Naomi Jasmer, 95, of Sartell, formerly of Willmar, died Sunday, September 29nd at Country Manor in Sartell. Family services will be held with burial in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. If desired, memorials can be directed to Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar, designated to the music programs. vinjechurch.com. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.
Naomi Bernice Sorlien was born in 1924 in Hesper, Iowa, to Syver Olvin Sorlien and Selma Burreson Sorlien. Her dearest childhood memories were of her early years in Hesper, surrounded by extended family, while her father was at Luther Seminary.
The family then moved to Max, ND, in the early 1930s, where Naomi's father was a pastor. Her family lived there through the Depression and 6 years of drought before moving to another parish in Rake, IA. Naomi thrived there, playing flute in the school band, playing piano for church services, and making lifelong friends.
She attended Luther College in Decorah, IA, studying music for a year before attending nursing school at Fairview Hospital in Minneapolis during WWII as part of the Army Nurse Corps. While a student nurse on assignment in Bemidji, she met the love of her life, Leroy Jasmer, a student at Bemidji State Teachers’ College. They were married in 1947 and lived in Bemidji while Leroy finished school and Naomi worked as a nurse at the hospital.
In 1949 they moved to Danube, MN, for Leroy’s first teaching job, and Naomi worked part time at the nearby Olivia Hospital.
In 1952 they moved to Willmar, with their three young children, where Leroy taught high school. Naomi worked variously at the Willmar State Hospital and at Rice Memorial, where she eventually became a head nurse and fought for fair pay for nurses. Two more children followed, as they moved into the house they designed. As a mother of five, she was always striving to meet her children’s needs and to encourage their endeavors. Naomi later became a nursing instructor at Willmar Vocational/Technical School.
In retirement, Naomi and Leroy enjoyed traveling; their time in Norway and Sweden was special, as they found old family farms and met distant cousins. They also traveled with their Air Stream club, making good friends. At home, they enjoyed their bridge club and time with family.
Naomi also returned to her love of sewing, purchasing a doll hospital. She repaired antique dolls and sewed authentic clothing for them, earning awards at various doll shows. Naomi enjoyed playing the piano all her life, and was glad to donate funds toward the purchase of a new grand piano at Vinje Lutheran Church where the family were members for many years.
When Leroy developed Parkinson’s Disease, Naomi cared for him until his death in 2007. For the last several years, Naomi resided in the memory care unit at Country Manor in Sartell. Until recently, she played her piano and sang the hymns she’d known from childhood.
Naomi was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brother, John Sorlien of Portland, OR; sister, Eunice Chomicz of Chicago, ILL; brother, Pastor Paul Sorlien of Underwood, IA; and grandchildren, Wyatt Lajon and Nora Ohm.
She is survived by children: Br. Paul A. Jasmer, O.S.B., St. John’s Abbey, MN; Joann (and Jeffery) Parker, St. Paul, MN; Sally (and Fred) Lajon, Maple Grove, MN; Gail (and Thomas) Meister, St. Croix Falls, WI; and Amy (and Patrick) Flanders, Paynesville, MN. Also survived by grandchildren and families: Kathryn Parker (Thomas Rucinski) and children, Miles, Sage & Leon; Jenny Parker Lilligren (Ian); Jason Lajon (Janis) and daughter, Daphne; Matthew Lajon (Dana) and children, Max, Naomi & Charlotte; Sarah Lajon (Thomas Young); Andrew Meister (Sarah) and son, Jacob; Maren Meister; Ryan Flanders (Yi Ling/Ivy); Riley Flanders (Ani); Maureen Ohm (Alex) and sons, Declan & Cullen; and her sisters: Grace Johnson, St. Ansgar IA; Ruth Larson, Iowa City IA; Lois Fossen, Minnetonka, MN; sister-in-law, Sandra Sorlien, Underwood Iowa; brother-in-law, Thomas Chomicz, Chicago IL; and many nieces and nephews.
Naomi’s family wishes to thank the staff at Country Manor for their incredibly loving and devoted care for which her children will be forever be grateful. As well, they thank the caring and thoughtful staff at St. Croix Hospice.