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Marie E. Harding

July 9, 2018 | 9 comments

Marie E. Harding (Dybvig) died on Sunday July 8, 2018 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. She was a remarkable woman who raised six children alone following the death of her husband at the young age of 37 in 1967. Things were not easy being a single parent of the children ranging ages 2 yrs to 15 yrs. But she loved her family with her whole heart and made the best life she could for them all.

Marie was born to Axel and Margaret (Tuhus) Dybvig on August 23, 1929. She was born at home on the farm in rural Viroqua. She graduated Viroqua High School in 1947 and then went on to Western Technical School in La Crosse. She married Vernon “Brady” “Dick” Harding Jr on December 20, 1950 at her parents’ home in Liberty Pole, WI. She worked at Standard Oil in the office from 1951 – 1956 and later after her husband’s death went to work for Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse as a transportation orderly and then as a mailroom clerk from 1977-1989.

She is survived by her children Margaret “Peggy” Duncan of Viroqua, Diane (Dennis) Brown of Richland Center, Brady (Bonne) Harding of Henderson NV, Mary (Kirk) Ghelf of DeSoto, Michael (Angela) of Littleton, CO, John (Nicole) Burmeister and son in law Jon Nasseth. Grandchildren Sherry, Jonathan Duncan, Beth (Drew) Peterson, , Lisa (Chad) Berra, Thea (Matt) Fronk; Brandon (Keri Egan)Ghelf, Melissa (Dan) Mohn, Jennifer (Mike) Ballwahn; Nick Harding, Ethan Overgard, Eli and Liam Harding. Great-grandchildren Caleb Duncan; Michelle, Mallorie, Trevor Berra; Jacob and Allison Pam Fronk. Many cousins in Norway, nieces and nephews and dear friends. And sister-in-law Bonnie (Bill) Schaller Lifelong friend Phyliss (Slim) Johnson. Betty Nigh RN who checked in on mom weekly – thank you.

She was proceeded in death by her husband Vernon “Brady” Harding, daughter Christine Ann, and daughter Pamela “Pam” Nasseth; her parents Axel and Margaret, in-laws Vernon Sr and Alice Harding; brothers Arlo Dybvig, Donald (Dorothy)Dybvig, sister Ellen (David) Decker, Elaine (Neil) Parker; sister-in-laws Alice “Pettie” Harding, Marjorie (Joe) Schaller and son-in-law Bob Duncan. And special friend Bob Blomquist.

Marie traveled to Norway with her mother at the age of 18 in 1948. They stayed for six months visiting her mothers and father’s families and of course learning Norwegian. Marie would then be blessed to visit Norway again several times with her sister Ellen and her children.

Marie was a great cook, known for her boneless birds, potato salad, donuts, deserts, and of course making lefsa and Norwegian cookies with her friend Phyllis. She liked to do hand crafts, work in her garden of flowers and camp in a screen tent with the Erickson’s. Many trips out to Washington state to visit sister Ellen and David and then years later to visit brother Don and Dorothy as they moved out there to be closer to daughter Linda (Jim) Dempsey. Private family burial at Woodlawn Cemetery in La Crosse and Norway.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the DeSoto Lutheran Church on Friday, July 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm.  A visitation will be held from 3:00pm until the time of the service at the church on Friday.  Fellowship will continue immediately following the service in the church hall with some of her favorite foods.  Private family burial at Woodlawn Cemetery in La Crosse and Norway.  Memorials are preferred to the family.



  1. Chris @ Janet Thompson

    Marie was a great friend to my mother Millie Thompson, they are together again. So sorry for your loss. Marie was always full of life and she will be missed.

  2. Donna Kowal

    I feel blessed to have known Marie, she was my mother’s best friend I was always happy to see her and her family. I will miss her a lot. May the Lord bless you and comfort you through this time.

  3. Trish Bishop

    I am so very sorry to hear of Marie’s passing. My condolences to all family and loved ones. She was an amazing lady. God Bless.

  4. Annette Kirchhoff

    So sorry for your loss – Although I did not know your mom, grandmother personally, I know what a strong and wonderful lady she was from stories Mike would tell of her in the office. I know she will be missed greatly by her family. Sincere sympathies go out to all of her family from mine – Annette Kirchhoff

  5. Amanda Jurgensen

    Mary, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time.

  6. Vicki Bloczynski

    I’m so sorry to hear about Marie’s passing. She was the nicest and kindest person I ever worked with at Gundersen. My deepest sympathies go out to your family.

  7. Tom and Carol Bernett

    Our hearts are heavy with the loss of your Mom. We will remember her dearly as the kind and giving person she was. Your whole family is in our thoughts and prayers. All our love, Bernie and Carol

  8. Kim Sommer

    Marie was a very good friend to Elsie Erickson. Put those two lady’s together and fun times was a for sure thing. The spunk with these two lady’s together was unstoppable. The camping trips they did with all the kids was a true adventure. Memories of Marie will be cherished. Marie or MaMa Marie as I called her, was an awesome lady. She will be missed by so many in many ways. I am blessed to have known her and to be a part of her family family. My prayers go out to the family.

  9. Elyn MacLachlan

    Peggy, So sorry about your mom passing. My mom also came into this world in 1929 the same as your mother, but passed in 1988 at just a few days into 59 yrs old. As we know, it’s devastating when our moms are no longer with us no matter what age they are when they head on to heaven. Hope you and your family find peace of mind, are able to get healthy rest, but also able to find time to combine all the good memories from all the kind friends and relatives that come to visit you at this sad time.
    Elyn (Ellen) MacLachlan —– I think we went to Lincoln Jr HIGH together. Did you live where the college dorms are now? You may have known my sister, Sue, better than me.

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