She would have been 91 in December. She grew up in an extended household, including older sister Else, younger brothers Anders and Knut, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Alongside other patriotic Norwegians, her family survived the horrors and privations of Nazi-occupied Norway during World War II.
After the end of WWII, and completing her high school education, she went to England working as a secretary and perfecting her English. Upon returning to Norway, she met her future husband, Lt. Franklin Stern, USN, who was attending the International Summer School. They married in Oslo, then spent several years traveling throughout Europe. Inger, or Lelle as she was known to her family, and Frank moved to Syracuse where he pursued graduate studies in geography. She proudly became as US citizen in 1955. She earned a B.A. (magna cum laude) in education from SUNY-Potsdam. Madame Stern taught French, German, and English to many APW and OHS students for 20 years, retiring in 1995.
She was beloved by her students, colleagues, friends, and family for her inspiring, cheerful, hard-working, and optimistic outlook. She read extensively, enjoying French novels, American history and biography, and humor. Above all, she valued education for her students, encouraging them with her high standards, and gentle mentoring. She loved to travel while her health permitted, making many trips to visit family in Norway and England, and 25 journeys to Alaska, where son Richard and family live.
She is survived by two sons, Richard Olav and his wife, Linda Hull; David William, and wife Christina Conway of New York City; Richard’s three children Daniel, Andrea and her husband Faris Hanhaz, and Sonja; David’s boys Michael and David John (DJ). Her many cousins, nieces and nephews in Norway and England corresponded with her and visited Oswego over the years. She has many friends and former colleagues in the Oswego community.
Nothing gave her more pleasure than a good cup of coffee and conversation with friends and family. When she was sitting, she was knitting; except when she was cooking and baking! Her traditional Norwegian style mittens, hats, sweaters, scarves, and socks are treasured keepsakes. Her afghans won ribbons at the NY State Fair.
A celebration of her life will take place in Oswego next year. Contributions in her name to the American Association of University Women (AAUW)-Oswego Chapter scholarship Fund. Contact [email protected]
Nelson Funeral Home has care of arrangements.