Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Inspire(d), we offer our condolences to the family and friends of Grace Torresdal. She passed away May 6, 2015.
Interviewed by granddaughter and long-time Inspire(d) friend Kristin Torresdal (pictured here with Grace).
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
It’s better to earn your own way through life than to expect other people to support you.
How about the worst?
I can’t really think of any bad advice I’ve received. I suppose it was when Lester (my husband) told me how great the farm was.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I was raised during the Depression years so I didn’t think about choosing a particular career; I was more concerned with finding any job where I could earn enough money to support myself.
What do/did you do?
I was a telephone operator in Watertown, SD (1947) and Tacoma, WA (1951); after that I was a stay-at-home mom and I worked on the farm (near Ossian, IA) with my husband, Lester.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
A cell phone, a bag containing hair supplies (my hair rollers, comb, and hairspray), and a fishing rod.
Try to describe yourself in one sentence.
I tried to be the best helpmate that I could be to my husband and family in spite of not liking the farm life and I enjoy helping friends by doing babysitting and things like that. I don’t know, it’s hard to describe yourself in just one sentence. What would you say about me?
Kristin: I would say that you are a very strong, intelligent, hard-working woman and that your faith, family, and a desire to help others are really important to you. I know that this is cheating (because it’s more than one sentence) but I have to add that you are also a wonderful cook, that you have a great sense of humor, and that you are the best grandma a girl could ever have.
If you could eat anything every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Seafood: scallops, shrimp, and lobster. I really started to like seafood when we lived in Tacoma, WA.
Name one thing you could not live without.
I can’t think of anything I couldn’t live without because we never know from day to day what’s going to be taken from us.
Tell us about… your wedding:
I was married at Decorah Lutheran Church on Dec. 15, 1950 in a terrible snowstorm with well-below zero weather. It was a wedding that truly focused on our Christian faith and how important it is to both of us. My mother, brother, and sister were able to come, though they got stuck in the snow on their way to Iowa because the roads were drifted…but they made it to the ceremony in time. Shortly after the wedding, Lester and I left for Tacoma, WA. We lived in Tacoma for 2 years and then moved to the farm (near Ossian, IA) and lived there for 37 years.