK, Jeffrey Scott Hanna of Panama, OK; sister, Kathy Shepard of Panama, OK; brothers, Charles Boitel of Cameron, OK, Larry Boitel of Keota, OK, Gary Boitel of Osceola, MO, Mickey Boitel of Panama, OK; 2 grandchildren; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow in Greenhill Cemetery, Cameron, OK. Pallbearers will be Joe Hanna, James Hanna, Kevin Hanna, Rocky Hanna, Randy Boitel, Gary Boitel, Brad Shepard, Jeff Hanna.

Geitungen Begins North American Tour

Fans of Norwegian folk music, take note: Geitungen, an energetic instrumental trio that's brimming with talent, is touring North America this month. I had the good fortune of hearing these guys play last summer at Nisswa-stämman Scandinavian Folk Music Festival, and I became an instant fan. The group, which plays traditional tunes from the Rogaland area in southwestern Norway, has released three albums: "Langt Ute" (2010), "Bra Kast" (2005), which won a Norwegian folk music award for best album, and "Vaniljesaus" (2001).

Geitungen (pictured here, from left) is Christer Rossebø on fiddle, mandolin, mandola and guitar; Håvard Ims on melodeon and accordions; and Vidar Skrede on hardanger fiddle, fiddle and guitars.

The group began its tour earlier this week in Calgary, Alberta. Their next stop is British Columbia and then Washington state before playing at Norsk Høstfest in Minot, North Dakota. They'll be playing a few gigs in Minnesota before heading back to Norway in October. You'll find a detailed tour itinerary on Multe Music. Check out their website for a sampling of their infectious tunes.

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

Oran Lee Ross

Oran Lee Ross, 80, of Cameron, OK passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Cameron, OK. Oran was born September 5, 1931 in Hackett, AR to Glenn & Grace Ray Ross. Oran was an engineer at Whirlpool where he retired after 37 years. He was on the Cameron City Council for 50 years. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 56 years, Earlene Ross and brother, Gene Ross.

Survivors include his daughter & son-in-law, Lea & Jim Ridenour of Cameron, OK; son, Byron Ross of Cameron, OK; grandchildren & spouses: Ross Ridenour & Candace Lett and Bryan & Angila Montgomery of Cameron, OK, John & Tabby Ridenour of Fayetteville, AR and Sara Ridenour of Cameron, OK; great grandchildren, Aiden Hildebrant of Fayetteville, AR, Ashley Montgomery, Isabelle Ridenour & Kloe Montgomery of Cameron, OK; other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Services will be 10 am, Monday, September 19, 2011 at Evans Chapel of Memories, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating. Interment will follow at Greenhill Cemetery, Cameron, OK. Pallbearers will be his grandsons: Ross Ridenour, Bryan Montgomery, John Ridenour & son-in-law, Jim Ridenour.

The family will be at the funeral home on Sunday afternoon from 2-4 pm to visit with friends & relatives.

Presidential Tour 2011: Day 2 and 3

Yesterday I spoke with International President Dan Rude about the presidential Tour of Norway to see how it’s going so far. I caught up with him as he was just finishing lunch at the Hadeland Glassworks, but more on that in a bit. Here’s what Dan had to say:

SofN: So, Dan, how’s the tour going? Last time we chatted you’d had a long day, but were looking forward to the excursions to Akershus and the Storting. How’d they go?

DR: Oh, it was so interesting! Akershus and the Norwegian Resistance museum were amazing. Going through the museum, it really this home how much Norwegians sacrificed when fighting the Nazis. Their homes, their families, and in some cases their lives. It really puts things in perspective.

SofN: Wow, that sounds really moving. I’m glad you got to see it. Now, after the Akershus trip, you went to the Storting, right?

DR: Oh yes! That was last night and it was fantastic! We met with a good friend of ours who is a MP and he took us on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Storting. We were able to go places within the building that most citizens never see in person, like the Main Chanber, where the MPs meet. Looking around, I was so amazed at the level of technology they employ.

Then we went down on the main floor of the chamber, where people are rarely allowed to go. It was a great experience because the whole building has some great architecture and design.

SofN: That sounds like a lot of fun and a rare opportunity. Was there a favorite part of the tour?

DR: I think it would probably have been seeing the room where HM the King waits prior to opening the Storting every year.

SofN: Very cool. I bet there aren’t a lot of people who get to see that. Now wasn’t there a dance performance as well?

DR: Yes! We met up with a bunch of our old friends who live in Oslo. They are in a group called Steinsgardskroken, and they have an accordion group that plays for the dances. It was awesome! I even learned some new dances and, best of all, made some new friends.

SofN: Sounds like a lot of fun. So with all that activity yesterday, are you enjoying some down-time today?

DR: Not at all. I’m still full of energy! We spent part of the morning on the bus, going to visit the Heddal Stave Church. That was quite an experience for us since it’s the largest stave church in Norway.

Then we came here to the Hadeland Galssworks. We’ve just finished lunch and are about to take a tour of their glassblowing area, then do some shopping for gifts and souvenirs.

SofN: Hadeland Glassworks are a great place to visit. We’ve sent a number of past Norwegian Experience winners there. They’ve all had a great time and learned a lot about the art that goes into making glassblowing and the resulting artwork.

DR: I’m sure it’s going to be very educational for everyone. Then once we wrap up here, we’re going on to Eidsvold where we’ll visit Constitution Hall. That’s going to be a very special part because it’s such an important part of Norway’s history. Unfortunately because it’s under renovation we won’t be able to see much inside, but it’s still an important stop on the tour.

Then, after Eidsvold, we are off to Hamar, which is a very special place for me. It’s where my grandmother came from, so there is a deep familial connection with the area. When we’re there we are also going to visit Mjørsa, which is the largest freshwater lake in Norway. The scenery there is so beautiful, I know everyone is going to love it!

After that, we are ending the day with a nice dinner for everyone on the tour and we’re going to be visited by International Director Ernst Granly, his wife and his brother. It’ll be great to see him and I know that everyone will enjoy meeting with him.

SofN: Wow, Dan, it sounds like you’ve had a full couple of days! Is everyone on the tour able to keep up?

DR: Oh, yes! Everyone is still really excited to be here. We’ve walked a lot of miles so far, but everyone is having a great time!

SofN: Great, Dan! Thanks for keeping us up-to-date on everything that’s going on with the Presidential Tour!

Beatrice Lewis

Mrs. Beatrice Lewis was born on November 14, 1917 in Winston County, Mississippi to Mr. Charles Dugan & Mrs. Georgia Dugan. Her early childhood was spent in Louisville, Mississippi. At the age of 6, Beatrice and her family moved to Fort Coffee, Oklahoma where she received her formal education.
Beatrice was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. Her hobbies included gardening and word search puzzles. She was an avid quilter, babysitter of numerous grandchildren and a champion dominoes player. She enjoyed making jelly, teacakes and providing a comfortable home for her family. She was a faithful member of Macedonia Church of God. Beatrice’s civic contributions included: election poll worker for the LeFlore County Election Board, volunteer for the Fort Coffee Head Start Program and participating in the activities of the Fort Coffee Senior Citizen program.

Beatrice is preceded in death by her father, mother, four brothers, three sisters, one daughter, Georgia Ann and her husband, Leroy.

She leaves to cherish her precious memories: daughters, Lula Mae Johnson and Kathleen Scott of Fort Coffee, Oklahoma; son, Sergeant Major Marvail Lewis, Retired of Fort Coffee, Oklahoma; a sister, Geneva Ruff of Spiro, Oklahoma; eight grandchildren, Gary Lewis, Sheryl Scott-Smith, Antoine Lewis, Belinda Scott, LaWanda Phillips, Fredie Scott II, Carrie Hartsfield and Erin K. Lewis; fifteen great grandchildren, Tyler Scott, Blake Scott, Cashmere Phillips, Cathleen Scott, Everette Jones, Marshall Jones, Antianna Lewis, Raneisha Lewis, Antoine Lewis Jr., Cherish Phillips, Chairity Phillips, Janiah Lewis, Gary Lewis II, Jasmine Scott and Brianna Scott; three great-great grandchildren, Brooklynn Scott, Nevaeh Scott and Londynn Scott; and an abundance of nieces, nephews, family and friends

Services will be 11 am, Friday - September 23, 2011 at Mt. Triumph Baptist Church in Fort Coffee, OK with Pastor Wesley D. Hooks officiating. Interment will follow in Fort Coffee Cemetery, Fort Coffee, OK. The family will be at the funeral home in Pocola on Thursday evening from 6-8 pm to visit with friends and relatives.

Patsy Ruth Cotarelo

Patsy Ruth Cotarelo, 77, of Enid, OK died on September 16, 2011 in Enid, OK. She was born in Lone Pine, OK on October 12, 1933 and moved with her family to California in 1939. Patsy returned to her home state in 2009. Patsy's life was defined by her career as the mother of five children. She also worked at Argonaut Electric Co. in San Diego, CA and was active in the school PTA and her church. Patsy was a skilled artist and her oil paintings are a testament to her talent. She attended Chula Vista High School and raised her family in Chula Vista, CA. Patsy moved to Surprise, AZ in 2000 and leaves many friends in the Sun Village Resort where she was honored on her 75th birthday with friends and family traveling from California and Oklahoma to celebrate her life. Patsy valiantly fought rheumatoid arthritis, which she contracted at age 25. She was proud of her people skills and delighted that she could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. Patsy was preceded in death by her parents, William and Inez Boggs, Sister, June Neeley, Son-in-law Charles Golden and granddaughter Ashley Blake Ammon. She is survived by her siblings, Catherine (Kenny) Monroe, Roy (Mary) Boggs, residents of LeFlore, OK and Kenneth (Oma Dee) Boggs of Waco, TX. Patsy leaves five children, Debbie (Tim) Searl of Temecula, CA, Keith Cotarelo of Huntington Beach, CA, Richard (Brenda) Cotarelo of Yucaipa, CA, Pam (Jimmy Johnson) Ammon of Enid, OK and Kent (Sally) Cotarelo of Enid, OK. Surviving grandchildren are Lindsy (Thomas) Paine, Brandon Cotarelo, B. Jerry Davis, Scott Golden, Trevor (Rachel) Cotarelo, Kyle Cotarelo, Trevor Johnson, Drew Ammon, Hayley Cotarelo, Joel Johnson, Kaitlin Cotarelo, Zachary Gonzalez, Cole Cotarelo, Kirk Cotarelo, Cassandra Cotarelo, Gabriella Cotarelo and Chase Cotarelo. Patsy also leaves four great grandchildren. Patsy will be buried alongside her family at the LeFlore Memorial Cemetery in LeFlore, OK. Viewing is open to the public on Thursday, September 22, 2011 and the service will be 2 pm Friday, September 23, 2011 at the First Baptist Church in LeFlore, OK. To honor Patsy, please send memorial donations to: Macedonia Missions Network, 2213 West Broadway, Enid, OK. 73703.

Oran Lee Ross

Oran Lee Ross of Cameron, OK passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Services are pending.

Paul Lee "Butch" Dora III

Paul Lee “Butch” Dora III, 41, of Poteau, OK passed away Wednesday, September 14, 2011 in Poteau. Paul was born August 12, 1970 in Corona, CA to Paul Lee II & Jacqueline Wales Dora. He was preceded in death by his grandfather, Paul Dora I; grandmother, Patricia Wales; & step grandfather, Raymond Bean.

Survivors include his wife, Tonya of the home; daughters, Brooke Elizalde of Redlands, CA, Haley Pendergrass of Poteau, OK, Jessica Dora of Poteau, OK; sons, Benjamin Hammon of San Diego, CA, Trevor Dora of Murrieta, CA, Jordan Pendergrass of Poteau, OK, William Riley Dora of Poteau, OK, Michael Dora of Poteau, OK, Levi Dora of Poteau, OK; grandchildren, Bella Basurto & Nicolei Elizalde of Redlands, CA; sister, Tammie Rangel of Banning, CA; brothers, Brian Dora of Ft. Smith, AR, James Bean of Cherry Valley, CA; mother & stepfather, Jackie & Morris Bean of Banning, CA; Father, Paul Dora II of Las Vegas, NV; maternal grandfather, Frank Wales of Barstow, CA; paternal grandmother, Doris Dora of Las Vegas, NV; step grandmother, Marie Bean of Magalia, CA; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives & friends.

Services will be 10 am, Saturday – September 17, 2011 at Fairhill (Knothole) Cemetery Pavilion, Cameron, OK with Rev. Bill Claunts officiating. Interment will follow. Pallbearers will be Brian Dora, James Bean, Morris Bean, Ron Espalin, Paul Dora II and Shane Cox.

Mondaine Catherine Fry

Mondaine Catherine Fry, 56, of Poteau, OK passed away Friday, September 9, 2011 in Poteau. Catherine was born February 23, 1955 in Detroit, Michigan. She was a homemaker.
Catherine is survived by her daughter, Mondaine Stennis of Sierra Vista, AZ; and 3 sons.
Memorial services will be 11 am, Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Poteau, OK with Rev. Phil McGehee officiating.

Norwegian Experience: Day 2 & 3

Both Wednesday and Thursday have been fun-filled days for Nancy Madson, 2010 Norwegian Experience contest winner. Nancy visited the Oslo Folk Museum, Gol stave church, the Viking Ship Musuem, Parliament and much more! Let’s hear how she’s enjoying the trip!

Walk me through your day on Wednesday…did you have any favorite stops?

Wednesday was great! Last night especially! Our visit to Parliament was really interesting and the folk dance group afterward was wonderful and very large! There were dancers and musicians of all ages, from 10 to 70. There were even young children playing the accordion. Afterward we were served dessert and coffee and the dancers went out into the audience and encouraged us to dance a waltz with them. It was a great time!

I also did a bit of shopping with Luella. She wanted bunad shoes. (Of course this prompted my active imagination. So to prevent myself from picturing ornate, heavily embroidered shoes, I just had to ask. Nancy was happy to put my curiosity to rest, “special shoes you wear with a bunad-dancing shoes.”)

What did you do on the tour on Thursday?

A little bit of driving, we visited Heddal stave church, which is absolutely beautiful. Very large and decorated and it is currently in use, from April to October. They can’t open the church in winter because the electric heat would damage the interior since the church is 800 years old.

We also stopped at Hadeland Glassworks, which was very interesting and educational. I have watched freeform glassblowing before but at Hadeland today they used molds instead. I watched an artist use 3 molds in one piece today. I also did a bit of Christmas shopping for my family in their gift shop. (Nancy did give me the details on the nifty gifts she picked up--which sound wonderful--but I won’t spoil the surprise for the lucky recipients!) I also received a wonderful gift from Hadeland for being the contest winner, a beautiful cobalt blue Christmas ornament set of three hand-blown kings.

We also made a surprise stop in Eidsvoll to Eidsvollsbygningen, the manor house where the Norwegian constitution was written. Unfortunately the building was closed for restoration but it was nice to stop and see it from the outside.

When I visited in 2000 I didn’t participate in any tours, but this visit has been so much more of a learning experience. The tour guides with Borton Overseas have been wonderful. I’ve been taking notes and trying to remember everything. One of the things I learned was that Norwegians have a triangular flag as well as the rectangular flag. The triangular flag is used more for everyday use and what we would consider the “traditional” Norwegian flag is used for more official occasions. I was also surprised by the amount of sod roofs and stabburs I saw today. You think of them being “of the past” but you still see them in use in Norway. I’m hoping to find a stabbur souvenir to take home with me. I really enjoy those little buildings-some are so ornate and others are fairly plain.

I also was interviewed by John Granly, journalist and brother to our International Director Ernst Granly, for the local paper in Eidsvoll. So who knows, my picture might be in the local paper!

Don’t forget to check the blog later for more updates! On Friday Nancy will be off to Hamar and Lom to visit the Emigrant museum and the Ringebu and Lom stave churches, ending with a stay at the historic Fossheim Hotel. So, if you’d like to be the lucky recipient of this amazing contest for 2011, be sure to visit the Sons of Norway website and check out the contest details here!

Jerry Robertson

Jerry Wayne Robertson, 61, of Cameron, OK passed away Tuesday, September 13, 2011 in Cameron. Jerry was born May 4, 1950 in Poteau, OK to Guy Roy & Mary Louise (Pierce) Robertson. Jerry was a veteran of the US Army; a member of the Local DAV Chapter 63. He was a painter. Jerry was preceded in death by sons, Michael Jared & Ryan Neal Robertson; and his parents.

Survivors include his daughter, Alicia Mae Robertson of Pico Rivera, CA; granddaughter, Lauren Robertson; sisters, Verna Sue Ward & Erma Crowder of Poteau, OK; brothers, Louis Henry Carter of Lake Kiowa, TX & Roy Robertson of Cameron, OK.

Services are pending.

Janice Johnson

Janice Deane Johnson 63, of Poteau, OK passed away Sunday, September 11, 2011 in Poteau. Janice was born February 3, 1948 in Olney, IL to William Paul & Rita Marie (Rist) Fisk. She was a homemaker.

Survivors include daughters, Robin Mader of Eufaula, OK, Tania Barber of Poteau, OK; sons, William Young and Chris Broniste of Poteau, OK; brothers, William Fisk of AZ, Jerry Fisk of Shreveport, LA; sisters, Sharley Fisk of Moore, OK, Mary Jo Morse of Howe, OK; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces & nephews, other relatives & loved ones; many beloved friends.

Memorial services will be 2 pm, Friday at the Oakland Cemetery Pavilion, Poteau, OK with Rev. Jim Cook officiating.


My mother, blessedly, is not one to give advice often. Her favorite piece is, “Only worry about things you can do something about,” which is something neither of us really succeed at. Occasionally, she will also quote the pastor of the church we attended when I was in elementary school. His adage, "Act, don’t react,” is excellent advice and fodder for another blog post.

On this glorious pre-autumnal day I find myself fraught with worry, consumed by it, almost devoured by it.

In between doing laundry and working, of course.

But the worry seems to be winning.

Fast forward to this not so glorious pre-autumnal day about a week later. Today I’m still worried about a myriad of things, including whether I’ll ever get another (decent) blog post written again. I just finished my walk (cut short because I was worrying about A. getting rained on B. everything that has to be done today) and it occurred to me I used to be so busy before we moved to the prairie I didn’t have time to worry. Oh, there was plenty of time to be stressed, overworked, and anxious but not a lot of time to fret.

Then we made a drastic lifestyle change, leaving jobs at a large university in the Mid-Atlantic region for life at a much smaller university in the Middle West, much closer to family.

One thing I never worry about is that we made the wrong decision to move.

And that alone guarantees peace of mind even when I’m stewing and stressing about… stuff.