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Published February 02, 2013, 12:00 AM

R. Orpha Amundson

R. Orpha Amundson, 94, passed away January 29, 2013, at Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes.

Ruth Orpha Burud was born July 24, 1918, in Black Eagle, MT, to Oscar and Rachel Wenner Burud. Diagnosed with a serious heart condition as an infant, doctors gave her less than a year to live. With her parents and two sisters, Orpha lived on a homestead in Rudyard, MT until shortly before her first birthday when the family traveled to Ulen, MN.

R. Orpha Amundson

R. Orpha Amundson, 94, passed away January 29, 2013, at Oak Crossing in Detroit Lakes.

Ruth Orpha Burud was born July 24, 1918, in Black Eagle, MT, to Oscar and Rachel Wenner Burud. Diagnosed with a serious heart condition as an infant, doctors gave her less than a year to live. With her parents and two sisters, Orpha lived on a homestead in Rudyard, MT until shortly before her first birthday when the family traveled to Ulen, MN.

Orpha attended Becker County District #34, where her sister, Carla, was the teacher. She was confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ulen. When her father died in 1933, Orpha and her mother moved to Ulen, where she graduated from Ulen Public School in 1937. She majored in Elementary Education at Moorhead State Teachers’ College. After completing 2 ½ years at MSTC, she taught 12 students in Dale, MN, then moved to Morris, MN, where she taught all eight grades. She taught 5th grade in Ada, MN, for three years before going to Great Falls MT, where her mother had family.

While in Ada, Orpha met Henry Allan Austinson, whom she married June 8, 1946. The couple moved to St. Paul in 1950, and adopted a daughter, Rachel Ann, in 1951. When Henry became ill, the family returned to Ulen in 1953 and lived on the Burud farm with Carla and Kenneth Sundre. Soon after Henry’s death in September, 1956, Orpha and Ricci moved into Ulen, where Orpha began teaching 5th grade at mid-year 1957.

On July 24, 1958, Orpha married Norman Amundson, Callaway, and moved with Ricci to Callaway to join Norm’s children, Dale and Sharon. Orpha finished her teaching degree at Moorhead State College, and taught in Ogema from 1965-1978. Orpha and Norm lived in Callaway until they built a new home on Floyd Lake in 1978. They enjoyed fishing, camping, dancing, traveling around the country to visit relatives and friends, and spending winters in Mercedes and Westlaco, TX, closer to Las Vegas, NV, where Ricci lived. On July 24, 2008, Orpha celebrated her 90th birthday, and she and Norm celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The next summer, they sold their home on Floyd Lake and moved to Lincoln Park Assisted Living in Detroit Lakes, where Norm still lives.

She loved people, especially children, and everyone was always welcome in her home, her classroom, and her life.

She is survived by her Norman, her husband of 54 ½ years, son Dale (Ramona) Amundson; son-in-law Dr. James Collinge; four grandchildren, Michael (Karen) Amundson, Susan Amundson, Greg (Sherri) Shepard, and Brian (Sara) Shepard; nine great-grandchildren; god-daughters, Ruth Dahlquist and Sharon Sundre; several nieces and nephews; and many, many friends.

Orpha was preceded in death by her parents, daughters Rachel Schweitzer and Sharon Amundson Collinge, sisters Carla Sundre and Gladys Pratt, and first husband, Henry Austinson.

Memorial Service: Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at First Lutheran Church, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota with Pastor Wade Dutton, officiating.

Visitation: Sunday from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. at West-Kjos Funeral Home with a prayer service at 4:00 p.m.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the West-Kjos Funeral Home of Detroit Lakes.

Those wanting to share memories and condolences may use the guestbook section at (www.westkjos.com).

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