Margaret E. Stortz, 92, of Decorah, died Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at Aase Haugen Home in Decorah. Funeral services were at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Decorah Lutheran Church, with Rev. David Sorensen and Rev. Bryan Robertson officiating. Interment is in the spring in Hauge Lutheran Cemetery in rural Decorah. Visitation began at 1 p.m. Sunday, two hours before the service, at Decorah Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at fjelstul.com. Organist was Kathy Murray. Grandchildren - “Angel Band.” Congregational hymns were “We Are Baptized in Christ Jesus” and “On Eagle's Wings.” Casket bearers were all of Margaret’s grandchildren. Honorary bearers were Barb and Alton Barth; and Kathy and Marc Rosendahl. Interment is in the spring in Hauge Lutheran Cemetery in rural Decorah.

Margaret Elizabeth (Halvorson) Stortz was born Nov. 14, 1921, in Canoe Township, Winneshiek County, the daughter of Hans and Mabel (Rustad) Halvorson. She was baptized April 30, 1922, at Hauge Lutheran Church and confirmed June 21, 1936, at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church. She attended rural school in Canoe and Frankville Townships, then worked as a mother’s helper in Decorah and as a waitress at Barge’s Restaurant in Decorah. She was united in marriage to Virgil R. Stortz May 5, 1946, at Hauge Lutheran Church, by Pastor Carl Losen. To this union, five children were born: Diane, Beverly, Loren, Lowell and a daughter who died in infancy. They farmed in Winneshiek County for many years, retiring and moving into Decorah in Nov. 1981. A life-long resident of Winneshiek County, she was a member of Hauge Lutheran Church for many years and later became a member of First Lutheran Church and then Decorah Lutheran Church. She always was an active member of her church, participating in Bible study, Ladies Aid and Circle – often as chairperson, as Sunday school superintendent and teacher. Margaret volunteered at Aase Haugen Home where she served on the Aase Auxiliary Board, wrote letters for patients, made rommegrot, played Bingo with residents, baked and served cookies and coffee. She also was an active volunteer at Winneshiek Medical Center where she was a lifetime member of the Auxiliary, did baking, worked at the information desk and sent out mailings. She loved her family, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Margaret baked countless chocolate chip, ginger and sugar cookies that were perfectly shaped and sized. She was a daily walker, enjoyed working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, her glass bird collection, eating at The Family Table and, of course coffee -- no matter what time of day it was.

Margaret is survived by four children: Diane Stortz, Edmonds, Wash., Beverly (Paul) Nichols, Decorah, Loren (Carol) Stortz, Elgin, Minn. and Lowell (Debra) Stortz, Edina, Minn.; 11 grandchildren: Jason (Lindsey) Richardson, Englewood, Colo., Andrea (Brian) Heneghan, Dorchester, Mass., BJ (Laura) Nichols, Silver Spring, Md., Benji (Aryn) Nichols, Decorah, Megan Gluth, Edmonds, Wash., Carl (Heather) Stortz, Northfield, Minn., Ethan Stortz, Camden, N.J., Hannah Stortz, Elgin, Minn., Evan Stortz, Elgin, Minn., Matthew (Erica) Stortz, New Haven, CT and Kristen Stortz, New York, NY; seven great-grandchildren: Wilson, Henry and Annalise Nichols, Silver Spring, Md., Patrick, Emily and Maya Heneghan, Dorchester, Mass. and Roxie Nichols, Decorah; two brothers, Orlando Halverson and Donald (June) Halvorson, both of Decorah; and two sisters–in–law, Marjorie Severson, Decorah and Lorraine (Walter) Teslow, Waukon.   

She was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Sharon; her husband, Virgil, June 20, 2005; grandson, Nathan Richardson, in Nov. 2010; sisters Edna Strub and Ruth Strub; sister-in-law Olga Halverson; and brothers-in-law: Vincent Strub, Ray Strub and Everett Severson.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Aase Haugen Home, 4 Ohio Street, Decorah, IA 52101, WMC Hospice, 901 Montgomery Street Decorah, IA 52101, Decorah Lutheran Church, 309 Winnebago St., Decorah, IA 52101, or Hauge Lutheran Church, 3147 Middle Hesper Road, Decorah, IA 52101.