Posted 1/25/12 (Wed)
Norris C. Hystad, a former attorney and Judge in Cook County Minnesota, died Dec. 24, 2011, at the home of his daughter in Albuquerque, N.M. He was 81 years old. Norris was born in Watford City, N.D., April 26, 1930, and came to Minnesota with his parents in 1937, where he was raised on a farm in Otter Tail County. He was the oldest of nine children born to Carl and Esther Hystad.
Norris graduated from West Central School of Agriculture in Morris, Minn., in 1948 and joined the Air Force in 1950 at the outbreak of the Korean War. He was promoted to Hospital Sergeant Major of Mather Air Force Base Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., where he served for nearly four years. During his service there, he met and married Lennie Gammel. Upon completion of his military service, he returned to attend the University of Minnesota where he received a law degree in 1960. Norris was an editor of the Minnesota Law Review and clerked for Judge Magney on the Minnesota Supreme Court.
He practiced law in Duluth until he was appointed Judge in Cook County in 1964. He was later elected County Attorney of Cook County and he maintained a law practice in Grand Marais, also acting as city attorney. He was very active in Cook County Lions Club and helped start the Grand Marais Playhouse. He enjoyed fishing, curling, cross country skiing, and playing bridge and cribbage. He loved the north woods and built a log cabin on Gust Lake north of Lutsen.
Later in his career, he became a licensed alcoholism counselor and developed and marketed successful chemical dependency diagnostic materials still in use in this field.
In retirement, he spent summers in Grand Marais and Duluth and winters on Padre Island, Texas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Esther Hystad; daughter, Pamela G. Hystad; brother, Milton Hystad; and sister, Joyce Forland.
He is survived by daughters Karen Nimmich of Albuquerque, and Tara (David) Parsons of Duluth, seven grandchildren: Karoline Hystad, Katherine (Patrick) Morrison-Maher, Brianna and Allison Nimmich, Helen, Geoffrey and Nicolas Parsons and two great-grandchildren; Lars and Lucy Maher; brothers, Wallace and Carlyle Hystad; and sisters, Valeria Tweden, Phyllis Mindrup, Eileen Fehlen and Judy Gronquist.
His ashes will be interred in the military cemetery at Fort Snelling, Minn.