Long-time clerk of Eden Lake Township dies

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/30/97.

Norvald Sogge, 73, long-time Eden Lake Township clerk, died Christmas Eve at the Paynesville Area Hospital.

Sogge was first elected to the Eden Lake Township Board in March of 1971 as clerk, a position he held up to the time of his death.

ďBack in 1971, the clerk had only a few records to keep, meetings were short, the law book was not a large book that required hours to study. Today it is a large legal book that covers many complex issues, with some policy requirements which affect local laws. Each time a new book was received, Norvald spent many hours reading and remembering the changes, thereby being able to give the answers to many issues that had to be handled,Ē Loran Eull, Eden Lake supervisor, said.

In 1976, Sogge was elected to serve on the Town Officers Association of Stearns County Board. In 1978, he was nominated and elected treasurer, a position he still held at the time of his death.

In 1996, Sogge was nominated for a national award, Leader of the Year, by his fellow township officers. In 1997, he received the Sam Walton Community Leader Award from Wal-Mart. This was presented to him in Washington, D.C. with a check of $1,000 to be used for something in the township.

Sogge was elected treasurer of his church in 1952 and still held that position at the time of his death. For many years he served as a church elder, and Sunday school superintendent. He also taught adult Sunday school classes and was president of the Old Eden Lake Cemetery Association.

He was a member of the Eden Valley Lions Club for 20 years with perfect attendance 19 years of his 20 years. In 1994, he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award.

Sogge loved to sing and was a member of the Litchfield Area Male Chorus for 30 years. He had served as president of the chorus and on various committees. He was president of the organization in 1973 when they presented a recording of their songs to Senator Hubert Humphrey. At one time, the chorus even sang on the steps of the nationís capitol.

Norvald and Dolores celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in January 1996. They have four children and 10 grandchildren.

ďI have been on the Eden Lake Township Board with Norvald for 17 years. At the 350 plus meetings I attended with him, I never found anyone who was more honest, dedicated, and pleasant to work with than Norvald,Ē Joe Gruenes, township chairman, said.

Stearns County Commissioner Rose Arnold describes Sogge as one of the best public servants she has ever met. ďHe was a super person to work with on any issue. He often advised me on how his township people felt about county issues,Ē Arnold said.

ďIt was a privilege to know him and to work with him,Ē she added. ďA person canít pay large enough tributes to him as he had such a stature and courtesy about him. When he spoke, people listened. He held a rare quality and weíre going to miss him,Ē Arnold said.

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