Florence Irene (Hjelle) Crawford, the daughter of Frederick and Inga (Braaten) Hjelle, was born on April 11, 1924, in Tunbridge. She died at the age of 89 on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva.
Florence was raised in the home of her parents on the family farm, near Rugby, and graduated from Rugby High School. She worked in Rugby for a brief time before spending a year at a Bible college in Minneapolis. Following her education, she spent many years working for the Crawford and Gunnerud Hardware Store in Rugby. She was a talented and generous lady. In high school she had a lead role in the play, "Little Women," helped put two of her sisters through nurse's training and was involved in all kinds of volunteer work, especially with First Lutheran Church where she was busy with Sunday school classes, Luther League and Senior League. On Feb. 10, 1953, she was united in marriage to Charles Crawford at First Lutheran Church in Rugby. Florence was accepted into his family with open arms and suddenly became a wonderful mother to Charles' three daughters, Arlene, Jeanne and Sally, whose mother had died in 1951. Florence and Charles shared a wonderful life together, hunting, fishing and flying. She earned her pilot's license under the instruction of Charles. She was the last of the four Hjelle girls, Esther, Marion and Verna. Fond memories of Florence are when she would tune into the Lawrence Welk Show; it always put that big, bright smile on her face.
Florence is survived by her stepdaughter, Sally Nill, and her family; several cousins, nieces, nephews; and other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by: her husband, Charles (Oct. 5, 2005); her stepdaughters, Jeanne (Crawford) Hanson (1980) and Arlene (Crawford) Markwardt (1991); her sisters, Esther Haagenson, Marion Hanson and Verna Heizelman; and her parents.
Funeral services will be scheduled in May.
Arrangements with Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby.
Online registry: (www.funeralsbyanderson.com).