Fern Arlene Sembach, the daughter of Hans and Marie Christine (Bottker) Norgaard was born on October 6, 1925, in Franklin County, Iowa. Her childhood years were spent in the Spencer, Iowa, area and raised on a farm. Fern graduated from Spencer High School and attended Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. She began her working career in Sioux City, Iowa, where she met and married Harold Sembach on April 1, 1951. They moved to Spencer in 1952, where they began farming and raised three children. Fern was active in the Bethany Lutheran Church and later Faith Lutheran Church.
She played and taught organ and piano lessons. Fern established her business, Fern’s Ceramics and Greenware on their farm and showcased her artistic abilities in her vendor booth at the Clay County Fair. Upon retiring she began volunteering at the Clay County Fair helping with organizing of the canning and baked goods exhibits for many years. Fern made several trips to Denmark to visit relatives. She was fluent in Danish and began translating stored archives and public records for Dana College. Her specialized talent led to the love of genealogy and helping many families with their family history.
Fern’s grandson, Jarred Scott helped to enable her to remain in her family home for many years until she moved to Spencer where she passed away, surrounded by family on July 9, 2020, at the age of 94.
Fern was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Harold; one grandson, Adam; one brother, Earl Norgaard and wife, Phyllis; and sister-in-law, Donna Norgaard.
Left to cherish her memory are one daughter, Tina (Mike) Polson of Dickens, IA; two sons: Robert (Doris) Sembach of Eau Claire, WI, and James (Terri) Sembach of New London, IA; eight grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and brother, Alven Norgaard of Spencer, IA.
She will be missed by her many relatives and friends.