Elizabeth A. Worden, 94, passed away at her home on Sunday, January 21, 2018. Born on September 21, 1923 in Hatton, ND to Isaac Kasper Hegge and Christine Nelson Hegge, Elizabeth was raised in Mayville, ND.
At an early age Elizabeth discovered music and in 1941, she moved to Grand Forks, ND to attend the University of North Dakota. During this time, she performed soprano solos and participated in operas. While at UND, Elizabeth joined the Delta Gamma Sorority and Sigma Alpha Iota, an honorary music fraternity for women. She graduated in 1945 with majors in English and music
Later that year Elizabeth moved to New York City to continue her vocal studies at the Manhattan School of Music where she trained with Frederick Schorr. It is there she met her future husband, David G. Worden. On June 23, 1947, she and David were married in Mayville, ND.
Over the next few years, Elizabeth supported David as he pursued his physics degrees from Earlham College and Iowa State University. Elizabeth taught English and voice at both the high school and university level and participated in faculty recitals at Iowa State University.
In 1956, Elizabeth and David moved to Schenectady, NY with their now two young children. This was the first of several moves as David pursued his career – in 1961 to Pasadena, CA and in 1967 to Fargo, ND, then back to Schenectady in 1979.
Elizabeth continued to pursue her love of singing and performing. Most rewarding were the six years she studied voice with Gwendolyn Koldofsky at the University of Southern California. Elizabeth was an active member of the Pasadena Alumni Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, performed in the Los Angeles City College’s Musicale Series and was a member of the Baroque Consort of Pasadena. In Fargo, Elizabeth performed with the Fargo Music Club and the Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company.
Elizabeth was a great supporter of education. In 1958, she developed curriculum for foreign-born students to improve their English and prepare them for U.S. citizenship. At North Dakota State University she was an academic and career counselor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and taught freshmen English classes. She was interested in assisting more mature students, particularly women, who were attending college for the first time or re-entering after several years. To this end, Elizabeth created SOTA (Students Older Than Average), a successful counseling program to address the specific needs of these students. Elizabeth also participated in a cooperative venture between NDSU and Concordia College, Moorhead, MN to design a series of women’s studies lectures.
No stranger to community service, Elizabeth served on the Cultural/Environmental Commission, City of Fargo and was a member of the Cultural Heritage Bridge Task Force. In Schenectady, NY, she served in the local branch of the American Association of University Women from 1980-1983.
Elizabeth loved to travel. She biked around Norway in July 1946 with two cousins and returned to Scandinavia in 1970 with David and her children. Over the years she and David enjoyed trips around North America, Great Britain, Spain and Australia. Always ready for an adventure, at 78 she went to Paris with her daughter and son-in-law and climbed the stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Elizabeth and David learned to sail at their lake cabin on Big Sand Lake, Park Rapids, MN. They graduated from a 15-foot sailboat to a 31-foot sloop and spent their first four years of retirement sailing between Nova Scotia and the Bahamas before returning to the Capital District.
Elizabeth is survived by her loving daughter Christine and her beautiful granddaughters, Katherine and Hannah Worden. Elizabeth is predeceased by her beloved husband and son, David G. Worden and David M. Worden, her siblings, Frederick Hegge, Edward Hegge, David Hegge, Ruth Christopherson, and Josephine Finell. She will be missed by her daughter-in-law, Julie Meehan and son-in-law, Rod Miller, her many nieces and nephews, and dear friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Calling hours are from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the New Comer Funeral and Cremation, 343 New Karner Road, Colonie, NY 12205. A brief service will begin at 3:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers please contribute in Elizabeth’s memory to the P.E.O. STAR Scholarship, P.E.O. Executive Office, Treasurer’s Department, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312.