Cover photo for Alta  Nodland's Obituary
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1919 Alta 2022

Alta Nodland

November 27, 1919 — June 5, 2022

Alta Nodland, 102 years old, passed away peacefully on June 5, 2022, in Estero, Florida.

Alta (Bertilson) Nodland was born on November 27, 1919 (Thanksgiving Day) on the family farm in Dows, Iowa. Her childhood was filled with a rollicking, hard-working family, cousins, friends, and mischief. She loved to play and was a star guard on the Dows High girls’ basketball team in an era when such opportunities for girls rarely existed.

Her world and circle of friends expanded when she attended St. Olaf College (Class of 1941). She was a proud Ole and studied hard and, yes, played hard, enjoying things like tobogganing down the steep hills on campus. After graduation she earned her RN degree from Fairview Nursing School.

Alta’s nursing career paused after she married her life partner, Tory Nodland, in 1945. After brief stints in Ames and Corwith, Iowa, she became a farm wife and home maker in Kanawha, Iowa. With four children on the farm, her nursing skills were often used by providing first aid for various mishaps to her active brood.

In 1963, Alta packed up the home and family and moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa where Tory changed careers from farming to selling Farm Bureau Insurance. Always supportive, Alta didn’t hesitate when Tory bought a questionable site of their new home. She would always fix hot chocolate to celebrate a new sale when Tory got home. That site soon turned into a sub-division and a new career for Tory as a real estate developer. Alta’s support was always encouraging whether the crop was harvested, the insurance policy was sold, or the lot sale was closed.

Her role as wife expanded to that of mom and mother-in-law to her four children, Ann Schrader & Joe, David & Julie Nodland, Helen Nodland, and Jim & Marti Nodland. She was a fun-loving and caring Grandma to nine grandchildren and Great Grandma to fifteen. Her home was always home to her kids’ and grandkids’ friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors, in-laws, brothers, sister. Everyone enjoyed being with Alta!

Her many activities revolved around her family, her faith, church, and community. She served in many capacities at Grace Lutheran in Spirit Lake and particularly enjoyed her Sew & Fun group. Alta and Tory loved being snowbirds on Ft. Myers Beach, FL for 40-some winters. She walked many miles on that beach, greeting her walking friends with a wave and a chat. Alta was always ready to greet the world with laughter and a smile.

Alta was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Tory; her daughter, Ann Schrader; and her family of parents, four brothers and one sister.

She is survived by her sons David (and Julie) Nodland, Estero, FL; Jim (and Marti) Nodland, Spirit Lake, IA; daughter Helen Nodland, St. Paul, MN; Son-in-Law, Joe Schrader, Edina, MN and all those Grand and Great Grandchildren.

A funeral service at Grace Lutheran in Spirit Lake will be 10:30 am, Saturday, August 6, 2022, at Grace Lutheran Church in Spirit Lake.  Visitation will be held Friday, August 5, from 4-6 pm at Turner Jenness Funeral Home in Spirit Lake.  Alta will be laid to rest next to Tory in Lakeland Memorial Gardens.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 5, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Turner Jenness Funeral Home

1302 Hill Avenue, Spirit Lake, IA 51360

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Memorial Service

Saturday, August 6, 2022

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central time)

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