Thelma Korsness, 73, of rural Decorah, died Tuesday, April 22, 2014, at Green Lea Senior Living in Mabel, Minn. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Friday, April 25, at the Hesper Lutheran Church in Hesper, with the Reverend Matt Larson officiating. Burial is in the Hesper Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation is 5-8 p.m. at the Mengis Funeral Home in Mabel and one hour prior to services at the church.

Thelma was born March 17, 1941, in Winneshiek County, to Guy and Thea (Torresdal) Nelson. She grew up on a farm south of the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church where she was baptized and confirmed. She attended rural country school and in 1959 she graduated from Decorah High School. As a child she learned to play the piano and violin. After graduation she worked as a bookkeeper for Anundsen Publishing in Decorah. She married Lester Korsness at Hesper Lutheran Church March 17, 1961. They farmed in Hesper Township on the farm where Lester was raised. Thelma played the organ and piano, and sang at Hesper Lutheran Church as well as many of the area churches. She enjoyed getting kids and young adults active in music. For over 20 years she volunteered as an accompanist for North Winneshiek School music students. She enjoyed making bread, rolls, donuts, lefse and Norwegian pastries like rosettes and krumkake. Through the years Thelma was active in the Farm Bureau Chorus, Sons of Norway, the annual Friends Christmas Cantata, and helped out with the lutefisk suppers and Steam Engine Days stands. When the kids were in school, Lester and Thelma opened their home to two foreign exchange students from Norway. Hanne Kalstad lived with them for the 1980-81 school year, and Erik Eggum lived with them for the 1985-86 school Year.

Thelma is survived by her husband, Lester; four children: Lois (Edward) Darrington of Brookings, S.D., Martha (Mark) Jepsen of Center Point, Linda (Jeff) Hernes of Shoreview, Minn. and Paul (Nicolle) Korsness of Decorah; 12 grandchildren: Joseph and Jonathan Darrington, Heidi (Bryce) Muenchow, Tyler, Nathan (Lauren), and Joel Jepsen, Brian and Melissa Hernes and Kelsie, Dylan, Cameron and Jensen Korsness; a sister, Margaret Place, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va.; and two Norwegian exchange students, Hanne Kalstad-Vestaby and Erik Eggum.

She was preceded in death by her parents and several aunts and uncles.