Herbjorg Sortun Pederson

  • BY wire.service
  • Saturday, December 20, 2008 12:00am
  • Obituaries
Herbjorg Sortun Pederson

Herbjørg Sortun Pedersen

Herbjørg Sortun Pedersen died peacefully on December 20, 2008.She was born at home on October 14, 1913 in Eikefjord Sunnfjord, Norway, the second, by a few min-utes, of the twelve children born to Martin and Olianne Sortun. The family came to America in 1929 and settled on the East Hill in Kent, Washington. Although Herbjørg and her twin, Hulda, knew no English, they set out to work while the younger ones attended school. Herbjørg learned English by reading Lil Abner and Tarzan comic books. She worked caring for children and adults in the Seattle and Tacoma area.Herbjørg met Einar Pedersen skiing at Snoqualmie pass, and they were married in Seattle in 1937. Einar was a fisherman so it was natural for them to move to Ballard where they reared their 4 children. Herbjørg was selfless in her support of the fishing industry, traveling with her husband when he was on the American Fisheries Advisory Committee and with the Highliners. She met many wonderful people who remained her friends for life. Herbjørg was fearless, teaching herself to drive and learning new things throughout her life. Wanting to see the Norwegian language continue in print and to hear news from the old country, she was an initial investor in the Western Viking. Herbjørg loved children and was always available to host a cub scout meeting, take kids and their friends to Lake Goodwin, or attend a dance or musical recital. Flowers and birds made her smile.Her love of art was fostered by her curiosity and her friend-ships with interesting people, and she shared this with her family and her community. Through her involvement in the Bardahl Guild, she started the art gallery in the lobby rotunda of the then newly remodeled Ballard Community Hospital. In 1992, Herbjørg was asked to serve on the Norwegian Consulate’s committee supporting a worldwide celebration of the 150-year jubilee of the Norwegian composer, Edvard Grieg. She was on the committee to select the artist for the Mural at Bergen Park in Ballard in 1995. She was also a member of the Seattle-Bergen Sister City Association, Nordmans-Forbundet, Nordlandslaget, Sons of Norway, the Knute Rockne lodge, and Pikerne Under Paraplyen. Herbjørg is featured in the oral history project “Voices of Ballard” and in the book, We Stand By to Assist You. Herbjørg was a longtime member of the Nordic Heritage Museum and supported it with gifts of both time and money – the Norway room was one of her favorites, and she was caught standing on a ladder hanging birch boughs for the 17th of May at the age of 90. She received congratulations from the board for her work in launching the tradition of fundraising Auktions in 1985.Herbjørg was preceded in death by her husband, Einar Ped-ersen (1911-1989), her son, Mark Pedersen (1942-1982), her daughter, Ingrid Pedersen (1946-2000), her sisters, Hulda Ness (twin), Magnhild Peterson, Tordis Linvog, Kjellaug Pozzi, Aslaug Bauman, Solveig Bower and her brother, Einar Sortun.Herbjørg is survived by her daughter, Susan Hanson (Jon) and son, Einar H Pedersen (Emma); grandchildren, Lisa Gar-brick, Chris Garbrick (Melissa), Einar K Pedersen (Stacey), Eric Pedersen, Annelise Pedersen, Solveig Watanabe (Dan) and Ol-ivia Gunn (Adam Bergsneider); her great grandchildren, Mark Garbrick, Konrad Garbrick, Einar C Pedersen, Lilly Anna Peder-sen, Levi Watanabe and Ingrid Watanabe; sisters, Klara Hofstad and Sonia Ludvikson and brothers, Henrik Sortun and Alfred Sortun. She had many nieces and nephews and was fond of them all.Herbjørg was a caring, hardworking, Christian woman, de-voted to her family. She was loved and respected in life and she will remain in our memory.A memorial service will be held at Our Redeemers Lutheran Church, 2400 Northwest 85th Street, Seattle, WA 98117 (206 783-7900) on Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, remembrances can be given to Our Redeemers Lutheran Church or the Nordic Heritage Museum Endowment at 3014 NW 67th Street, Seattle, WA, 98117.

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