Annette L. “Annie” Strandell, 77, of East Grand Forks, died from complications due to COVID-19 while at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks on Tuesday, Nov. 3.\
Born on Oct. 21, 1943, at Crookston, Minn., to Harold and Grace (Yuergens) Parkin, Annie was raised on the Parkin farm just south of Angus. She graduated from Warren High School in 1961. She and Warren Strandell were married on Oct. 7, 1961, just days before Warren left with his Army National Guard unit that had been called to active duty in response to the Berlin Crisis.
Upon completion of the military assignment, they made their home in Warren, Minn. They were blessed with sons, Jeff and Kary, before a career move in newspapering for Warren brought them to Austin, Minn., in 1963, and to Albert Lea, Minn., in 1965. They moved to East Grand Forks in 1969. Their son, Jon, was born in Grand Forks in 1970.
After mortgaging everything they could for start-up money, Warren and Annie started The Exponent newspaper in the basement of their home in East Grand Forks in 1979. In addition to maintaining a home for the family, Annie served as the newspaper’s office/business/circulation manager for 14 years until the publication was sold in January 1993.
An immaculate homemaker, Annie’s home was always among the cleanest anywhere. She was a strong supporter of her sons and grandsons’ sports and school activities, including those at the college level. She was also a big fan of UND hockey, the Minnesota Twins and Vikings. Annie became a very skilled fisherman from the many hours that she and Warren spent on Lake of the Woods in the summer. At Mendenhall Presbyterian Church, she served as an elder on the session governing body, on a pastor nominating committee, and as a treasurer for both the church and for its Presbyterian Women organization.
Survivors include her husband, Warren, and sons, Jeff in Burnsville, Minn.; Kary in East Grand Forks; and Jon (Heather) in Grand Forks; four grandsons, Travis, Trevor, Sam and Leo, and a great-grandson, Ryder. Other survivors include sisters, Janice Nordenstrom, Grand Forks, and Carol (Ron) Loeslie, Warren; sisters-in-law, Gloria Parkin, Land O Lakes, FL, and Joan Parkin, Palm Desert, CA; and a number of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Jean (Gene) Johnston; brothers, Dale, Orville and Ronald; and brothers-in-law, Lloyd Nordenstrom and Gene Johnston.
Because of the COVID pandemic, funeral services for invited friends and relatives will be held at 1p.m. Friday at Mendenhall Presbyterian Church in East Grand Forks. Following the service, burial of the urn will take place at Resurrection Cemetery in East Grand Forks. All friends and relatives are invited to participate in that event and to participate in a social gathering that will follow at the Valley Golf Course clubhouse. Masks will be required.
Amundson Funeral Home, Grand Forks, will video record the service and make it available on its website, www.amundsonfuneralhome.com.