Mara Trygstad, 69, of Fargo ND, passed on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Sanford Health Center in Fargo, North Dakota. In accordance with her wishes, her family worked with LifeSource to donate her organs for transplant and research.
Mara Leanne Volker Trygstad was born at Saint Ansgar Hospital in Moorhead, Minnesota, on Friday, March 19, 1954, to Arlene and Robert Volker. Mara is survived by her husband Joel, son Jordan, sisters Lynn (Dave) Holmgren, Michelle (Jon) Aarsvold, brother Michael Miller, step mother Diana (Bob) Dobson (mother of Lynn), her aunts Zelda Skretvedt, Daphne Skretvedt, and Randi Hulkonen along with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her father Robert Volker (father of Mara, Michelle and Lynn), her mother Arlene Miller (mother of Mara, Michelle, and Michael), Ronald Miller (father of Michael), Arne Bjerke, Jon David Aarsvold (infant nephew), along with several aunts and uncles. Mara also lost a daughter, whose name would have been Amber, to a miscarriage in 1974.
Mara lived in Moorhead and attended Riverside Elementary through the fifth grade. Her family moved to Pelican Rapids starting in sixth grade, and she graduated from the Pelican Rapids High School in 1971. Joel and Mara married on September 8, 1973. She attended what was then Moorhead State University on and off for several years, starting the fall of 1971, with a focus on business and computer science. During this period, she took and passed the CPA exam. With her husband, she lived in the Omaha area for a couple years before moving back to the Fargo area in 1974. Her son Jordan was born on March 11, 1987.
Mara’s life goal was to work, sometimes alone and sometimes with colleagues, to make things or to make things better. One of Mara’s favorite T-shirts reads “I make stuff … (cause I get sad if I don’t)” This motto was expressed in her many occupations and hobbies. A partial list of her past occupations include dog groomer, doing lighting for several theater productions, network television camera person, building samples for a craft store, florist, plant store manager, comptroller for a telecommunication company, worked as a software developer for Great Plains and then for Microsoft she continued as a software developer before going onto requirements analyst, icon designer (named on several patents), and her favorite, worked on the User Experience (UX) team. Later she started It's About Thyme to grow and sell herbs and heirloom tomatoes.
Her hobbies included sewing, crocheting, knitting, quilting, and gardening (certified Master Gardener). Being a lifelong reader, she was able to read the newspaper from front to back before starting kindergarten, and almost never left the house without a book in hand.
Mara naturally made many friends over the course of her life, including school friends from elementary and beyond, work friends from her various jobs, hobby friends from her many interests, Facebook friends that followed her for her humorous and/or informative posts, and many more. For her family, she was the center of many gatherings, hosting at her home for holidays and events. She would often get engrossed in long phone calls as they kept her up to date on their everyday lives. Above all, she was gifted at connecting with people and being a warm person that was loved by many.
Her service will be hosted at First Lutheran Church in Fargo (619 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102) with help from Wright Funeral Home. Visitation will start at 10:00 AM on June 10th with the Memorial Service starting at 11:00 AM.
In honor of Mara, the family requests that guests wear something blue, for her favorite color, or florals, for her love of flowers and plants.