Nadine Louise Iversen, born March 20, 1919, to Engvar (Otto) and Olive Ellingsen in Sedro-Woolley, WA, passed away on February 28, 2013 in Everett, WA. She enjoyed her family, friends, and being "on-the-go". She was a long-time, active member of Normanna. Nadine was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Auntie Dean was loved by her extended family and will be deeply missed by all who knew her. Nadine is survived by her son Larry Iversen, MD, and his wife Peggy of Bremerton, grandchildren Brett Iversen (Elizabeth), Paige Curley (Jerod), Brooke Buri (Bryce), great-grandchildren Callie, Aubrey, Jacqueline, Reese, Brynn, Sienna, and Vincent. She was preceded in death by her husband, Sheridan Iversen, who died in 1987. They had been active members of the First Baptist Church of Everett since 1949. Prior to his death in 1987, they enjoyed dancing nearly every weekend. A celebration of Nadine's life will be held on Saturday, 11 May 2013, at 11AM at the Everett First Baptist Church followed by a light lunch. Memorial donations in her name can be made to the Everett First Baptist Church or to your favorite charity.
Good morning. As almost all of you know, I am Nadine & Sheridan Iversen's only child, Larry. Thank you all for being here to honor mom, on this day before Mother's Day. It is especially appropriate to celebrate Mom's life in the church mom & dad helped to build. They were members here since 1949, starting in the Lombard Avenue church. This church was designed by mom's neighbor and architect, Harold Hall. This church and its Sunday School teachers were my first mentors of life. I want to thank Pastor Brian for his help and support to our family for guiding us through this process. I want to thank Lyle Gordon for leading the internment service at Cypress Lawn in March. Lyle is part of the Senior Adult Ministries here, and that same SAM group is helping with today's celebration of mom's life and the reception to follow. Mom was a greeter in that organization for years, if not decades. By the way, if anybody wants to visit mom & dad's final resting place, they are in a tandem vault on the south side of the mausoleum in Cypress Lawn, which is located just this side of the Everett Mall. I especially want to thank John Sinkevitch for being here, who you will realize is a master at the keyboard, but was also a good friend of my parents. And, as you can imagine, my wife Peg spent a lot of time and energy making this celebration as good as it is… So here is a special thank you to Peg. Many of you have made a special effort to be here. You know who you are. Thank you!
In the past, when people asked me, "How are you?", I would answer by saying, "Good enough", until Peg once said, "That is not a very positive response". As usual, she was right. So now when I am asked that, I respond by saying, "It's great to be alive"! And if they are interested in hearing more, then I will go on to say, "It's a miracle to have this experience called 'life', with you being you and me being me, on the wonderfully unique planet called earth, which is only a speck in the vastness of the universe". Usually, by that time, they have heard enough of my appreciation of this life's experience!
But this unique experience we all are having, called life, has its bookends. Mom's passing represents one bookend. Her seven wonderful great-grandchildren sitting here with us today represent the other bookend of life.
As she tells us, mom's life started about six weeks premature. She apparently had no fingernails, no eyelashes, etc. Her family was so poor, the only incubator available for this premie was to be put into a shoebox in the bread warming oven of their kitchen's wood stove.
Later, as mom was growing up, Grandpa Otto Ellingsen, her father, apparently drank quite a bit. She remembers as a young girl making him homemade beer. By the time I knew him, however, he had stopped drinking, and he taught me the fundamentals of his trade as a master mechanic. So mom grew up in a low income home filled with spittoons for Grandpa's Copenhagen chewing tobacco. As grandparents, though, Otto and Olive were great to me. But mom's early childhood experiences, probably led to the anxieties and insecurities that often got in her way as an adult. She never had the confidence to work outside the home. She was glad to have her husband and, later, her son make most decisions for her. Looking back, it is a bit remarkable, however, that she married a man as good to her as my father, Sheridan, was, given the modeling of adult relationships she experienced growing up.
Nadine's mother, Olive Randall Ellingsen, did her schooling in the tiny community of Avon, WA, and it turns out that my paternal grandmother, Emma Iversen, was her classmate in that school OR somehow Olive knew Emma. So when mom came home from a grange dance about age 17 or so and told her mom she had met Sheridan Iversen, Grandma Ellingsen immediately approved of her dating her classmates' son. It was a small community back in the 1930's.
Her early childhood experiences also made her tough, but probably only the tough live to almost 94 years of age. She fought back three different cancers, and as far as I know, she had no signs of recurrence with any of them. She taught me discipline, delayed gratification, and patience. Getting things done around the yard came before play, washing dishes came before homework, and homework came before comics, radio, and, later, TV. But mom and dad provided me with a great childhood experience. They were also wonderful mentors.
Mom took great care of dad and me. She was a wonderful cook and was always there for us. I never saw mom and dad argue. They didn't necessarily display affection publically, but they loved to dance and would dance every weekend if they could. The one thing that gave mom much confidence was her good looks. She was always a beautiful woman. I think dad enjoyed showing her off on the dance floor…
Knowing they had a single child, they made great efforts to keep me close to the relatives on both the Iversen and the Ellingsen side of our family. Nearly every Sunday after Sunday school & church, we would drive up to Mount Vernon or Anacortes to visit the grandparents, and, of course, my dear cousins-I have too many cousins to mention each by name today, but the living are here with me. They are my brothers and sisters. I remember mom & dad speeding my cousin, Dick Iversen, in the back seat of our car from Everett to the Anacortes hospital when he had an acute appendicitis. I remember them taking care of another cousin, Henry Ploeg, the son of mom's sister, Nona, who suffered yet another elbow fracture suffered from a fall down the hillside below Paul Alley's home. Mom treated my wonderful cousins as one of her own children.
I heard various reasons why she had only one child, but I suspect she did not want the responsibility of more children. Looking through her literally dozens of scrapbooks makes me realize how proud she was of me, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren.
She essentially died in her sleep without pain. She was more than ready to meet her maker, and more importantly, resume dancing with her husband.
Her major legacy will be that she led a good life, was there when her friends and her child needed her, was a great wife, an attentive mother, was the grandmother of three wonderful grandchildren, and lived to see her seven fabulous great-grandchildren. There ain't anything wrong with that legacy…