Esther Rygg


Esther M. Rygg, 69, of Bismarck, ND, died Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck. She was born Dec. 28, 1953, in Mayville, ND, to Conrad I. Rygg and Helen (Aasen) Rygg (later Vinje) and grew up on their family farm near Clifford, ND.

Esther attended schools in Clifford, ND; Warroad, MN; and Oak Grove Lutheran High School in Fargo, ND, graduating from there in 1971. She attended North Dakota State University, Moorhead State University, and with well-deserved pride finished her bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Mary in Bismarck, graduating with honors. She lived in Bismarck, working for the State of North Dakota for 40 years.

Her problem-solving skills and enthusiasm for learning made her a nearly irreplaceable asset in her work. A modest and private person, Esther enjoyed family, a close circle of friends, reading, Scrabble and her beloved cats, Skitty, Scooter and Scout. Esther filled her post-retirement life with crossword puzzles, Scrabble, digesting thousands of books, complicated jigsaw puzzles and catching up on TV shows. She could organize anything and find a place for everything.

Esther treasured her independence and solitude but was always welcoming and hospitable. Her intellect and sharp wit were formidable. No one could slide an incorrect grammar, punctuation, bingo number or confounding computer issue past her. She enjoyed a good banter with co-workers. She was focused, proactive, and utterly dependable. Raised to be independent, Esther honed that into a science. She was a keen observer of humanity, occasionally punctuating her perspicacity with a flip of her pen.

Esther was preceded in death by her parents; her grandparents Carl and Mabel Aasen of Portland, ND, and A.A. and Karen (Folden) Rygg of Clifford, ND; brothers Lowell K., Marlan E. and Glenn E. Rygg; all aunts and uncles; one nephew, Brian L. Rygg; several cousins; and former husband, Bob Norgard.

Family survivors include her sister Dianne (Dan) Kaldor, brother Duane (Crystal) Rygg and sister Meryl Rygg (Lloyd) McKenna; 11 nephews and nieces; approximately 15 great-nieces and great-nephews; and step-daughters Virlen Tank and Carrie Bolstad.

Special thanks to Esther’s longtime co-worker and friend Dean Glatt and family for all their friendship and loving care, especially during Esther’s illness.

An informal gathering to celebrate Esther will take place at the Bismarck Funeral Home, 3723 Lockport St. in Bismarck, on Wednesday, April 26 between 3 and 5:30 p.m., with a short service at 4:30. Friends are welcome to attend

A marker placement memorial is tentatively set for Sunday afternoon, July 2 at Clifford, ND.

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I am so sorry for the loss of Esther! We grew up together and we’re close as children. I haven’t seen her in many years. My sympathies to the family! 😪

I have fond memories of Esther from childhood. My sympathies to her family. May she rest in peace.