Mabel (Dionne) Torstenson

image of Mabel D Torstenson

Mabel D Torstenson

A beautiful mother lost on Earth, an angel gained in Heaven.  Our hearts are broken for our beloved mom.
Mabel (Dionne) Torstenson,  born on Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation Located in Belcourt, North Dakota on November 15, 1927,  has gained her wings at the age of 91, passing away peacefully in Seattle, Washington on September 12, 2019 in the comfort of her home.  Mabel was surrounded by her loving family during the last few days of her long and well lived life. 

She leaves behind 8 daughters; Ella Cofer, Rose Burrell, Betty Tappe, Ruby Hodges, Donna Hinricks, Shirley Munro, Linda McCaw, and Debbie Tesfamariam, as well as 27 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, 2 sisters Patricia Lind and Theresa Mae Artseth, and 1 brother Julius “Joe” Dionne. 

Mabel has taken her journey to be with her sons, William Alexander Demontigny, John Lloyd, Johnny Al, Kenneth David, and Daniel George Torstenson. 

Mabel was one of the strongest ladies anyone could ever know.  She suffered the loss of 2 husbands, both military veterans, Alexander Demontigny and Lloyd Torstenson. 

Lloyd passed away too soon in 1971 leaving Mabel with a family to raise on her own.  It was such a big loss, but she raised her children proudly. Mabel traveled everywhere by foot or bus as she never learned to drive. 

Mabel was an amazing woman who was proud of her family and will be greatly missed.   

She outlived all 5 of her sons as well as 2 of her brothers, Wilmer Martin Dionne and Lester E. Dionne. 2 sisters Marie Mattern and Delphine Dionne, and both of her parents Peter and Delia (Zaste) Dionne. 

She was in deep pain but chose to stay strong.  She was funny and enjoyed telling stories of her life as a child and as a young wife and mother. 

A straight forward person, Mabel always told it like it was, yet was loving and cared deeply for family.  She worked hard and never asked for help.  She was so strong. 



Mabel and Lloyd moved to Seattle in 1964.  They rented a home for a short time before purchasing a house to call home and raise their children. 

Mabel lost her husband LLoyd at an early age of 42-years-old in 1971.  She laid him to rest with the military.  Mabel somehow managed to stay strong for her children. 

Mabel worked for many years at Harborview Hospital as a dietician.  She then retired, but as strong as Mabel was, she just wasn’t ready to stop working.  She got a laundry job in a private owned nursing home (Austins Nursing Home).  She had many friends there and was well loved.  She ran the laundry as if it were her own.  All agreed and even joked about naming it Mabel’s Laundry Room. 

Mabel loved animals.  One in particular was a white horse that she owned named Honey.  Oh, she loved this horse.  She also loved cats and dogs.  Mabel had huge collections of cat and dog Knick-knacks to back her love. 

Mabel loved country music, she also loved Elvis Presley’s music and movies.  She also had lots of collectibles and music.  Mabel and her daughter Betty were fortunate to travel and tour Graceland, and she just loved it. 

Back in her earlier days, Mabel enjoyed having big family dinners for holidays at her home.  She enjoyed shopping for fancy ruffled dress and suit outfits for her small grandchildren for holidays, especially for Easter. 


Our letter to Mom. 

 Thank you for your unconditional love and friendship.  you are our best friend and always have been.  

Thank you, Mom, for showing us Grace when we didn’t deserve it. 

Thank you, Mom, for comforting us through heartbreaks. 

Thank you, Mom, for giving us everything. 

Thank you, Mom, for always believing in us. 

Thank you, Mom, for being our mom. 

You will always be #1 in our hearts. 



Donna writes: 

One of my favorite memories was my first job.  It was my first job, first pay.  Excited to buy my own clothes!  After school I went to the mall, and bought a pair of jeans.  I was excited for Mom to get home to show her.  She said, “Those are nice, can you boil them?”  The next day after school I returned the jeans, got cash and went and bought milk, bread, and butter.  I tell this to a lot of people and they admire it. 

Mom, I’m still decorating your tree for you.  May you rest in peace. 



Ginger writes: 

My favorite memory is how grandma always kept us full of food.  She was always cooking her rhubarb.  Was one of my favorites she made.

19 Responses to “Mabel (Dionne) Torstenson”

  • Lorna maree Burrell-Thorpe....TLCHM says:

    My Grandmother
    By Victoria L. Payne

    In my Rose Garden of memories
    I see you standing there
    An angel in disguise
    Who taught me how to care
    I long to hear your voice
    for real not in my dreams
    I am missing you so much these days
    how empty my world seems
    People say time heals all wounds
    that someday the pain will subside
    But Grandma I can tell you
    I think they must have lied
    The emptiness I am feeling now
    is strong and I am weak
    These days go by without you
    so dreary and so bleak
    In my Rose Garden of memories
    I know you’ll always be
    for though you’re gone
    from this mortal world
    In my heart you’ll always be

  • Maria-Consuelo says:

    Even though I never met her, I have heard many a story about Mabel over the years. I know she leaves many hearts in tears behind among her loved ones. May you find peace at your new home.

  • Sherrie Demontigny says:

    One my favorite memories of Grandma is she had so much love and weekend holidays family go Grandma house miss u Grandma luv ur honesty luv u had for all of us u there for us .also favorite memory is taking her shopping on weekends to all thrift stores and garage sales. She luv her knick knacks and u dont touch them.luv u Grandma memories cherish luv u Rip .

  • Lorna Maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    Nov. 6th…..Good Morning Grandma its a Beautiful Sunday and its hard to Believe you left Us 24 days ago …..My Heart still Aches …I saw that White Butterfly again yesterday it Surely has been Making its Presence Very Noticeable to Me…….. Hope Your Dancing and Sing with All Our Loved Ones………. I Heard You had a Amazing day at Home Yesterday with 4 of your Daughters Visiting with You and talking about the Good Ole Days…… sounds like you will be resting with Your Boys Very Soon…….. We all-Miss you Dearly and Love You very much ….Cutest Grandma Ever chat soon xoxo TLCHM

  • Debbie tesfamariam says:

    Mom I miss you so much. I’m missing all your stories of life, nothing can ever be the same but I’m so glad we had a chance to make memories through our videos, someday I will be able to play them again right now it’s too hard. Your room is so beautiful. I can just hear you say look what Betty did for me: isn’t it beautiful? But don’t you touch anything – just look. You were funny that way. I hope you had a chance to meet Elvis and he sang for you. We are sad missing you but strong to move on. We do get our strength from you mom. Love forever never forgotten.

  • Lorna Maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    November 10th 2019…..good evening grandma-its so hard to believe that 28 days ago you left us …2 more days its been a month ….It truly still hurts, I still can’t get used to the fact that you are not with us anymore. I hope you are having the time of your life…i been watching I love Lucy and house on the prairie every morning… wishing you were lying in the bed with me just like we always did before I go to work ….remember you are the cutest grandma ever chat again with you in a few days xoxo TLCHM …

  • Lorna Maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    November 12th 2019…..good evening grandma-It is officially 30 days-since we all said our good byes we are all mainly still in denial broken hearts feeling empty….. one day hasn’t gone by that you cross-our minds and hearts ….saw that white butterfly again on Thursday was kinda shock as its-been so cold out …..stopped by your room today with Bob …it looks very festive….. heard you had company before us and you have more coming today ….the time coming closer when you will be laying next to your boys …your stone getting prepared ….hope it arrives before your birthday ….heading to camp to close it up for the winter ….hope you’re enjoying your time up there …chat soon-love you more ..cutest grandma ever xoxo TLCHM ……Song for you that i knew you liked muah Phone In Heaven – Mike Manuel….

  • Debbie says:

    Mom it’s so hard to believe it’s been a month already since you took your journey home. I miss you so much, I don’t even know if this real yet. Betty has your memorial in your room so beautiful and Rose has added your We love you mom sign and Halloween decorations It looks so nice Donna well she decorated you a sm tree for Halloween in your room. You know how She does it. I’m still pretty numb but I’m happy your happy you deserve it everybit. God got the Best most Beautiful Angel ever. Until our next message R.I.P love you forever

  • Ruby Hodges says:

    Mom I miss you every second of the day, One of my memories of you where when we where little you would take a couple of us at a time to Northgate Mall around Christmas time and you would give us each a few dollars so we could buy presents for each other ,than we would be so excited get get home go into a bedroom ,we would sit on the floor talk about how we felt and what was most exciting to us than you would help us wrap and than we would put under our tree which we thought waswas the most beautiful tree ever. Thanks for all the wonderful memories you gave us.I Love you & miss so much Mom.xo

  • Lorna Maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    November 18th ….good evening grandma its been 5 weeks and a day since we last Got to touch you or kiss you …well its another friday so hard to get to the 4th floor-and now you wont be there to ask me how work was and me asking you how you are doing …we went grocery shopping today the lady gave Betty and i each a single red Rose today …aunt Betty put them in your room next to you…. hope you loved them ….yesterday was Kenny Birthday 10/17 and tomorrow 10/19 is the 39th year Johnny was called home in another 10 days 10/28 Uncle Dan will have been called home….. pretty soon you will be at rest… with your sons …hope you are having a great time… we all are still very broken and missing you like crazy…. talk with you again soon xoxo TLCHM

  • Linda says:

    Mom I sat with you in your last days of yourlife. I told you everything would be alright I’m sorry you had to go through what seemed to take so long to be with your son’s leaving us on this Earth .You now have your wings even though it hurts I’m happy for you
    you’re now at peace All I have is my memories and your picture in a frame God has you in his keeping and I have you in my heart I miss you so much Mama Rest in peace beautiful

  • Lorna Maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    October 25th ….good evening grandma didn’t get to come to your room today…. might go tomorrow or sometime next week…. the days are going by super fast …..hard to believe its been 6 weeks …since I got to kiss you and chat …..Cody Allen And McKenzie Rose both got sibling tats today ….wish I could show you …the weather tonight been cray cray hail thunder and rain … of my dogs is a big baby scaredy cat…. so go figure she in my bed ….hope you are-having fun up there and staying warm…. chat again soon ….Cutest Grandma ever Xoxoxo….TLCHM ….

    I Will Not Say Goodbye …..lyrics……Sometimes your world just ends
    It changes everything you’vebeen
    And all that’s left to be
    Is empty, broken, lonely, hoping

    I’m supposed to be strong
    I’m supposed to find a way to carry on
    And I don’t wanna feel better
    And I don’t wanna not remember,
    I will always see your face
    In the shadows of this haunted place
    I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
    But I will not say goodbye

    They keep saying time will heal
    But the pain just gets more real
    The sun comes up each day
    Finds me waiting, fading, hating, praying,

    If I can keep on holding on
    Maybe I can keep my heart from knowing that you’re gone
    And I don’t wanna feel better
    I don’t wanna not remember
    I will always see your face
    In the shadows of this haunted place
    I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
    But I will not say goodbye

    I will curse, I will pray, I will re-live everyday
    I will show through the blame
    I’ll shout out your name
    I will laugh, I will cry, shake my fist at the sky
    But I will not say
    Will not say goodbye
    I will not say goodbye
    I will not say…

  • Debbie Tesfamariam says:

    Mom it’s been abit since last posted. But things got a bit tough, I had a bad day missing you and well you know the rest. Everyone at work has been comforting, they all say how beautiful you are, anyway want you to know that you did leave the most valuable gift behind and that was your love your belief in me, you knew I would be there you knew I wouldn’t turn away you knew that you were loved and you knew you did a great job leaving me strong. It’s funny how it took me so long to understand the conversation and what it meant, but I get it now and love you more for it. You thought you had to do more you thought you had too, you just knew mommy you just knew and you were right, you were always right. Thank you for talking to me during your last year and thank you for leaving me the most valuable un selfish priceless gift anyone can ever recieve your trust your faith and your love. I miss you so much. Bet I will remember so much,until we see each other again you are so close in my heart. Love you mom love you

  • Lorna maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    November 1st Good evening Grandma came to your room today still looks beautiful but so empty without you …. the Roses had wilted… wish I would of thought to get you knew ones…. well 14 more days till your birthday…. we will all gather to celebrate you …your stone should be ready soon ….yesterday was Halloween…. hard to believe it was the first time in years you weren’t there……What was once a fun start of the holiday season day is now just another day … I actually just stayed at home after work ….gonna goto camp tomorrow to prepare it for winter officially….working a lot next week so I will chime in on friday …Enjoy your time up there missing you like crazy …..cutest grandma ever …xoxo TLCHM ……“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

  • Lorna maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    NOVEMBER 15TH 2019……Happy Heavenly Birthday MY Sweet Angel…..Well Good Morning Grandma ……Happy Birthday to the cutest grandma ever ….Today is YOUR Day …YOU Will finally be with YOUR Boys ….Hope you all are having the time of your life ….WE all truly MISS YOU Dearly as YOU Would say don’t eat to much cake ….love you to the moon and back Xoxo TLCHM

    My Darling Grandma

    A woman of extreme strength, courage and love,
    Who was beautiful, soft and now peaceful and free as a dove.
    Someone on who our admiration was built around,
    For her womanhood, wife, friend and grandmother since she was brought into this ground.

    My Darling Grandma, we will forever hold in our hearts in which we have truly learned the most from,
    Your strength as a wonderful mother to our mothers and fathers,
    And which we hope to gain in raising your great grandsons and great granddaughters.

    My darling grandma, we will always respect all you went through in your hardships and distinguished ways,
    Your ability to hold yourself with such dignity and pride in all your days,
    Your beauty shines in us all who were lucky to be part of your devoted family,
    We will carry you in our eyes, minds, and hearts in which we have a remedy,

    My Darling Grandma, that is to hold you close by all you have taught us to do,
    And to remember the beautiful women we owe our lives to,
    For giving us life to blessing us with her strong inner spirit of courage,
    Her unconditional love and her sensual laughter,
    For being such a person in who will always and have always
    held deep in our hearts now and here after.

    My Darling Grandma, You are taking a little part of us with you as you follow your angels who will guide you to your
    precious place,
    May you look down on us with pride on what you brought
    into this world with your guidance in which you are now
    truly our angel of grace.

    My Darling Grandma, as you enter your new heavenly home,
    may you rest in peace for which you truly deserve,
    For you will be truly missed and remembered for your love and honor in which we will preserve.
    We love you always and forever and may God be with you Grandma.


  • Debbie tesfamariam says:

    Mom today is your birthday and we celebrated by blessing your headstone. We let balloons up to you and sang happy birthday. It was beautiful you would love it. It’s still hard to not see and talk to you. But I know your in a beautiful better place. I love you mom. Happy Birthday

  • Debbie tesfamariam says:

    Happy Thanksgiving Mom, I’m Thankful that you are my mom, grateful you taught me to be strong. I miss you and think about you everyday. I know you Dad, my brothers, and your parents will have a festive day in paradise. I find comfort knowing God is loving you and has taken away all your pain. You are Amazing and will live on forever in my heart. Love you so much mom. Happy Thanksgiving

  • Debbie says:

    Wishing you Mom Dad and my brothers a very Merry Christmas I miss you all very much, I find comfort knowing that your all together again and not suffering pain illness. I will someday be with you all again to, until than hugs kisses sent up to you. Mom I miss you. ❤️

  • Lorna maree Burrell-Thorpe says:

    Happy New Year ((grandma)) its officially 2020 ….a lot of birthdays coming this month January (Donna, Rose (70TH),Shirley, Daniel(Heavenly) and Miss McKenzie Rose) Christmas wasn’t the same without you but we did gather in the common area where you celebrated your 90th birthday party… Aunt Betty decorated it with some of your house decorations that you loved we had a potluck all the food was amazing lots of yummy desserts … you can see things aren’t looking so great for aunt Betty and her housing please send us a little faith that she will be ok we have exhausted all avenues …Kathleen been a little lien-ant as you can see but the time is running out hopefully things work out for Betty soon ….chat soon ….miss you tons …love you to the moon and back ….cutest grandma ever xoxo TLCHM

Leave a Reply

When you have successfully submitted a comment, look in the space above to see your comment.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

If you do not see your comment, click HERE