Osborn Trygve Stenberg
1-19-1921 - 6-6-2014
Osborn Trygve Stenberg was the seventh of eleven children born to Olaf and Signe Stenberg. He grew up on a farm near Watford City, North Dakota. Music, the Lutheran faith, and their proud Norwegian heritage was paramount in the family. Osborn made sure the pride of this Norwegian heritage was carried on and therefore runs mighty in the blood, hearts and minds of his children and grandchildren today.
Osborn learned at an early age, something he passed on to all of his children, the importance of family, education, the value of a dollar and how honest hard work helps to instill pride and confidence in a person. These lessons were well learned as his early years were spent living through some very difficult times...the 1930's. The Dust Bowl from 1931-1939, grasshopper plagues, army worm infestations and the stock market crash which brought on the Great Depression which lasted until 1941 when America entered World War II. In 1940, they lost the farm and in time most of the family moved to Minneapolis. Osborn worked in a grocery store there until he heard the wages were better in Seattle. While living in Seattle he worked on bridges for the Great Northern Railroad and later for Boeing Aircraft, the company who was building a new warplane, the B-17 "Flying Fortress".
Osborn was drafted and entered the army in March of 1943. He was sent to basic training in California, then on to North Carolina where he joined the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles. He went to England and received further training there as a paratrooper. Osborn was involved in many of the worst battles on the European front including the Battle of the Bulge. After Hitler and Japan surrendered, Osborn was involved in liberating one of the Nazi concentration camps, Dachau. After the wars end, Osborn was stationed, while waiting to be released from the army, in the Bavarian Alps at Berchtesgaden, Germany, where Hitler had a vacation mountain home, The Eagle's Nest. Osborn was one of three men in his group who successfully reached the summit of one of the mountain peaks in the area. He achieved this while wearing the only shoes he had at the time, his army boots!! "Oz" was a faithful friend and a brave soldier who very much deserved the medals he was awarded, The Purple Heart and The Bronze Star. How perfect it was for him to pass away on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day!!
After returning home to Seattle, he enjoyed reuniting with his large family whom most had ended up residing in Seattle and enrolled at the University of Washington. Soon after, he met a pretty young Norwegian Lutheran nurse who had become good friends with his sisters as they all attended the same church, while he was away at war. Shirley Thorstenson had always said she wanted to find a full blooded Norwegian Lutheran man to marry. She had already fallen in love with this big Stenberg family, so it was pretty easy to fall in love with "Ozzie" too. They were married on June 21, 1948.
Ozzie, who graduated with honors in Chemistry from the U of W, used his high intelligence and superb work ethic to become a successful corporate business executive which took them and their ever growing family to several pacific northwestern cities and took Osborn all over the world. In the summer of 1966, they landed for good in Boise, ID where he had been hired to work for Boise Cascade, a corporation he worked hard for and retired from. He loved being an executive, but deep down, he liked thinking of himself as the small town farm boy of his past. He was a good, honest, hard working, trusting man who would give anyone the shirt off his back if he thought they needed it. A wonderful trait that had been taken advantage of from time to time, but gallant just the same.
Osborn is survived by his wife, Shirley G. Stenberg, his children, Sunny Borgognone, Anita (Rob) Hartley, John (Tracy) Stenberg, Keith (Vikki) Stenberg and Sharon (Doug) Nefzger, several grandchildren and a few great grandchildren. He is also survived by one brother, Ralph Stenberg, one sister, Lydia Barrett and one sister-in-law, Marion Stenberg. He was preceded in death by his parents, five brothers, three sisters, son-in-law, Rusty Borgognone and his grandson, Andy Stenberg with whom I am sure he is so happy to be reunited with and them with him.
A private family service and burial with military honors was previously performed. Shirley, along with their children and their families would like to offer an invitation to join them at an Open House in Ozzie's memory at the home of one of his children, this Saturday, July 26th, from 2pm-5pm. The address is: 3509 N. Tamarack, Boise. You might even get a chance to enjoy some lefse!!
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 20, 2014