Barney Nordstrom

Barney Nordstrom was born April 2, 1920, to Otto and Emily (Wiswell) Nordstrom. With his brother Cole, they homesteaded about 10 miles east of Fairburn, S.D., and later moved to the residence three miles east of Fairburn, where Barney lived until his death.
Barney was a great storyteller and always loved a good story and laughed out loud, often at his own expense. He told us many stories about some of the pranks he and his pals played on each other in high school.
He joined the U.S. Navy during WWII and served in the South Pacific. He always said that even though the Army drafted him he decided he liked the Navy uniforms better and joined up one day to the year after Pearl Harbor.  
Basic training was in Idaho. That was the year Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas,” and he said they were marching around in snow up to their a— and the camp only played “White Christmas.” He always hated that song.
Barney never talked much about the war, just about guys he served with who became his friends. He had some shark’s teeth and a piece of metal from a Japanese aircraft. Those were always great treasures to his kids.  
While Barney was on leave in San Francisco, Calif., he met Opal Elker and they married after the war.  The couple settled in Seattle, Wash., near Barney’s mom, for a couple of years until he thought he was going to rust, therefore they moved Buffalo Gap, S.D., (No danger of rusting there). He worked for Nolan’s Feed and Seed until the family of four moved to the family home east of Fairburn. Dairy cows came next; Barney and Opal milked by hand until electricity showed up. Two more kids also showed up.  Their kids had a great childhood on French Creek, with many places to build forts and explore.
Barney read a lot to his kids; the story of the Cyclops in the “Odyssey” was his favorite. This was where the love of reading started for all four of his children. They loved to explore the Black Hills, Angostura, the Badlands, Cheyenne River and the agate beds. Opal would pack a picnic lunch and off they went. Barney loved to hunt, agate hunt and fish.  He was a good dad, a good friend and a good neighbor.  
Barney died Jan. 30, 2021, in his own bed at home. He was 100. His two daughters and daughter-in-law were with him.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Opal; and his son, Max.
Barney is survived by his son, Woody; daughters, Sally and Melissa; daughter-in-law, Barb; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.  
Memorials will be made to the Fairburn Community Center and the Fairburn Fire Department.  Grave-side services and a gathering will be held sometime in April 2021.  
Condolences are welcome to be mailed to the Barney Nordstrom Family, P.O. Box 62, Fairburn, SD 57738


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