Monday, April 13, 2009

Life and Death - Easter, 2009

This is the last letter posted to Harvey by Håkon on Facebook.
"Last night I got an idea to search on FB for ”Nornes” , ending up by getting a few new FB Nornes friends.Do not know how many that will accept my Friend invitation but it is nice to see that our name is represented here as well.At this moment I am working in the west pacific onboard my vessel Geo Searcher.We are exploring the continental shelf around the Easter Island on behalf of the Chilean Government.I had a nice day on the Easter Island last week, went on a guided tour and visit the old statues. ( see album )I will be back on Easter I. for crew change April 8, celebrate Easter on the Island before I head home for the Norwegian spring.My parents is at the moment on Thayer long vacation on the Canaries Island, believe they will head home for Easter as well."

My generation's third cousin, Håkon Nornes, 43, son of Bjørn and Marit Nornes of Åkrehamn, Norway was killed in an All Terrain Vehicle accident on Easter Island on Good Friday, April 10 (Western Pacific time, Thursday, US and Norway time). Håkon was the Captain of the Geo Searcher, a Norwegian seismic expedition ship (oil exploration) operating in the South Pacific.
If my translation of the Karmøy newspaper is correct, he had time off for a change in the ship's crew and several of the men were exploring the island on ATV's. Håkon lost control of his vehicle, drove off the road and hit a tree. He was scheduled to come home within the next few days for his son's confirmation. In an earlier edition of the same newspaper was a long letter Håkon had written only a few days before the accident describing a bus tour of the island he and shipmates had taken when they had to dock to get aid for an ill crew member. He had posted pictures of this excursion on Facebook.
We met Håkon when we were on the Cousin Tour in 1998. Several of the men toured one of the ships that Bjørn and his sons owned that ran supplies out to ships that didn't come into ports very often. This was mainly off the coast of Africa. That business has since folded, but all three have continued their maritime connections. Elias, who visited Family Reunion along with his fiance and parents in 1999, handles the business end of it on land, and Bjørn still occasionally works for the Norwegian government on ships like the Geo Searcher as an inspector to protect the fisheries in the exploration activities. I know Bjørn and Mariet better than I knew Håkon, but we had recently reconnected on Facebook so I knew more or less what he was doing. Bjørn telephoned Roger to tell of the accident and related how Håkon has had several adventures at sea, even a sinking ship, so it's tough for them to have him die in such a useless accident. Bjørn and Marit's address is Tjøsvollveien 36, Åkrehamn 4270, Norway.

Third and fourth cousins are distant relationships, but some genes are very strong in the Nornes family, notably male-pattern baldness. Below are the Facebook pictures of Håkon on the left and Bud's son Randy on the right. They are fourth cousins but could be brothers. If you didn't know at least one of them well, you would hardly be able to tell them apart.

Another e-mail: My name is Benito Atan Im the Ship Agent in Easter Island I was workingwith Cap. Hakon Nornes, and i have a really deep feeling with him, imlooking for a email or something of his famili also I have some picturesthe i will want so send.please if you have any information will be apritiate.thanks

We remember also this Easter the stillborn birth of Anna Irene Kjorlien, daughter of Amy Hermodson and Chad Kjorlien of Winona.
The floods haven't hurt Norneses too badly in the Red River Valley, so the weather gods hit Janae and Elliott Peterson (son of Kathy Huntley and Collin Peterson) in the Tennessee tornado last week. Their house wasn't exactly flattened but destroyed, nevertheless. Fortunately they were not at home at the time - in church in fact - and are now living in a hotel.

On a happier note, despite the rising water, some people got to Chester's 80th birthday Open House in Shelly on Saturday, postponed a week because of the floods. His sister Ruth Dyer is being moved into an assisted living facility tomorrow and will celebrate her 90th birthday there on April 25. Her new address is 4006 24th Ave. S., #314, Grand Forks, ND, 58201. I'm sorry I couldn't get to either birthday party. The best I could do was send him this picture taken of Johnny and me and Chester on our farm April 3 (also my father's birthday), Easter Sunday, 1938.