Cover photo for Norma Carrigan's Obituary
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Norma Carrigan

April 1, 1925 — March 31, 2016

Norma Carrigan

Norma Carrigan, age 90, of Wheaton, Minnesota passed away Thursday, March 31, 2016 at the Traverse Care Center in Wheaton, one day shy of her 91st birthday.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, May 7, 2016 at noon at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Wheaton with Rev. David Strom officiating. Honorary Pallbearers will be Norma's grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A private family burial will take place at a later date.

Visitation will be Friday, May 6th from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Bainbridge Funeral Home in Wheaton. Visitation will continue Saturday morning one hour prior to service time at the church.

Norma Madsen Carrigan was born on April 1, 1925 in Ruthton, Minnesota, the daughter of Nels and Ethel Madsen. As a young girl she delivered milk throughout the town from their small family farm and later worked at her uncle's grocery store and butcher shop.

In 1943, she graduated from Ruthton High School as salutatorian of her class, and subsequently obtained her teaching certificate from Pipestone Teachers College in 1945. Norma then moved to the Hector-Buffalo Lake, Minnesota area where she began her teaching career. It was here that she met the love of her life, Ben Carrigan. They eloped on Oct 29, 1946, and kept the marriage a secret from family and friends for several days.

During the early years of their marriage, Ben and Norma lived and farmed near Buffalo Lake, Minnesota, where their three children were born. Ten years later, Norma completed her bachelor's degree in elementary education at St. Cloud State. The family moved to Hutchinson, Minnesota where she continued her teaching career as a 4th grade teacher and principal in the neighboring town of Stewart.

In 1961, the Carrigan family moved to Wheaton, Minnesota where Ben and Norma owned and operated Skogmos Dept. Store for ten years. While living in Wheaton, Norma taught 6th grade at Pearson Elementary School for one year and was involved in many activities within the community and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. She was also a familiar voice to listeners of "The Wheaton Show" on KMRS radio station out of Morris, Minnesota.

After spending ten years in Wheaton, Ben took a job at 3M in Alexandria where they were able to fulfill their dream of living by a lake. Norma and Ben lived life to the fullest on their acreage by Lake Mary, fishing, gardening, and hosting many gatherings of family and friends. Norma's passion for flowers "blossomed" into a hobby of raising orchids. She also managed Stevenson's Dress Shop and The Woman's Shop in downtown Alexandria.

Family and friends will always remember Norma for being full of life, generous, creative, and feisty. She was a hard worker, a wonderful cook, and always knew how to have fun. She could bring out the playful side of everyone and loved a good joke. Above all, Norma's love and devotion to Ben, as caregiver during his later years with Alzheimer's, was remarkable. Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the center of her life and she shared her pride with everyone.

Norma is survived by three children: son Allen (Julie) Carrigan of Wheaton, Minnesota; daughters: Connie (Larry) Manderscheid of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Kathleen (Mahmood) Shaikh of Fairfield Glade, Tennessee; seven grandchildren: Robin Jacobson, Kelly Eiden, Adam Carrigan, Erin Esser, Eric Atkins, Armaan Shaikh and Suraya Shaikh; ten great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Norma was preceded in death by her parents, husband Ben, one brother Severt Madsen, one sister Marian Lenz.


Bainbridge Funeral Home
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  • 106 North 10th Street
    Wheaton, MN 56296

Funeral Service

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
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  • 605 10th Street North
    Wheaton, MN 56296
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