Cover photo for Maribelle Nordberg's Obituary
1930 Maribelle 2021

Maribelle Nordberg

March 22, 1930 — October 14, 2021

Maribelle Elizabeth Nordberg, age 91, passed away at Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center on Thursday, October 14th, 2021 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and blood cancer.  She had also contracted Covid-19, but fortunately only developed mild symptoms. Maribelle was born in Galesburg, Illinois on March 22, 1930 to Harry and Elsie Higgins. She was the youngest of 9 children.  Growing up with a very strong work ethic, during her school years she enjoyed tutoring other students. While working at a local Tastee Cream as a teen, she began dating James Nordberg. They married on May 30, 1947.  Living in a 16 ft trailer, there would soon be an addition to the Nordberg family and a small dresser drawer would become a crib for their infant son.  Soon, there would be a daughter born and no one could’ve imagined the adventure the family was about to embark on. In 1956, the family packed up and moved to Duluth Minnesota to become owners of a fishing resort.  No electricity, no running water, cutting ice during the winter for the home and cabin freezers, and driving the kids 4 miles to catch the school bus became their way of life. Nordberg’s Resort began an almost 40 year adventure creating fun, joy and memories for everyone who came there.  While running the resort, Maribelle and James welcomed the birth of another daughter. During their time as resort owners, both Maribelle and James also worked other jobs.  James worked at Diamond Tool and later drove school bus for the local district.  Maribelle began working as an aide in Chris Jensen.  Wanting to pursue a nursing career, she went to school, at age 50, to become a licensed LPN. As soon as she had her license, St. Mary’s Emergency Dept. hired right away. She retired from St. Mary’s Endoscopy Dept. in 1993. The resort continued to operate seasonally until it’s forced closure in 1992. Maribelle’s interests and hobbies were as diverse as it gets.  An amazing cook and baker.  She loved knitting things for family and friends.  She enjoyed wood working and took classes where she made an amazing coffee table for her home.  Stain glass would soon be another thing she enjoyed.  But you can’t mention interests and hobbies without including card and board games.  Rarely a time would pass when Cribbage, Golf, Sequence, 500 or a myriad of other card games wouldn’t be happening. She loved playing games with the kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren and you could never tell who was entertained more by it. Maribelle was preceded in passing by her parents, Harry and Elsie Higgins; her spouse of almost 50 years, James Nordberg; her brothers Carroll, Robert, Harry Jr; her sisters Ruth, Vivian, Butch, Ida, Marge; very dear lifelong friends who were family as well, Chuck and Doris Cooley, their son Charlie Cooley, daughter Nancy Cooley, and son in law Terry Farquer. Maribelle is survived by her children; Jim (Mary) Nordberg, Judy (Sam Yepma) Dagger, Susan (her favorite son in law Jim) Sauls, Steve (Char) Reno; 12 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, friends who became family, and many, many dear friends. Celebration of Life to be held in Duluth at Rice Lake City Hall, 4107 West Beyer Rd. November 6th, 2021 from 1:00-4:00. Burial and Memorial Service will take place at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Galesburg Illinois on May 23, 2022 at 1:00. In lieu of flowers or money, Family requests anyone who wants to donate money to please donate to Courage Center Duluth Fund/Duluth Area Foundation Endowment, an organization that gives those with disabilities an opportunity to experience outdoor and indoor recreational activities they otherwise might not be able to take part in.  Donations can be sent to Susan and she will deliver it to Courage Duluth. For more information: Courage Center Duluth Fund ( A very special thank you to Jodei, at Chris Jensen Health and Rehabilitation Center for her love and caring for Maribelle during her stay there.  The special friendship and care you provided truly helped not only Maribelle, but also her family’s peace of mind. Maribelle became the Grandma of Cedar Lane. Thank you to the staff at Chris Jensen for listening to families requests and working with them for the past 3 years.

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