Noreen was born Dec. 14, 1923, on a farm near Albert City, to Alma Ahntholz and Alfred Nitzke. After her father died in January of 1926, Noreen, her older brother Everett, and her mother moved to Storm Lake where Noreen graduated from high school. Noreen attended Iowa State College in Ames and St. Mary's College of Nursing in Rochester, Minn., before moving to Los Angeles, Calif. In 1944, she met and married James Leo Orngard, and together they raised five children.
Noreen, Jim, and their growing family lived in numerous locations around the country before calling Ames, their home after Jim took a job with the KASI radio station in 1959. In 1963, with five children at home, Noreen returned to school at Iowa State University, earning a Bachelor's degree and completing the coursework for a Master's degree in History. In 1977, the Orngard family moved to a house they built on the bluffs overlooking the Des Moines River Valley, near the town of Pilot Mound. This remained Noreen's beloved home for the rest of her life. After Jim died in 1978, son Andy and his wife, Sarah, remained with Noreen to share their home and raise their family.
From the time she was a small child, Noreen was a voracious reader, and as an adult, her home was filled with books, mostly on the topics of history, politics, and economics. She loved the outdoors, and her home was surrounded by acres of woods and wildlife. Each spring, she eagerly anticipated the opportunity to plant and tend her garden, and competed with deer, raccoons, and rabbits for its harvest.
Noreen was deeply loved and will be missed by her five children, Tim Orngard, San Leandro, Calif., Gary (Amor) Orngard, Fairfield, Shellie Orngard, Ames, Andy (Sarah) Orngard, Pilot Mound, and Paul Orngard, Oakland, Calif.; eight grandchildren, Charles (Kate) Orngard, Parker, Colo., Tala Orngard, Milan, Italy, Ehler Orngard, Pilot Mound, Ella Orngard, Decorah, Severie Orngard, Ames, Solveig Orngard, Pilot Mound, Sam Robson, Prescott, Ariz., Anya Robson, Ames; three great grandchildren, Madeline, Charles, and Harrison Orngard, Parker, Colo.; and three siblings, Everett (Betty) Nitzke, Des Moines, Ron (Jewell) Dierwechter, Storm Lake, and Tanya Nichols, Coral Gables, Fla. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, her husband, and her stepfather, Art Dierwechter.
Condolences may be sent to Shellie Orngard, 928 Burnett Ave., Ames, Ia., 50010, email email@example.com.