Edith Nerstad receives honorary diploma from Spring Grove High School

Submitted story and photo

Edith Haugstad was born July 21, 1918. Since she was the oldest child, her parents didn’t think she should walk to school alone. She waited until she was seven years old, when her cousin Enster Haugstad came to live with them so he could walk to school with her. 

It was a long way – over a mile – through woods and fields. When the weather was bad, her Dad would bring them with horses and sleigh. She attended eight years of country school. 

The first through fifth grades were at the Rood School, then the family moved so she attended District 88 south of Spring Grove. 

She would have loved to attend high school and nurses training, but without school buses or someone to stay with in town, she could not go. 

She excelled in most of her studies, especially spelling. In fact, in 6th grade she completed the requirements for sixth, seventh and eighth grade spelling!

In 1937 she married James Nerstad. They had six children, all who graduated from Spring Grove High School. Loretta in 1955, Ronald in 1957, John in 1960, Diane in 1965, Linda in 1970 and Elizabeth in 1977. 

Also, many of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren graduated from Spring Grove Public. Many family members have been fortunate to be able to attend training beyond high school, which Mom heartily encouraged.

She has been a great supporter of sports and as long as she was able, she attended games that her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren participated in. Some of the grandchildren were winners in the school spelling bee and went to district to participate and she went along, spelling the words silently at the same time as the child did!

She has never lost her love for reading. She is a member of the Sons of Norway book club and always has a stack of books to read. 

The Spring Grove Herald is always read cover to cover. She keeps up to date on all events in the area. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran and for many years was active in the Love Day, making many quilt tops and helping tie quilts. 

In 2005 she received two awards – at Syttende Mai she was named Mest Hoyaketet Dame and at the Houston County Fair she was chosen female Senior Volunteer of the year.

Her biggest regret in life was that she could not attend high school and nurses’ training. In 1963 she went to work at the Spring Grove hospital/nursing home and worked there for 13 years as an aid. At that time, she did many of the jobs only an RN does today and did an excellent job!

Receiving her diploma today instead of in 1937 made the day very special!