Eleanor Gafkjen, 95
Eleanor was born February 25, 1925 – the third child of Olaf and Merriam (Hallen) Langland on a farm in McKenzie County near Keene North Dakota. She was baptized at home and confirmed in the First Lutheran Church of Keene ND – the church her maternal grandfather Peter Hallen and other homesteaders of the area built and where her Mother and several siblings were confirmed.
Outside of a few months on the west coast when she was younger and her last months in Colorado, Eleanor spent her life in North Dakota. She attended two years of high school in Watford City, then transferred to Sanish where she graduated as an honor student. She married Harold Sorenson in 1943 and they had three sons. The marriage ended in divorce in 1950 and Eleanor moved with her sons to Seattle in 1952 where she attended Northwest Railroad school where she learned telegraphy and the workings of a station agent. She was texting before texting was cool.
After working on the west coast, she transferred to the Minot division in ND and worked until she was assigned Station Agent in Zahl ND, it was there she met Norman Gafkjen and they married in the Zahl Lutheran Church in 1961. They made their home in Williston and had a son and a daughter. In 1971 they moved to Appam ND so they could be closer to the farm. Eleanor lost a son, Mark Gregory Sorenson, in a car accident in 1974 and she lost her beloved husband Norman in 1987. Eleanor stayed in Appam after the death of her beloved husband Norman until 1995 when she moved to Williston where she lived until June 2019 when she moved to Colorado to be close to family there. Eleanor loved spending time with family, anything related to her Norwegian heritage, good music, dancing and of course, cards
Gone too soon from her life, her parents and step father, her son Mark, her husband Norman, her daughter-in-law Suzette, her sisters Cora and Lucille, her brothers Phil and Gordon and many in-laws, cousins and caring friends.
Left to celebrate her life are her children Steve Sorenson, Doug Sorenson — his wife Sharon, Gene Gafkjen and Mary Gafkjen Pemberton — her husband Scott. She has five grandchildren: Kristen Sorenson, Debbie Jenkins Jeff Sorenson, Jodi Sorenson and Sydney Pemberton as well many great and great-great grandchildren. Two brothers, Bill Landland and Merle Jore and four sisters-in-law: Eunice Van Druff and Meredith Gafkjen, Dianne Gafkjen and Tina Langland. She has many nieces and nephews and caring friends.
A memorial service will be planned in Williston at a later date.