Cora Torgerson, 98

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Memorial services for Cora Torgerson, 98, of Tulsa, Okla., formerly of Albert Lea, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church. The Rev. Todd Walsh will officiate. Friends may greet the family one hour prior to the service at the church.
Cora died Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010, in Tulsa, Okla.
Cora Atlanta Torgerson was born Oct. 10, 1911, to Aleck O. and Caroline (Skaug) Torgerson at her grandparent’s (Skaug) farm in Bancroft Township. She lived at the Bancroft store while her parents ran the store until they moved to St. Paul. She attended kindergarten through fifth grade at Sibley School in St. Paul. When her grandfather died, the family returned to Albert Lea and lived on an 80-acre parcel of the Skaug farm just east of North Bridge Avenue and present day Interstate 90.
 Cora attended Hammer School, sixth through eighth grade, and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1929. She attended the University of Minnesota, and received a degree in home economics education with a minor in Science.
From 1936 to 1938, she lived in Canton, teaching home economics, chemistry, biology and girls’ physical education. In 1938, she became a Home Agent in Houston County where she remained until 1941, when she moved to Chicago, Ill. She was first employed as a civilian employee in the Air Force inspecting and testing radio and radar equipment for fighter planes. Following the war she was the assistant manager of food service at the YMCA Hotel in Chicago. 
When her brother died in 1953, she returned to Albert Lea to help her mother and niece. She was briefly employed by the Freeborn County Farm Bureau and for 21 years was the food service director for School District 241. Lunches were served in 11 elementary schools, including Hayward, Hollandale, Clarks Grove, two junior high schools and the senior high school. She assisted in planning and equipping the school cafeterias as new schools were built. She retired in 1973.
Cora was a long time member of Grace Lutheran Church where she had served as treasurer and other council positions.
After retiring she enjoyed one of her favorite pastimes: traveling. She took several trips to Europe with her friend, Thora, and also many trips to visit her niece and other relatives and to attend Arabian horse activities.
In 2005 Cora moved to Tulsa, Okla., to be close to her niece, where she lived until her death on Feb. 6, 2010.
During her lifetime she was active in organizations. She was a member of the Bancroft 4-H Club, organized in the 1920s. She held various offices at the local and the county levels. She received many awards including national championship for homemade curtains at the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago. Cora was a member of Minnesota School Food Service Association, serving as state treasurer; American Association of University Women in Albert Lea; Minnesota Iowa Arabian Horse Club and the International Arabian Horse Registry.
She also participated in sports. As a 10-year- old she won first place in an ice skating race in St. Paul. At Albert Lea High School she played on class teams in field hockey, volleyball and softball. She was also an avid horse enthusiast and enjoyed riding whenever possible. However, her first love was cats and she had several. Her last cat was a rescue animal named Paprika. She was her joy and lived with her in her assisted living home until her death. 
She is survived by her niece, Ione (Torgerson) Allison of Tulsa, Okla.; two grandnephews: Scott Allison of Barnsdall, Okla., and Brett Allison of Del Mar, Calif.; three great-great nieces: Whitnie of Tulsa, Okla., Victoria and Charlotte of Del Mar, Calif.; and several cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents: Aleck O. and Caroline (Skaug) Torgerson; brother, Arnold O. Torgerson; one sister who died at birth; one sister who died at 1 month old; and a brother who died at birth.
In lieu of flowers it is requested that donations be sent to the Freeborn County Animal Shelter to honor her love of animals.

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