This post is in honor of my aunt Ardelle Thorud, who passed away a month ago on October 18, 2018. Ardelle would have turned 96 a week ago, on Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day. Ardelle and her husband Norval were missionaries in San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines with Bethany Fellowship from 1976-1981 and Bulan, Sorsogon, Philippines with PAMI from 1982-1987. Ardelle also served on the PAMI U.S. board of directors until 2017.
Scroll below to see a lot of pictures and stories about Ardelle. Also see the following video that includes an interview with Ardelle: PAMI October 2012 Potluck Part 1: Legacy of Grace
This is what Ardelle’s daughter, Nancy Haase, posted on Facebook last week: “Mom (Ardelle Thorud) had the coolest birthdate: 11/11/22. She said she was 10 or 11 years old when she realized that all the Armistice parades were not in her honor after all! She always wanted to live to be 95 years old – no older – and last year she was so excited to have made that goal. We all chuckled when we arrived at her apartment and found this note on her door. The Lord granted her wish (no older than 95) and took her home three weeks shy of her 96th birthday. She had 95 good birthdays here on earth. Today she is celebrating her first of an eternity of birthday celebrations with her Lord and Savior! Happy Birthday in heaven, Mom. We all love you and miss you!”
Next are a few family pictures, followed by pictures in the Philippines, obituary, poem by Ardelle, and various remembrances:
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This is what I shared at the funeral: REMEMBERING ARDELLE–Oct. 22, 2018 by Mike Thorud
I am Mike Thorud, a nephew of Norval and Ardelle. I am also the current volunteer president of Philippine-Asian Missions Inc, which is better known as PAMI.
Ardelle’s family has said that if anyone wants to give a memorial, they prefer it goes to PAMI. PAMI was founded by Norval and Ardelle 37 years ago. They were PAMI missionaries from 1982 – 87, and got a Bible school and churches started, which continue to thrive today.
Even after returning home, Norval and Ardelle led or stayed active on the U.S. PAMI board for the rest of their lives. Ardelle kept attending board meetings up until about one year ago.
The PAMI board and I are going to really miss Ardelle. Because she had so much spunk and passion for the mission, she added so much life. She instigated skits at PAMI’s annual potluck dinners, planned Christmas parties and games, wrote stories to be used in newsletters, supported the mission with gifts and prayers, and continued to be a missionary wherever she was. She’d invite people from her senior apartment to attend PAMI events. I found her enthusiasm and positive attitude very encouraging. Each time I’d publish a newsletter or have a Christmas dinner at our house, she would call to tell me how good it was and that it was the best one ever. I’m going to really miss that kind of cheerleading.
Here are comments from some Filipino people whose lives were deeply touched by Ardelle:
There are so many precious memories about Nanay Ardelle. Since 1984 when I was a student in Bible School, I remembered that every month the Bible school conducted fun night. Nanay is always preparing food for us, such as banana bread and cake. She was my teacher in English. She was a thoughtful and loving wife.
Mommy Ardelle will always be alive in my heart. She left good memories in my life. From the time we met in Bethany Philippines she treated me so special–like her daughter– and taught me so many things. We journeyed through life together, fulfilling God’s commission in Bicol Region. She was well loved by many Filipinos whom she brought to the Savior Jesus.
From Jing Danielson:
I had forged a great bond shortly after meeting her and Norval. Over the years she had calmed some anxieties and gave me wisdom in dealing with life’s troubles. I remember one time I called her in tears and after I was done talking she asked me to write this sentence…THIS TOO SHALL PASS! I have remembered this when overwhelmed and it sure helps.
Aside from being a woman of wisdom she was also very selfless. Coming from the Philippines Norval and Ardelle housed us in their Burnsville condo which made my adjustment a lot easier. She introduced walking as a fun activity. She also introduced me to gardening and taught me how to appreciate the beauty of flowers and the gentle sounds of birds.
Above all, her trust in the Lord is what I admire most in her. She never seemed easily frazzled.
To her family and friends, may the Lord comfort you in this dark time. She lives on in a different realm, a real one! What a blessing that she is now in the presence of her departed loved ones but most especially the Lord whom she loved and adored!
On October 19th, I sent the following to the PAMI email list:
Dear PAMI friends,
I am sad to inform you that my aunt Ardelle passed away yesterday morning. She had fallen in her apartment on Monday morning and broke her hip. When they did hip surgery on Wednesday, she had troubles coming out of anesthesia. She did wake up enough last night to tell her family that she loved them though. But her vitals declined Thursday morning. Otherwise, she had been doing pretty good before her Monday fall. She would have turned 96 on November 11. She had a long, fulfilling life and was ready to go. She’s now with the Lord and other loved ones that have passed on like her husband Norval.
The funeral will be 10:30 am this coming Monday, Oct 22 at Hope Church, located at Cedar and 145th St (7477 145th St W, Apple Valley), which is just a couple blocks from where Ardelle was living. Visitation is at 9:30. And internment at Fort Snelling at 1:05 pm.
The family prefers memorials to go to PAMI. We praise God for how Ardelle and Norval got PAMI started back in 1982, and how Ardelle still attended board meetings until just a little more than a year ago. Ardelle was quite a trooper and had a lot of spunk. Ardelle will be greatly missed.
Fondly remembering Ardelle and thanking God for her life,
Message from the current field director of PAMI:
We’re sorry to hear Nanay Ardelle passed away went home to the Lord. Our great sympathy to the family. Our prayer will be strength, hope and peace to the family. By the Word of God, prayer and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
There are so many precious memories about Nanay Ardelle. Since 1984 when I was a student in Bible School, I remembered that every month the Bible school conducted fun night. And nanay is always preparing food for us, such as bannana bread, cake and others because nanay was so good in baking bread. She was my teacher in english. She was a good teacher. She is a thoughtful and loving wife. And God give her long life at the age 96, because she is a faithful servant of God that’s why we missed her a lot. Condolence and deepest sympathy from our family. Thanks and God bless.
With deepest sympathy,
Message from Sis.Letty, the most veteran PAMI worker and wife of Ptr Vir:
We are very much thankful that we met Nanay way back 1984 at the Bible School and we still remembered how she cares and impart her experiences to us – sharing her life in a short period of time. She’s very hands on to the children we miss her a lot but one day we will meet her in heaven.
With deepest sympathy,
Here’s a message from Ligaya Hablo, who worked with Norval and Ardelle at Bethany in San Jose, Mindoro, before PAMI was started. She also helped them move to Bulan when PAMI started and was head of the PAMI Bible school in early 1990’s:
Mommy Ardelle will always be alive in my heart she left good memories in my life from the time we met in Bethany Phillipnes she treat so special like her daughter taught me so many things in life we journey together fulfilling God’s commission in Bicol Region until she felt God mission ( PAMI) will continue under National leadership she was very active in the Lord ministry she is well loved by many Filipinos whom she brought to the Saviour Jesus. I am sorry for the family’s loss and I and my family will miss Mommy Ardelle, Our love and deepest sympathy.
And this is a message from Pastor Arsenio and Pat Eniego, who were the directors of Bethany Mindoro when Norval and Ardelle were there from 1976-1981:
Our heartfelt condolence ! Ardelle and Norval were pioneers in Mindoro Mission. praise our Lord ! There are now forty congregations, mostly in the barrios.
In addition to the remembrances that I gave in that Oct. 19th letter, below are a couple more.
The following is a message from Sister Ofel Mendizabal, the current director of Emmaus Bible Institute. She was in the first graduating class of EBI (along with Pastor Virgilio Fulo):
I remember Nanay Ardelle as my mentor during my times in Bible School in Bulan year 1985. She is a very strict but loving Nanay (Tagalog word for “mother”), a well-organized person and very neat. And a very sweet couple with Tatay(“father”) Norval. She was our teacher in Christian Education and English Subject. I admired her because her deep commitment with the Lord, the Ministry they pioneered in Bulan. Their lives are a shining light to all of the Bible students.
Here’s the full text of Jing Danielson’s remebrance (verses the edited down version that I included on the day of the funeral):
Please pass this to her family.
I’m praising the Lord that she didn’t have a prolong agony. What a blessing that she is now in the presence of her departed loved ones but most especially the Lord whom she loved and adored!
I had forged a great bond shortly after meeting her and Tatay. Over the years she had calmed some of anxieties and gave me wisdom in dealing with life’s troubles. I remember one time I called her in tears and after I was done talking she asked me to write this sentence…THIS TOO SHALL PASS! I have remembered this when overwhelmed and it sure helps.
Aside from being a woman of wisdom she was also very selfless. Coming from the Philippines Tatay and Nanay housed us in their Burnsville condo which made my adjustment a lot easier. She also introduced walking as a fun activity (walking was not what I considered fun back then). Thanks to her I enjoy it now and feels a little off when I’m not able to.
She also introduced me to gardening and taught me how to appreciate the beauty of flowers and the gentle sounds of birds which I admit I was not even aware of. The noise in the Philippines pretty much drown out their sounds. Now I am an avid gardener and pretty keen at listening to the gentle singing of birds. She truly was my St Ardelle of Apple Valley. St Francis of Assisi will be so proud of her 🙂
Above all, her trust in the Lord is what I admire most in her. She never seemed to be easily frazzled. If I could be half the person she was I’d consider myself accomplished!
I could go on and on but she once told me that she prefers German goodbyes as opposed to Norwegian (like Filipino)
where it takes an a lot longer. Well, Nanay, I will honor your wish and stop now 🙂 I love you, I will miss you a lot and I will pass forward the many lessons you taught me.
To her family and friends, may the Lord comfort you in this dark time. She lives on in a different realm, a real one!