Florence “Sodie” E. Soderberg
January 5, 1923 - July 12, 2019
Florence Soderberg, age 96-1/2, passed away peacefully in her home in Coleraine, Minn., on July 12, 2019, with family by her side.
She was born January 5, 1923, in Frederic, Wisc, where she grew up on the family farm and attended school. After high school graduation, Florence went on to college at the Stout Institute (now the University of Wisconsin-Stout) in Menomonie, earning a degree in home economics in 1945.
Her first teaching assignment was in St. Croix Falls, Wisc. From there she moved to Coleraine, where she taught home economics to junior high girls – and boys – in the Greenway School Dist. from 1957 until her retirement in 1985.
Florence loved adventure and the outdoors, traveling the world, hiking the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, and downhill skiing well into her 70s. For 10 summers, she guided students on Boundary Waters canoe trips for Cliff Wold’s Outfitting Co. in Ely, with those trips likely to include a stop to visit Dorothy Molter, the Root Beer Lady of the BWCA.
Closer to home, she enjoyed volunteering, gardening and berry-picking – even being willing to share her favorite wild strawberry and raspberry patches with friends. As an involved member of the community, she delivered Meals On Wheels, served 24 years on the Coleraine Public Library Board, and participated in city beautification and restoration projects including park and shoreline plantings, tidying up the Mesabi Bike Trail on morning walks, and work on the historic Log Church.
Her kind and generous nature did not go unnoticed. In 2003 Florence was honored with the Itasca Co. Outstanding Senior Volunteer award, presented to her “for her dedication to the community and the care she displayed toward others.”
She was an avid reader, talented cook and seamstress, and an amazing quilter. She belonged to the Loon Country Quilters in Grand Rapids, and as a member of Bethel-Trinity Lutheran Church in Bovey and its quilting group, every Tuesday she would help in creating quilts for church fundraisers and world missions, continuing to do so up until a few weeks ago when her strength and endurance would no longer allow it.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Hugo and Ruth Soderberg; brother, Bill Soderberg; sisters-in-law, Lucy and Ruby (Soderberg); and very special friends, Arlette Soderberg and Ed Sobtzak.
She is survived by her brother, Richard Soderberg; 11 nieces and nephews; and countless friends.
A celebration of Florence’s life will be Sunday, July 28, 2019, at Bethel-Trinity Lutheran Church in Bovey. Visitation is one hour prior to the 2:00 p.m. memorial service, with Pastors Mark and Brenda Wagner officiating. A luncheon will follow.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Coleraine Cotton Park-”Sodie’s Hillside” renovation or the Greenway High School scholarship to be set up in Florence’s name.
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