Obituary: Esther Braaten SoderholmEsther Braaten Soderholm, formerly of Edina and Worthington, died Aug. 1 at age 98 in New Hope. Born June 2, 1912, in Pelican Rapids.
Esther Braaten Soderholm, formerly of Edina and Worthington, died Aug. 1 at age 98 in New Hope. Born June 2, 1912, in Pelican Rapids. Educated in China by missionary parents, graduate of Battle Lake High School and Concordia College. Teacher and school librarian in several schools in North Dakota, North Carolina and Minnesota, including Reading High School, where she met Robert Soderholm, whom she married in 1940. They spent the war years farming near Reading, then moved to Worthington in 1945 when Robert started Soderholm Manufacturing Company. After Robert's death in 1972, Esther ran the company until she retired in 1976. She was a lifelong supporter of the civil rights movement and women's' right to choose. She actively opposed the war in Vietnam. She was an avid vegetable gardener, a habit she continued after she moved to a senior citizens cooperative in Edina in 1991. Even after she could no longer maintain one of the co-op's garden plots, she raised vegetables in pots on the patio outside her apartment door. She suffered a stroke in 2002, and eventually moved to North Ridge Care Center in New Hope. After a gradual decline in health, she passed away peacefully on August 1, 2010.
Preceded in death by her parents, her husband Robert, three sisters, and two brothers. Survived by a sister, Helen Tobiason of Denver, Colorado; sons and daughters-in-law, Reidar (Deb) of Eden Prairie, Lawrence (Judy Parr) of St. Paul, Conrad (Mary Tingerthal) of St. Paul; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorial service 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, Cremation Society of Minnesota, Edina. Internment service 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, Worthington Cemetery.
Memorials to Nobles County Library or Second Harvest Heartland.