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March 17, 1941 - April 22, 2014

Thelma was born March 17, 1941 in Winneshiek County, Iowa to Guy and Thea (Torresdal) Nelson.  She grew up on a farm south of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church where she was baptized and confirmed.  She attended rural country school and in 1959 she graduated from Decorah High School. As a child she learned to play the piano and violin. After graduation she worked as a bookkeeper for Anundsen Publishing in Decorah.  On March 17, 1961 she married Lester Korsness at Hesper Lutheran Church. They farmed in Hesper Township on the farm where Lester was raised.

Thelma played the organ and piano, and sang at Hesper Lutheran Church as well as many of the area churches.  She enjoyed getting kids and young adults active in music.  For over twenty years she volunteered as an accompanist for North Winneshiek School music students. She enjoyed making bread, rolls, donuts, lefse, and Norwegian pastries like rosettes and krumkake.  Through the years Thelma was active in the Farm Bureau Chorus, Sons of Norway, the annual Friends Christmas Cantata, and helped out with the lutefisk suppers and Steam Engine Days stands.

When the kids were in school, Lester and Thelma opened their home to two foreign exchange students from Norway.  Hanne Kalstad lived with them for the 1980-81 school year, and Erik Eggum lived with them for the 1985-86 school Year.

Thelma passed away Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at Green Lea Senior Living in Mabel, Minnesota at the age of 73.

Thelma is survived by her husband Lester; four children Lois (Edward) Darrington of Brookings, South Dakota, Martha (Mark) Jepsen of Center Point, Iowa, Linda (Jeff) Hernes of Shoreview, Minnesota, and Paul (Nicolle) Korsness of Decorah, Iowa; twelve grandchildren Joseph and Jonathan Darrington, Heidi (Bryce) Muenchow, Tyler, Nathan (Lauren), and Joel Jepsen, Brian and Melissa Hernes, and Kelsie, Dylan, Cameron, and Jensen Korsness; a sister Margaret Place of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia; and two Norwegian exchange students Hanne Kalstad-Vestaby and Erik Eggum.  She was preceded in death by her parents and several aunts and uncles.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday April 25, 2014 at the Hesper Lutheran Church in Hesper, Iowa with the Reverend Matt Larson officiating.  Burial will be in the Hesper Lutheran Cemetery.  Visitation will be 5 – 8 PM Thursday, April 24 at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.
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