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Verna M. Torreson, 100

erna M. Torreson, 100, formerly of the Grand Forks and East Grand Forks communities, died Thursday, October 28, 2010 in New Brighton Care Center, New Brighton,Minnesota.
Verna Mae (Ziegenhagen) Torreson was born on Sept. 7, 1910, in Columbus, North Dakota.  She was the second of 4 children, and their family grew up  on a farm nearColumbus, ND. Verna graduated from the University of North Dakota, and  took a job with the John C. Boe Insurance Company in Grand Forks.  She enjoyed her work there until she married.  During her lifetime, she also held participated and also held leadership positions with a Methodist Church Circle and the BPW, a Business Women’s Group.
In 1955, Verna married Leo Torreson, and together, they ran the Torreson Oil Company in East Grand Forks for almost 40 years.  Leo suffered from diabetes, and Verna cared for him until his death in 1993.
Verna enjoyed her nephews and nieces, and could be counted upon to play with them, and also at Christmas, bring a lovely box of Christmas presents.  She was naturally musical, and played piano and organ from her childhood on, and could play by ear.  She loved to play the old songs.
In 1997, at age 87, Verna inadvertently stepped into the limelight during the Red River flood. She had not kept up with the news of the rising water.  When she went to her basement steps, she saw the water, rising so fast that it was almost up to ground floor. Verna got a stepladder and flashlight, struggled to the end of her driveway, and climbed up several rungs, and waved her flashlight. The Coast Guard rescued her, and her picture was featured in the newspaper accounts.  She had lost the house and everything in it.
Ever resilient, Verna decided to move into Mill Street Residence in Fergus Falls, with her sister and her brother-in-law. At the end of 2008, both Verna and her sister broke their hips within 11 hours of each other.  The family brought them to New Brighton Care Center, where they could be closer
She is survived by a sister, Lona Kittelson, New Brighton, MN;  nephews, John and Bob Ziegenhagen;  nieces Carol Francis, Mary Lynn Kittelson, and Nancy Wohlfiel.  She is preceded in death by her parents and two brothers.
Services:  will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, November 6, 2010 in Amundson Funeral Home, 2975 S. 42nd St., Grand Forks.  Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery,Grand Forks.
On-line guest registration is available at

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