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Research Support

Kathy Sigurdson Thorlakson


North Dakota, USA

Kathy Sigurdson grew up in the Icelandic communities of the Mountain area in northeastern North Dakota. After attending the University of North Dakota and graduating with a BS in Home Economics and teaching for a time in Minnesota and North Dakota, she returned to her home community. She has two children and six grandchildren who live too far away. Between visits to them, she has worked in retail and in long-term care as an activity aide and Director of Activities for the Borg Home in Mountain. Since retiring, she has worked at the Pembina County Historical Museum during the summer season. She currently serves on boards for the Thingvalla and Vidalin Cemetery Associations, as well as the Icelandic Communities Association. Previously, she was a board member at Borg Home, Vidalin Lutheran Church, and Pembina Hills Lutheran Church.

Kathy’s hobbies include poetry, gardening, spending time outdoors and with her family, and quilting. She belongs to a local quilting guild and sews for Quilts of Valor, an organization that provides handmade quilts to veterans. Reading is another favorite pastime, and over the last few years, Kathy has added more Scandinavian books to her shelf. Kathy credits INLUS and Icelandic Roots with giving her ample opportunities for learning. For instance, to work toward her dream of being able to read and converse in Icelandic, she has taken several Icelandic language classes. She has also taken two trips to Iceland.

During Covid, Kathy spent time sorting through the photos and other assorted items from the eight families that are her Icelandic connection. With all her great-grandparents having come from Iceland, many items have found their way to her. Many more things have come to her through her work at the museum, and she intends to document those as well.

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