Judith Marie Edgren Sabee

Judith Marie Edgren Sabee of Duluth, passed away with her son Steig at her side on Saturday October 24th, 2020. She was born in Duluth, MN on March 25th, 1928 to Fredrik Edgren and Marie Anderson Edgren. Her first years were spent in Proctor, MN where her father worked at Wombacher’s Hardware Store. Following her father’s death when she was five, she and her mother moved to Duluth, where Marie worked as an elementary school teacher. As a child Judy spent many summers and Christmas holidays with her Swedish immigrant grandparents, Frank G. Anderson and Katerina Maria “Mary” Nykvist Ingeborg, on their farm in Port Wing, Wisconsin. Idyllic summers fishing for trout with her father and playing in the barn and fields with her cousin Evelyn Braier Gray are captured in her book, “Early Memories”, lovingly illustrated by her dear friend Dennis Anderson. She attended Endion Elementary, and Lincoln and East Junior High Schools. Preceding her graduation from Denfeld High School (class of 46), she lived in Princeton, NJ with her mother, adventuring in Washington, DC and NYC. She attended UMD, earning a degree in social work. On her way to her first job as a social worker in southern Minnesota, she realized that she really wanted to be a teacher. She turned around and headed back to Duluth, where she re-enrolled in UMD and got her teacher’s certification. Judy married Arne Robert Sabee, a teacher, and son of Norwegian immigrants, on August 17th, 1950. They had three sons, David, Peter, and Steig. She began a teaching career in Duluth, positively impacting students’ lives for 30 years at Ensign and Washburn Schools. Soon after Judy and Arne were married, Judy’s mother Marie gave Arne a gift of dance lessons. Those first lessons blossomed into a life long passion for dancing and music. In fact, Judy and Arne won the swing dance contest at the famous Buddy Holly concert at the Duluth Armory in 1959. Judy and Arne spent thousands of happy hours on the dance floor, organizing events and teaching dancing together for many years. Judy was also always seeking out the latest in the local jazz and big band scene, ideally where there was a dance floor. Judy’s love for local jazz was legend. She was a “regular” at the Club Saratoga. Summers were spent at Deer Lake north of Grand Rapids, and exploring the BWCA and Isle Royale. Winters meant the neighborhood children sliding on the big hill in the backyard on Nanticoke Street, and snowshoeing and skiing in the woods. Eventually, she and Arne designed and had built a cabin of their own on Deer Lake as a center for family and friends. Judy was preceded in death by her husband Arne Sabee and beloved Dalmatian, Dalle. She is survived by brothers Leif (Valerie) and Douglas Peterson (Virginia); sons David (Patricia), Peter (Kari) and Steig; six grandchildren (Olivia, Ingrid, Zofia, Jack, Shale and Rainer) and one great grandson (Max). Judy’s family extends a special thank you and deep appreciation to the Wendy and Don Berg family and the caregivers at the Benedictine Living Community. For those wishing to make a gift in Judy’s honor, please consider www.saxzim.org and/or www.portwingmuseum.org A celebration of Judy’s life will be held at a later date. Please stay in touch. We want to let you know when we can gather and celebrate Judy together. Send us your contact information (ssabee@icloud.com) or (S. Sabee PO Box 161203, Duluth, MN. 55812).


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