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Alva Lawrence

Posted 6/29/11 (Wed)

Alva Lawrence, 92, of Williston, N.D., died Sunday, June 19, 2011, at her Williston residence, surrounded by her family. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2011, at the Lutheran Brethren Fellowship Church in Williston. Pastors Ron Erickson and John Juhl officiated, and interment was held at Hillside Memory Gardens in Williston. Friends may sign the online register book and give their condolences at www.fulkersons.com.
Alva was prematurely born to Henry and Emma (Pagel) Hystad on Sept. 23, 1918, on the family farmstead in Farland Township in Arnegard, N.D. She joined siblings Elery, Erma and Dallas; the oldest brother, Helmer, died as an infant. She attended grade school at Farland and graduated from Watford City High School in 1937.
Alva started out as an aide at the Good Samaritan Hospital and then went on to four years of nurses training at Trinity School of Nursing in Minot, N.D., graduating as a Registered Nurse. While in Minot, she met Frank Lawrence, and they were married Dec. 21, 1946, in Williston. Frank and Alva moved to the Rapid City, S.D., area and were engaged in dairy farming.
While in South Dakota, Myrna, Gary and David were born. Frank and Alva moved back to North Dakota, residing in Williston, and Susan, Alan and Wayne were born. Alva returned to the Good Samaritan Hospital, working as a nurse until it's closure in 1973. She also worked at Mercy Hospital and later in a supervisory position at Bethel Home. She retired in 1985, and enjoyed traveling with Frank. Their trip to Norway with her brother, Dallas, and sister-in-law, Phylis, was a highlight.
Alva loved God and her family, and never failed to make them a priority. She especially enjoyed flower gardening, cooking, baking, making quilts for her children and grandchildren, and playing Skip-BO with the "Three Musketeers." She weighed barely four pounds at birth, and to keep her warm, her mother placed her in a shoe box on the warmer of the cook stove. They didn't expect her to survive, but survive she did! Along with years of hard work, having breast cancer and escaping many injuries, including almost freezing to death from a fall outside resulting in a broken hip and later a fractured pelvis which put her in Bethel Home for a month, she withstood it all. Her family was honored to care for her at home, fulfilling her desire to stay in her home until losing her battle to cancer on June 19, 2011.
Alva is survived by her children: Myrna Slaamot, of Williston; Gary, of Bonners Ferry, Idaho; David (Mary), of Watford City; Susan Withey, of Williston; and Alan (Jane), of Trenton, N.D.; 23 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Doris Hystad of Watford City, and Phylis Hystad of Arnegard.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Emma; brothers, Helmer, Elery and Dallas; and sister, Erma; her husband, Frank; son, Wayne; daughter-in-law, Kim (Lowe); nephews, Curtis Anderson, Calvin and Lloyd Dallas Hystad.
Her faith, her family, and church family were an important part of her life. Her house was an open door to all who entered.
The family suggests memorials be sent to the Lutheran Brethren Fellowship Church, the Calvin Hystad Scholarship Fund at Williston State College or Relay For Life.