Annabelle Bilden, 84, of Northwood, North Dakota died Monday, August 10, 2009 at the Northwood Deaconess Health Center in Northwood. Her family was by her side during these last weeks as she underwent treatment, but eventually succumbed to cancer.
Funeral Services will be 10:30 am, Saturday, August 15, 2009 at the Northwood Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northwood with Rev. Carol Luecke officiating. The organist is Barb Maristuen, vocal soloist Mona Bilden and Annabelle's grandchildren will serve as casket bearers.
Burial will be in the Northwood City Cemetery.
Visitation will be at the Bilden Funeral Home on Friday from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm with a 7:00 pm Prayer Service and one hour prior to services in the church.
Annabelle was born on December 9, 1924 in rural Hensel, North Dakota to Thomas and Annie Bell (Creighton) Einarson, the third of six children. She was baptized and confirmed at Vidalin Lutheran Church, a member of the Icelandic Lutheran Synod. After completing country school, she enrolled and graduated from Hensel High School.
Since the fifth grade, Annabelle knew she wanted to be a nurse. With the encouragement of her aunt, who was head of nurses at Northwood Deaconess Hospital, she spent her summers during her high school years working at the Northwood Hospital. It was during this period she met Paul Bilden, later to become her husband for 56 years.
In 1944, Annabelle enrolled at St. Luke's School of Nursing in Fargo and was accepted into the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. When joining the Corps, tuition, books, a stipend and a uniform were provided. In return, cadet nurses promised to serve as nurses for the duration of the war (WWII). During her training, Annabelle and classmates worked long hours and attended classes year round for three years, and she had rotations in Fergus Falls and St. Paul as well as St. Lukes. In 2007 she enjoyed the 50th Anniversary of her St. Lukes Class.
Annabelle and Paul Bilden were married at the Swarstad Chapel in Northwood on June 18, 1950. Paul was employed by the family drug store at the time and with the encouragement of his wife, later enrolled at the North Dakota Agricultural College (now NDSU) and was awarded his degree in pharmacy in 1957. Returning to Northwood, he eventually became owner of Bilden Pharmacy, North Dakota oldest family owned drug store. The family soon grew to include five children: Janet, Mark, Wade, Thomas and Robert. Besides maintaining a home for her family and being active in the community and church, Annabelle continued in her profession as a registered nurse at the Northwood Hospital, working either part time or full time, usually nights, until her retirement in 1987.
Annabelle took great delight and enjoyment in her eleven grandchildren, faithfully attending athletic and musical events. She was a 50 year member of the Northwood Literary Club and Northwood American Legion Auxiliary. Northwood Evangelical Lutheran Church and Ladies Aid (WELCA) were a very important part of her life, and she was active as WELCA President, on the Altar Guild, serving at church dinner, smorgasbords, and funerals, playing in the bell choir, and numerous other activities.
Annabelle is survived by her children, Janet of Grand Rapids, MN, Mark (Mona) of Miles City, MT, Wade (Karen) and Bob (Shari) both of Northwood, ND; eleven grandchildren, Rachel, Bethany, Andrea, Amy, Alissa, Danielle, Audrey, Samuel, Tyler, Sonja and Jacob and great grand-granddaughters, Aubrey, Emery, and Aria; three brothers, Leonard (Anna) and Lewis both of Grafton, ND and Harold of Edinburg, ND; in-laws, Mona Lund of Northwood, ND, Hugh and Lenore Kaste of Northfield, MN, Ed and Audrey Gordhammer of Dayton, OH, Barry and Becky Bowles of Tucson, AZ and Peter and Mary Bilden of Boone, IA.
Her husband Paul (2006), son Thomas (1980 and parents preceded her in death.
The Bilden Funeral Home of Northwood is assisting the family with arrangements.