Cover photo for Merle Norgren's Obituary
Merle Norgren Profile Photo
1929 Merle 2021

Merle Norgren

August 28, 1929 — November 1, 2021

Duluth Township

Merle (Sonny) E Norgren, 92, of Duluth Township, passed away on Monday, November 1st, 2021 due to complications from a breakthrough case of COVID-19. He was born August 28, 1929, in Duluth to Edwin and Ella Norgren.

Merle grew up in Duluth and spent the summers on the North Shore in the Palmers area.  He enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 for his first tour of duty. After returning from the service in 1948 he obtained his GED and went on to Machine and Mechanical Design School and received a certificate. He also obtained his Captains license for the Coast Guard where he was a captain for the Lukkonen family at Blue Bird Landing.

He was reenlisted for the Korean war in October 1950 and was honorably discharged June 1952 with 2 bronze stars. After returning from war, he married Carol Rasmussen in November 1953, and started building his house at Palmers the same year.

He started working for the Post Office in 1962 and retired in 1990 with 28 years.

He married is his second wife Joan Helvig of Two Harbors, December 1967, they celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2017.

After retirement he became a handyman for the Lakeview Castle, Shorecrest, and Susie Lannon from Apartment & Home Advisors. Merle liked to keep busy and active. He would give you the shirt off his back. He took great pride in his homestead and community. He had great knowledge of the people, stories, and life on the North Shore. He was a great tradesman and knew a little about everything. He was happy to share his knowledge with whomever would ask or need help on a particular project. He was known at “Uncle Merle” to many.

The family would like to thank his health care team that looked after him at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors, and the hospice staff at Waterview Shores in Two Harbors.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Ella and Edwin Norgren, sister Marilyn Vogel; wife Joan Norgren.

He is survived by: son, Gary Pearson (Michele) of Green Bay, WI; daughter, Cathy Walters of Greendale, WI; daughter, Sandy Masterson (Jeff) of Plover, WI; son, Joel Norgren of Las Vegas, NV; daughter Kay (Brad) Nordgren of Eden Prairie, MN; 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren with two more on the way.

A celebration of life service will be held Saturday November 27th, from 1pm – 4pm at the Clearwater Grill. To share your memories or condolences online please visit

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merle Norgren, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Gathering of Family and Friends

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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