Olga S. Froemming

Olga S. Froemming

February 24, 1918 - June 20, 2014

Olga S. Froemming

February 24, 1918 - June 20, 2014


Olga Severine (Rostad/Wallin/Harstad) Froemming was born in Roseglen, ND to J.R. (Johan “John” Rudolf) Wallin & Mabel Rostad on February 24, 1918 in her grandfather Ole Rostad’s farm home. A few years ago, we learned Olga’s father J.R. had immigrated to ND from Sweden. In the 1920s, after making a trip home to Sweden after his father passed away, J.R. came back to MN with a wife, & they had 2 sons & 1 daughter. A number of years later, his family moved on to California.

In December, 1924, her mother Mabel married Paul Harstad, a mail carrier. From that point on, Olga used Harstad as her last name. Olga was confirmed about the time she finished 8th grade. She graduated from high school in 1935 in Ryder, ND where she was active in Glee Club, a quartet, courses in Latin, bookkeeping and typing. During those years, she was her mother’s helper – being the oldest in the family. She diapered & helped care for her 10 brothers & sisters, except Beryl, who was born in 1940 – the year Olga was married. Olga’s favorite color had been red & her favorite song was ‘I Love You Truly’ by Bing Crosby.

Olga attended Bemis Business College in Minot for a year. She recalled after the first 6 months of school that she ran out of money & had to quit. She did housework for a while, then went back & finished business college. After that, she did housework at several homes where she stayed & worked ‘around the clock’, except the ½ day off per week. She got her first official job with Farm Security Administration (FSA) in January, 1939. She worked for FSA in several county offices – including McClusky, ND, where she met Paul Albert Froemming, her future husband. After a whirlwind courtship of five months that included passing notes to each other under their desks, they were married in Crookston, MN on October 28, 1940. Up until Christmas 1940, they kept their marriage a secret. It wasn’t considered appropriate for both husband & wife to be working, especially in the same place.

Their first apartment was two rooms upstairs in a private home. After about 2 years, they bought a new home in St. Louis Park and lived there for 8 years. Their daughters, Paulette & Kathleen, were born during those years. To help Olga care for her children, Lorraine (who was 12 years old) lived with them for a year. Margaret also stayed with them for a year. Irma Froemming (Paul’s sister) also lived with them for 3 ½ years.

Her next 29 years were in Velva & Minot, ND. She was Paul’s first employee when he incorporated Souris River Telephone (SRT) in 1953. After more employees were added, Olga phased out, but would help him nights at the office. In 1960, she began working at Minot State University (MSU) as secretary to the business manager. She retired in 1973.

After retiring, Olga traveled with Paul to meetings & conventions across the country. At the end of 1978, Paul retired & they sold their home & moved to Mission Viejo, CA. From the first year they were married, they always went on an annual vacation trip – so she had been in most every state in the U.S.A. as well as to Canada, Mexico, & Hawaii. They enjoyed many trips with Bruce & Kathy, including a trip to Germany, Spain & the Canary Islands. They also enjoyed having the grandchildren over to spend the night and sometimes the whole week.

Life slowed down in 2000, when Olga had triple by-pass surgery & started needing more help. Paul & Olga sold their California retirement home & moved into Park Terrace, an assisted living community in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. After 68 years of being happily married, Paul passed away December 3, 2008 & Olga’s oldest daughter, Paulette, passed away December 14, 2009. Olga lived in 2 different board & care homes after she fell & fractured her back in three places near the end of 2010.

Throughout the years, Olga had been active in numerous Lutheran church activities like teaching Bible School, Altar Guild Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President of Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML). She was also active in Homemakers Clubs & was a Brownie Assistant, Chairman of the Wedding Committee, member of the Rebecca Circle, greeter and counted offering money with Paul. She was a member of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Lake Forest, CA for 35 years. Olga always felt her biggest blessings were her husband & her children. She was a loving mother & led her life as a wonderful example to her family & all those around her. She always had a strong faith & was prepared to meet her Lord in peace.

Olga is survived by:
Her daughter Kathleen (Bruce) Dunn, their children Shawn (Tabitha) Dunn and Natalie (Tommy) McElmeel, and their grandchildren Samantha Dunn, Lucas and Olivia McElmeel.

Former son-in-law Gregg (Sharon) De Lorto, his daughter Tina Chaturvedi, his grandchildren Marissa & Ryan Gutierrez, and his great-grandchildren Kenneth and Mia Gutierrez.

Brothers: Orville (Betty) Harstad & Wesley (Cindy) Harstad
Sisters: Lorraine (Donald) Lea, Carol Jessen & Beryl (Donald) Dokken; & numerous nephews and nieces.

Olga is preceded in death by:
Her husband Paul and her daughter Paulette De Lorto, her parents, brothers (Arthur & Jerald Harstad), sisters (Margaret Thompson & Darlene Thompson).

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6 responses to Olga S. Froemming

  1. kris seibel says:

    Our hearts are heavy with the loss of Olga. She was a wonderful lady! Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Don and Kris Seibel
    (nephew in Washington)

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