Elsie Margaret Nordby
1931 - 2020
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Elsie Margaret Nordby
Sept. 19, 1931 - Aug. 18, 2020
Elsie went to be with her Lord Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. She was born in Portland, Ore., Sept. 19, 1931, to Frank and Svea (Ohlsson) Lovgren, who emigrated from Sweden and met in Portland.
Elsie was a devoted daughter while growing up in North and Northeast Portland. She learned to speak Swedish, play the piano and violin, danced with the Swedish youth group, was Midsummer Queen at the 1941 Portland Midsummer Festival, and graduated with the Jefferson High School class of 1949.
Elsie met and married Eugene Klein in 1951, and son Jeff was born in 1952 and daughter Linda in 1955. The family lived and worked in the Northeast Portland area, and Elsie worked for the Portland Public Schools as a secretary first at Grout Elementary School and later at Irvington Elementary School, retiring in 1991. She was much loved by students, teachers, and principals. Elsie and Gene divorced in 1975.
Later she became reacquainted with long-time friend and Scandinavian dance partner, Glen Nordby, Jr. They married in 1979 and lived in Milwaukie, Ore. Glen and Elsie were very involved in the Swedish and Norwegian communities, serving as officers in their lodges and as officers in their District lodges, and made a trip to Sweden and Norway in 1984. Glen passed away in 1995, and Elsie remained involved in the Scandinavian community and her Swedish lodges. She generously donated her time and talents and made every group task more enjoyable, from pancake breakfasts to Midsummer festivals, from raising money to craft projects. She was very much respected and loved by all. Elsie was a member of Milwaukie Lutheran Church, volunteering in many of the activities there, loved to play pinochle with friends, and was active with the Piece Makers quilters.
Elsie enjoyed the good fortune to travel widely, often with her daughter Linda, traveling to Ireland and Scotland in 1999, Sweden and Spain in 2004, the Mediterranean in 2007, and Australia and New Zealand in 2008.
Elsie remained in her home until the end and felt relief for the relative isolation and freedom her house provided during the Covid-19 shut down. She beautifully decorated her house with Swedish and Scandinavian glassware and art, some of which was handed down from her Swedish family. Elsie loved birds, setting out feeders in her yard and decorating her house with bird ornaments. She loved her yard and garden, gathered with her neighbors once a month, and hosted family dinners throughout the year.
A tumor pressing upon her left lung and heart was removed, but the surgery proved to be too much, and her heart gave out. Elsie was loved by many and will truly be missed.
Elsie is survived by son, Jeff Klein; daughter, Linda Hovis; stepdaughter, Carol DeSau (Kevin); stepson, Andrew Nordby; granddaughters, Katie and Madelyn; and grandson, Trygve.
A family funeral will be held Sept. 19, 2020 (her birthday anniversary) and a community celebration of her life will take place when allowed. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Milwaukie Lutheran Church.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits

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Published in The Oregonian from Sep. 11 to Sep. 13, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family
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4 entries
September 20, 2020
The Johnson girls, Tina, Lisa, Tessy, and Tricia send our deep condolences for the loss of your mom, Elsie. We all have such fond memories of her at the Swedish lodge and her musical talent. Midsummer at Oaks Part and dancing on stage.
Tess Bieri
September 15, 2020
I’m sorry to hear that Elsie is gone. I always remember her as a friendly person wha was easy to talk with. Blessings to her close loved ones.
-Paul Bakke (cousin to Glen Nordby)
Paul Bakke
September 13, 2020
I have such warm memories of Elsie and the many, many ways that she supported and guided me as a "young" teacher at Irvington School. She always started the day with smile and her patience with staff, students and community was beyond measure!
Sending heartfelt sympathy to all.
Cheryl Ogburn
Cheryl Ogburn
September 13, 2020
I worked with Elsie at Irvington School for many years. She was a wonderful, kind person and amazing secretary that "stayed calm and carried on" as she and Phyllis ran the office. She was loved and respected by staff, and I will always have fond memories of her.
My condolences to your family.
Cathy Percich
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