Evelyn Lenore Sorbel Ankrum Herder was born on November 10, 1923 to Oscar and Anna (Lee) Sorbel. Evie was baptized into the Christian faith and confirmed at Willow Lake Lutheran Church. On September 22, 1927 when she was nearly four years old her mother passed away from tuberculoses. Her father then asked her mother’s two single sisters, Mary and Regina, to raise Evie and her three brothers. Evie resided with them on her Lee grandparents’ family farm. She attended eight years of country school located less than two miles southwest of home or one-half mile north of the Church. After the boys left Evie held the only driver’s license in her aunt’s household and became an adventuresome driver sometimes taking corners on just two wheels. When Evie was seven her father married her step-mother, Clara Dahl, but Evie continued to reside with her aunts. She graduated from Tracy High School in 1941.
On April 1, 1942 Evie married Fred Ankrum while he was home on furlough after basic training. Fred had been drafted on February 3rd into the U.S. Army for WW II service. Evie wouldn’t see Fred again until mid-1945 when he was honorably discharged. He was in very fierce fighting on the Pacific frontline involved in a number of island battles with the Japanese and in the liberation of the Philippines. Evie stayed at home doing housework and raising their young son, Fordyce. After Fred’s discharge he did painting and for three years the family lived in Brookings, S.D where Marianne was born. They then moved back to the Currie/Tracy area were Fred and Evie farmed, first renting and then later buying their own farm located 1 ½ miles south of the Church. Fred also worked in construction and as a family they continued the painting business.
When the kids got a little older, Evie also did waitressing at area cafes and bookkeeping for two local implement dealers. In 1973 she decided she wanted to do something more exciting and she commenced her nursing education. On August 16, 1974 she graduated from New Ulm School of Practical Nursing and worked for nearly 20 years before retiring. In all this Evie still found time for her grandkids, like taking them fishing and impressing them with her slick bullhead cleaning skills.
In 1983, Fred passed away at home after a battle with cancer. She stayed on the farm and in 1985 Evie married Vernen Herder. In the winters they lived mainly at Vern’s place in Walnut Grove and in the summers back out at the farm. Vern passed away in December 1996. Evie had previously sold the farmland and then the acreage in 1998 to move into Slayton where she resided until 2016 when she moved to Country View senior living in Walnut Grove. On November 1, 2018 Evie moved to the Good Samaritan Home in Westbrook. On November 5th she was transferred to the Westbrook Hospital after an apparent stroke and on November 7th to Luverne Hospice Cottage.
Throughout life Evie was a devout Christian and served her nearly lifelong country church, Willow Lake Lutheran, in many capacities, among them teaching Sunday and Bible School, and Ladies Aid until it closed in 2006. She then joined Christ Lutheran Church in Slayton. She loved kids and served as a 4-H leader. Evie enjoyed gardening and always had a large vegetable plot and many flowers. Later in life she was an avid crossword puzzle solver.
In her later years Evie contracted Parkinson’s disease and patiently awaited her “final address change.” On November 19, 2018, Evie, at an earthly age of 95 years and 9 days was called home by her Lord and Savior. Evie moved for her last time until Resurrection Day and in spirit now resides with Jesus in Paradise.
Evie was preceded in death by her parents; step-mother; her son, Fordyce, brothers, Orie, Leland who drown as a teenager, and Otto “Ozzie”; a sister, Muriel, who died as a toddler; infant siblings, Clarence and a sister who both died close to birth; and a half-brother, Claire “Kelly”. She is survived by her daughter, Marianne (Steven) Perkins, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; eight grandchildren, Bradley, Fordyce Jr., Patti, Douglas, Mistyne, Marleta, Melicia, and Michael; 16 great-grandchildren (with another “on the way”); and two great-great-grandsons. She is also survived by her half-sister, Goldie Wilking, Tracy; a special friend, Luverne Carlson, Slayton; her daughter-in-law, Sharon Ankrum, Duluth; two step-sons, David Herder, Walnut Grove, and Dennis Herder, Iowa Park, Texas; her step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Praise Be To God and Blessed Be Her Memory!