Olive Judith Harriet Haugen Lockrem. She always went by Harriett, with two “t”s, because she liked that better. She was born February 21, 1925 in Thief River Falls, MN (TRF), and died April 18, 2022 in Anoka, MN. Her names came from her paternal grandfather Ole Snustad, her aunt Judith Nybakken Nelson, and nobody knows where “Harriet” came from. Her parents were Ruth Nybakken Haugen and Alfred Haugen, both born in Norway, and her sisters were Norma Janet Haugen and Grace Eleanor Haugen.
She grew up in TRF and graduated Lincoln High School. She attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis for two years studying math, music, and English. A lifelong Lutheran, she met another one, E. Reuben Lockrem in Zion Lutheran Church in TRF. Harriett was the organist and Reuben sang in the choir. She admired his beautiful brown eyes, and they were married on September 24, 1949 in the new basement of Zion, because the upstairs was still unfinished. They and their two boys, Peter and Tim, spent many hours in that basement attending functions and dinners put on by the “Lutheran church basement women.”
Harriett and Reuben raised their two boys in TRF, later moving to Grand Forks, ND. There was no fighting, arguing, smoking, drinking, swearing, divorce, or other bad behaviors. The family had great vacations, driving their station wagon and camping trailer all around the country, visiting many national parks and historical places. She always carried a tablecloth and put it onto every picnic table that we found when it was time to stop and eat.
She had various jobs including working for Montgomery Ward, Northwestern Bell, Union State Bank, and at Lockrem’s TV and appliance store in TRF. In Grand Forks she was a secretary at the University of North Dakota housing office. Once at home she answered the phone “Housing Office, Harriett speaking.” We had a good laugh!
Harriett played the piano beautifully, both by memory and by reading music. She had perfect pitch, a wonderful singing voice, and could play a medley of favorite songs one after the other from memory. She always had some piece of music playing in her head. She used to wonder why a particular song was repeating itself in her head. One of her favorites was Irving Berlin’s “I’ll be loving you always.”
She loved trips, especially to the North Shore of Lake Superior, which the family did at least once per year, camping all the way. She and Reuben were able to build their dream retirement home on the North Shore of Lake Superior, in Schroeder, where they lived until he died in 2002. In later years she lived in the home where she grew up, along with her sister Grace, and still later in assisted living in Andover, MN.
Harriett loved coffee. She had specific coffee times, one of which was in the afternoon. The time got earlier and earlier the longer she lived. Coffee time started years ago at about 3:00 p.m. and gradually moved itself to about 1:00 p.m. She also loved dessert, but would rarely eat the whole thing. She could take one chocolate candy, take one bite, say how good it was, then put it down until the next day.
Harriett and Reuben celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1999. Reuben died only 3 years later. Not a great conversationalist, she nevertheless enjoyed entertaining friends and relatives. The consummate introvert, she preferred reading a book to idle chatter. Her favorite books were murder mysteries by Elizabeth George. As long as she had a book to read, she was never lonely.
Her favorite outfit was any of a number of sweatshirts with something about how great it is to be Norwegian or Minnesotan on the front. And an old pair of worn-out slippers that she refused to replace with a new pair. She was anything but materialistic.
Harriett was not afraid to die in her old age. She told Peter that she had always enjoyed life. One of her favorite expressions was “What the heck,” spoken when something didn’t go quite right. Or possibly she might say “Oh spit.” She had an amazing sense of humor, which she displayed right up until the end, with sardonic comments on her declining health situation. When asked how she was doing, she invariably replied “I’m hanging in. What else can one do?”
She leaves behind two sons: Peter (Jane) of San Jose, CA, and Tim (Sue) of Coon Rapids, MN. Plus grandchildren Emily Barton (Tyler) of Everett, WA; Aaron Lockrem (Heather) of New Brighton, MN; Katie Welsh (Gary) of Crystal, MN; and Sarah Warren (Andrew) of Dublin, CA. She has four great-grandchildren: Teddy, Otis, and Sully Welsh, and Coen Barton.
Visitation will be held at 1 PM with the Funeral service beginning at 1:30 PM on June 11, 2022, at Lutsen Lutheran on the North Shore. She will be greatly missed.