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Grace D. Fridgen, 93, of Moorhead, MN, passed away Wednesday, January 17, 2024, in Beehive Assisted Living, Moorhead.
Grace was born August 11, 1930, in Drake ND, the twelfth of thirteen children of John and Elizabeth (Bruner) Rutten. She lived in Drake, ND until the age of 12 when the family moved to Wild Rice, ND, and graduated from St Benedict’s in 1948. Grace went on to earn her teaching certificate with her first teaching position being in a one room schoolhouse with 3 students.
Grace met E. W. (Bill) Fridgen at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio when taking dance lessons. They were married June 10, 1958, at St Benedict Catholic Church in Wild Rice, ND. After their marriage they settled down in Moorhead, MN and raised four children. When she had summers off from teaching, the family spent time traveling the country or wonderful times at the lakes.
Grace and Bill were long time members of St Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Moorhead where they enjoyed a deep faith. They kept up with dancing and were active with square dancing in the FM area.
Grace loved teaching. In her early career she taught at St Francis de Sales school. She spent a majority of her years at George Washington Elementary in Moorhead. Grace cared for her students and took joy in watching them learn and grow and impacted so many lives. Post retirement she substituted at various schools, including St Joseph’s School in Moorhead. There were very few places you could go to with Grace, without being stopped by someone who wanted to say “hi” to Mrs. Fridgen and relay an experience they had with her as their teacher. She had a passion for science and nature and exploring anything new. In 1988, she was tickled pink to be chosen to spend nine days at NASA’s research center learning about the latest in space and aeronautics activities so she could bring it back and teach her students.
Grace’s happiest moments were time spent with family. She adored every one of them. Her warm heart, gentle nature, fun loving spirit, and her love were a gift to them all.
Grace’s final years were spent in BeeHive Homes where she made friends, had great fun, and received wonderful care by a special and loving staff.
Grace was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; grandson, Samuel Halvorson; her parents; and siblings Cornelius, Andrew, Mathilda, Veronica, Anton, Gabriel, Helen, Paul, Emily, Gladys, William and Hazel.
Grace is survived by her children, Andrew (Julie) Fridgen, Emily (Marvin) Halvorson, Barbara (Jack) Nyberg and William (Mary) Fridgen; grandchildren, Kendra, Alynn and Ella Fridgen, Elizabeth Nelson, Luke Halvorson, and Zachariah and Lucas Nyberg; great-grandchildren, Myra, Ryker, and Aurora; sisters-in-law, Ruth Rutten and Delores Rutten; as well as many special nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Grace’s family would like to extend a special thanks to BeeHive Homes and Hospice of the Red River Valley.
She is once again joined with her Prince in Paradise.
A Visitation for Grace will be on Sunday, January 21, 2024, from 5:00 PM until 6:30 PM, with a 6:30 PM Prayer Service in St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, Moorhead.
Her Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:30 AM, Monday, January 22, 2024, in St. Francis de Sales with visitation continuing one hour prior to the service.
The burial will take place in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Moorhead.
(Korsmo Funeral and Cremation Service, Moorhead, MN)