Annabelle Mae (Aaberg) Fransen, 88, formerly of Shelby, passed on Wednesday, Septermber, 9, 2020, in Great Falls.
Ann was born April 6, 1932, in Edmore, ND, to Carl and Florence Aaberg. She married Sheldon H. Thrasher in 1953 and together they raised two children. In 1974, she married Gust V. Fransen and they farmed north of Dunkirk. Survivors include her daughter, Valerie (Dan) Agnew; son, Blaine (Cindy) Thrasher; grandchildren Jessie (Austin) Trimbach, Julie Agnew, Megan Thrasher, Drew Thrasher, and Ryan Thrasher.
Ann loved her family and was especially proud of her grandchildren. While being a mother and grandmother was a full time focus of her life, she worked outside of the home as a chef, realtor, dietician, and more. After her marriage to Gus, she worked alongside him on the farm, driving the tractor, hauling grain, and gardening. No matter what she did, she was a hard worker.
Ann was proud of her Norwegian heritage and often stated her desire to travel to Norway. She loved to prepare and eat lutefisk any time of the year. She loved her lefse and would argue with her sister, Coral, about whose lefse was thinner. Ann would claim hers was so thin it only had one side! Coral would exclaim, “that’s not possible!” Grandma Aaberg would end the argument by saying, “It’s not as thin as Mrs. Einarson’s.”
Her favorite holiday was Christmas, not least because it had to include at least one meal of lutefisk. Her house in Shelby would have a themed Christmas tree in every room. Christmas dinner would usually be prime rib, which, according to her son-in-law, was the best in the state. Dinner was always followed by card and board games.
She was an avid supporter of the CM Russell Museum art auction and attended for many years. Her children and other family members and friends often attended with her, always staying at the O’Haire Manor.
Faith was important to Ann and she would do daily devotions. She loved singing hymns and being in the church choir. She would often recite Psalm 23 as a part of her devotions.
She loved big cars, as long as it was a Mercury or Lincoln. And she drove those cars fast! When the speed limit finally changed in Montana to 55 MPH in 1974, the fine for exceeding the limit was $5 and the fine would not go on your driving record. Once, when she was driving from Shelby to Great Falls, she was stopped by a highway patrolman. She asked him how many tickets she could get each day. The question was not appreciated by the officer.
Graveside services will be held Tuesday, September 15, at 3:00 PM, at Mountain View Cemetery in Shelby, MT.
Memorials can be made to Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease (https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate) or CM Russell Museum (https://cmrussell.org/give/) in Great Falls.
May she rest in Power!
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