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.

8 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

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