An Orsen Family Reunion ~ 2006

Over 30 people attended the reunion which was held in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the apartment complex of Bernice Brennan, only remaining sibling of the five children of Nickolai and Beatrice Orsen of Minneota. 

Some of the more distinguished people at the family reunion included (l-r) Luella Mattson (daughter of Alfred and Annie Orsen) of Minneota, MN, her brother Walter Orsen of Minneapolis, their first cousins Maxine Walen (daughter of Walter and Mamie Orsen Miller) of Windom, MN, and Bernice Brennan (daughter of Nickolai and Beatrice Orsen) of West Saint Paul.  Walter and Bernice are both 86.

Family members at the gathering ranged in age from 15 months (Gunnar Norgaard) to 86 years (Walter Orsen).  Jenny Norgaard of Northfield, MN (daughter of Allan Orsen) is the mother of Addie (age 3) and Gunnar.

Another youngster at the reunion was Grace Taylor, 8, daughter of Melanie Taylor who is the daughter of Bette and the late Max Schuldt of Golden Valley.

Bette Schuldt is the daughter of Winnie and George Olevson, who was the brother of Beatrice Orsen.   (Bette graduated from Minneota High School with Betty Ann (Opdahl) Claeys, the editor's mother, in 1927.)

Grace and Addie --distant cousins -- found each other almost immediately.

Instigator of the reunion was Susan Boatman , daughter of the late Orval and Ethelyn Orsen of Minneota, MN, who, with husband Jose, moved to New Brighton, MN, this past fall of 2005, from Iowa.

Susan's helper in planning the family reunion was her first cousin Sandy Jenson of Richfield, MN, daughter of the late Wallace and Tillie (Orsen) Levin of Atwater, MN.

Allan Orsen of Victoria, MN, son of the late Irven and Vera Orsen of Minneota, assisted Jose and Susan with airing a DVD on a big screen for the family reunion.  The DVD was made from an old 8 mm movie and was originally shot by Allen Lee and put onto a DVD by Linda Schultz, daughter of Allen Lee (whose mother was Amalia Orsen Lee, sister of Nickolai.)  A highlight of the old reel was seeing Allan's dad Irven laughing and enjoying a family picnic.  Irven died in 1963 when Allan was only 16.

Quality of the old black and white 8mm was not excellent, but still it held the audience captive!

First cousins (l-r) Susan Boatman, Sandy Jenson (with husband Cal), John Levin (with wife Sharon).  Sandy and John are sister and brother.  Another first cousin Allan Orsen is taking the picture.  That's Allan's wife Sue and granddaughter Addie Norgaard on the right.

Hi, Allan.  Violet is the wife of Patrick Brennan of West St. Paul, son of Bernice and the late John Brennan. 

That's Patrick Brennan in the center, another first cousin of Allan.  On the left is Christopher Norgaard, husband of Jenny.  On the right is Gary Gould of Pequot Lakes, son of Helen and the late Al Gould, who was the son of Clarence and Theoline Gould.  Theoline was a sister to Nickolai Orsen!

That's Gary's wife Jacque Gould on the left.  On the right is Walter's daughter Connie Johnson of Eagan, Minnesota.

Sheila Brennan is the daughter of Bernice and sister of Patrick -- which means Sheila is a sister in law of Vi (center) and first cousin of Sandy on the right, not to mention Allan, Susan, John, and ...

Noel Orsen, seated.  Noel is a brother of Susan Boatman.  Jerrol Walen of Shoreview, MN, standing next to his wife Lana, is the son of Maxine on the left, whose mother's maiden name was Orsen!

That's three generations on the left:  Luella (whose father was Alfred Orsen) is seated next to granddaughter Laurie Castor, who is the daughter  of Anita and husband Darrell Anderson of Minneota.

One of the tasks at the family reunion was the singing of a song written by Susan Boatman.  It was really quite good, and Christopher Norgaard was a very good sport.

Does it look like they are singing?  They are!

Lots of family members brought photograph albums with pictures of those who have gone before us.

It was fun identifying family members when they were young.

It was a good day.  Thank you, Susan Boatman and Sandy Jensen, for all of your work and organization and invitation.  We enjoyed seeing everybody who could make it.

The End

Love, Sue