Laurel Jean Pastir passed away peacefully at the age of 83, surrounded by family, on April 5, 2021, at LifeCare Medical Center in Roseau.
Laurel was born on the family farm near Wylie in rural Red Lake County. She was the fifth of eight children born to Louis and Frieda (Busse) Zutz on February 24, 1938. Laurel attended country elementary school near their farm, and completed elementary school in Red Lake Falls. She graduated from Lafayette High School in Red Lake Falls in 1955. After high school, she moved to Grand Forks, ND, where she worked at St. Michael’s Hospital. Laurel married Norbert Pastir on February 11, 1961 at St. Benard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, MN, and they made their home in Roseau. Laurel was a homemaker while raising her children; following their graduation from high school she worked at several jobs including the school food service, cleaning homes and local businesses, and she worked at Polaris Industries until her retirement. Laurel loved the outdoors. Some of her favorite pastimes were spending time at their cabin, ice fishing in the winter, and daily walks. In addition, she was an expert flower and vegetable gardener. She enjoyed picking berries, and was famous for her juneberry and blueberry pies. Laurel rarely missed any Roseau school activity or sporting event, either attending in person or listening on the radio. Laurel was talented athletically. She played basketball, and was recruited by University of Illinois - Chicago Circle as a fastpitch softball pitcher. Laurel had numerous hobbies. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting afghans, reupholstering and refinishing furniture, and was an excellent seamstress. Laurel mastered the lost skill of tatting. She loved playing board games and was a shrewd card player and bridge partner.
Laurel is survived by her husband, Norbert, and their four children: Jeff (Beth) Pastir, Pamela (Steve) Hanson, Brian (Julie) Pastir, and Perry Pastir (special friend Diana Waich); seven grandchildren: Jeremy Pastir, Kjirsten (Scott) Wood, Ana-Alicia (Adam) Crist, Amy Hanson, Stephani (Scott) McDaniel, Joseph Pastir, Zachary Pastir and one great-granddaughter, Harleigh Wood; siblings Betty (John “Bud”) Kruse, Janet Skjerping, Connie (Larry) Kennedy, nephew Hal Zutz; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Laurel was preceded in death by her parents, siblings Louis, Jr., Marjorie Walters, Karen Philion, and Timothy; and numerous aunts and uncles. Laurel was a faithful and active member of Sacred Heart Catholic Parish in Roseau. Mass of Christian Burial Monday, April 12th at 10:30 AM at Sacred Heart Catholic in Roseau, MN. Visitation 5-7 PM with 7:00 prayer service at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau. Online guest book at: www.helgesonfuneralhome.com