Nancy Knutsen St. Marie

Nancy Knutsen St. Marie, 90, passed away on March 29, 2021 in Portland, Oregon. She suffered from dementia for several years and after a fall fractured her hip earlier in March, failed to recover and thrive. She was born in Duluth on January 9, 1931 to Emily (Staurset) and Peter Knutsen. Her parents were both immigrants from Norway in the early twentieth century. Nancy was the youngest of 4 daughters, Maude (Boyce) Bassi, Esther (Willard) Beaudin and Mabel (Robert) Routh.She graduated from Central High School and attended St. Olaf College for one year. On December 29, 1951 she married Robert D. St. Marie in Duluth. Nancy was always busy with many projects. She enjoyed sewing, cross country skiing, attempted golf and loved staying at the family cabin. She refinished antique furniture and learned to re-upholster furniture by reading library books. Later she took rosemaling and tole painting lessons.  Eventually she returned to UMD and finished her bachelor’s degree in education and went on to earn a master’s degree, the first in her family to do so. She taught second grade at Bayview Elementary in Proctor for 21 years. After retiring she and her husband Bob traveled to Oregon, staying for extended periods and taught her children and grand children the art of making Norwegian meatballs and baking lefsa. They traveled to a number of U.S. states and from coast to coast in Canada over time. Along with family or friends she made two trips to China and several trips to Norway visiting family. In later years she claimed she had never been bored a day of her life, until the Covid restrictions shut everything down. Nancy was a member of First Lutheran Church in Duluth, Sons of Norway and Alpha Delta Kappa Sorority. She was proud of her Norwegian heritage and strong in her Christian faith. She is preceded in death by her parents, sisters, husband and daughter Ann. She is survived by her son Thomas (Sheryl) St. Marie of Beaverton, Oregon, grandchildren Amy (Geoff) Abbott of Beaverton, Brendan St. Marie of Beaverton and Sarah Scott of Columbia Tennessee. Two great grandchildren, Henry and Emma Abbott. A memorial service will be planned for later this summer.

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