Brenda Sue Skarperud-Nelson, 71, passed away peacefully on June 1st, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. Brenda was born on April 10, 1950, to Harvey and Dorothy (Seeley) Hanson. She grew up in Grand Forks, ND, and graduated from St. James High School in 1968. She married Craig Skarperud on February 2, 1969. Together they raised four boys- Chad, Matt, Ryan, and Tim. Over the years their family enjoyed many hours together at golf courses, hockey rinks, Lake Bemidji, family vacations, and cherished conversations around the kitchen island. Craig passed away from cancer in 1994. Brenda was blessed to have found a deep love not only once, but twice when she met Howard Nelson. They were united in marriage on August 17, 1996. Together they moved to Sun Lakes, Arizona and made many fun memories there. They enjoyed the sunshine, retirement lifestyle, and hosting family/friends often. Following Howard’s death in 2008 of cancer, Brenda continued to live in Sun Lakes and found comfort in the many cherished friendships made over the years. She made frequent trips back to North Dakota to visit family. She was so proud of her four boys and loved spending time with their families. When they weren’t together, she talked to each son many times per week, sometimes multiple times a day. She considered her daughters-in-law the girls she never had and enjoyed spending time with them too. She referred to her grandchildren as her “boogins” and often told them that she “loved them more than life itself.” Brenda will be remembered for her love of family, close friendships, knack for decorating, witty sense of humor, frequent lipstick applications (even in her final hours), her natural ability to make any room she was in feel warm with her presence and usually a candle or two, and finally, “Good Grief, Charlie Brown” her numerous one-liners that will live on in her legacy. Although she will be missed dearly, it brings comfort to her family knowing she has been welcomed home to her final resting place and reunited with loved ones who have passed before her.
Brenda is survived by her sons, Chad (Jessica) Skarperud, Matt (Laura) Skarperud, Ryan (Dania) Skarperud, Tim (Stacey) Skarperud; Stepmother, Ann Hanson; Brothers, Danny Hanson and Tim (Jane) Hanson; Grandchildren, Alex, Jacob, Zachary, Carson, Emma, Madison, and Samantha Skarperud; Sisters-in-law; Liz (Jerry) Eggers and Karen Hendrickson; Howard’s family, Bryce (Shauna) Nelson, Blair (Tamie) Nelson, Beth Nelson, and Brandy (Emery) Starkweather, and their children; along with many other special family members and countless treasured friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Harvey and Dorothy Hanson; husbands, Craig Skarperud and Howard Nelson; an infant son, Christopher; a niece, Sarah Hanson; and a nephew, Scott Eggers.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, June 17th at Amundson Funeral Home in Grand Forks, ND. Visitation will be from 5-7 with a Prayer Service following at 7pm.
Memorials may be directed to The Skarperud Family Fund for youth sports through the GF Parks and Recreation Foundation or The Circle of Friends Animal Shelter.