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Julie Ann Nokelby, 64

Julie Ann Nokelby, 64, entered into heaven on March 2, 2023, after a short, aggressive battle with Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. She spent her final days at her home in East Grand Forks, Minn., with her family by her side.
Julie Norland was born March 16, 1958, in Hallock, Minn., to Earl and Shirley (Willett) Norland.
She graduated from Hallock High School in 1976 and enlisted in the United States Navy. After an honorable discharge, she moved to East Grand Forks and married Mark Swanson in 1976. They had two daughters, Kari and Haley. In 1988, she married Ronald Nokelby and they welcomed a daughter, Jessica.
Julie spent nearly 40 of her working years at United Hospital/Altru Health System in various departments. She made many life-long friends in the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) and the Business Office. She retired in early 2023 after spending the last five years working at Parkwood/Edgewood, where she was able to spend daily time with her mother who lived there until her passing in September 2022.
Julie had a knack for quilting, which she passed on to her children and grandchildren. Even in her final months, she worked very hard to finish several pieces she gifted to her family at Christmas time.
Julie was also a known shopper. She relished a good quality handbag and high end chocolates (Lindt, Godiva and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory) but she was a thrifter at heart. Her Kate Spade was full of coupons and punch cards that were likely in a Ziploc that had been washed three times over.
Traveling was a big part of Julie’s heart. She spent many a day on the beaches of California and in the wonders of nature while “Partying in the Puma” in State and National Parks. While she may not have had the time to realize her dream of getting to Hawaii, her family shared many “mahalos” as they shared their final “alohas.”
“The Lake” was not just one place to Julie. While Julie helped build many memories at both Grace and Cass lakes, she spent the last 10 summers and winters at Maple Lake near Mentor, Minn. She reveled in every aspect of lake life. Swimming, fishing, campfires and s’mores, taking her grandkids and grandpups on golf cart rides, visiting with new and old friends on the Maple Lake social circuit, and enjoying an occasional Bud Platinum on the countless trips around the lake on the “Rontoon.”
Most of all she enjoyed being anywhere doing anything with family, friends and spending time with her grandchildren, Bailey, Alex, Avynn, Zachary, Aliyah, Zoe, Hayes and Ethan.
Julie left a memorable impression on many. It’s been said that she had a way of keeping people pointed in the right direction and moving forward, much like vessel’s keel. Whenever you see a soaring bald eagle, a random pink lady slipper in the woods or hear a loon call out at dawn, think of Julie and her infectious smile.
Her beautiful life will forever be cherished by her husband, Ronald; daughters, Kari (Kyle) Vashus of Vineyard, Utah, Haley (Jason) Thorson of East Grand Forks, Jessica (Dustin) Johnson of East Grand Forks; her grandchildren and many extended family members and special friends.
Julie was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Shirley Norland; father and mother-in-law, Rodney ‘Bud’ and Bernice Nokelby; paternal grandparents Harry and Clara Norland; maternal grandparents, Wayne and Lucille Willett and Victor and Verla Younggren; and her beloved, furry companion, Matty.
Julie’s family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to the staff of the Altru Cancer Center and Hospice of the Red River Valley {especially Lynne} for their compassion and guidance on this difficult journey.
Julie’s kind and caring heart requested memorials be directed to the Circle of Friends Humane Society in Grand Forks, N.D., or a charity of your choice.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 11 at 11 a.m. at Christ the King Church, 1913 3rd Ave. NW, East Grand Forks. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the church on Saturday. Service will be live-streamed on Julie’s page at You can also sign the online guest book there.
Arrangements By: Dahl Funeral Home, East Grand Forks.

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