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“My Valley Home”-Departing Snertingdal
November 2, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pmFree
Judy is a 3rd generation American, born in Tacoma, Washington, whose grandfather, Kristian Moller, was born at a wood and grist mill in Snertingdal, Norway. Christian Miller became a Professor of Languages and was Registrar at the University of Puget Sound from 1932- 1957. He wrote extensively about his life in Norway, the family’s immigration experience to America, and his life getting started in a brand new home country. He never forgot his Norwegian roots, and returned to Snertingdal shortly after WWII ended to take an exchange professorship at the University of Oslo for a year. That time allowed him the joy of connecting with his family and his roots there in his valley home.
Professor Miller passed away before Judy could learn the family history or language from her grandfather. This inspired her to attend Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, WA where she earned her BA in Norwegian and a BS in Nursing. In 1975, after one year of language class, Judy immersed herself in the language and culture of Norway by going to live with her relatives in Snertingdal. She met the cousins that her grandfather loved and wrote about and felt like a celebrity because of her grandfather’s endearment to them all.
A Registered Nurse for 41 years and counting, Judy currently works in the Department of Pediatrics as the Nurse Navigator for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Tacoma, Washington. Her passions include her Norwegian and Swedish roots, flying her own plane, Cessna 172 “Ladyhawk’, and gardening. She is currently the Vice President of the Scandinavian Cultural Council at Pacific Lutheran University and the Secretary for Shady Acres Airport.
(For your information:)
They have found evidence of Stone Age people living in the Snertingdal area around 10,000 BC. Stone daggers have been found from 4,000 BC. In 1350, half the people in the area died from the Black Death. After the plaque ravaged the valley, there were only 400 people still alive in the Biri and Snertingdal area. In 1848, young Even Gullord left the area for America. He eventually came to the Coon Prairie Wisconsin (near Westby WI) area and wrote back to Norway, that this was the land he had been looking for. People left from every farm in the area to find the dream of a better life in America. They left everything behind, but many came back because things didn’t work out, they didn’t fit in, or they got homesick. So many people left that there were more Biri/Snertingdal people living in America than were left behind in Norway.