Martha Njos, 75, of Williston, North Dakota, passed away Friday morning, July 7, 2017 at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Martha Corinne Njos was born June 4, 1942 to William and Lucy (Grimmer) Brunelle. She was the oldest of 12 children on the farm west of Williston. She had 4 sisters and 7 brothers. She attended grade school at Round Prairie and continued her education at Williston High School. She was united in marriage to Ronald Njos on December 27th, 1961 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Williston, ND.
In 1964, the couple left their families in ND and moved to Longview, WA where they started a family of their own. They had four children, two boys and two girls. In 1976 the couple moved their family back to ND in time to catch the end of an oil boom. They settled in on Highway 2, a mile down the road from her childhood home. When the boom went bust, Martha began working outside the home to help ends meet. She worked in the dining room at the State Line Club where she met a great cast of characters. She sold various products on the side to help support the needs of her family. Ron and Martha also worked together in their wood shop to craft wooden gifts for family and friends and attended craft sales. They enjoyed their time together in the shop providing Martha put Ron’s tools back where he had them. Martha was a homemaker, cooking meals and sewing clothes for her children, making blankets for special occasions, crafting a special gift for family and friends, and assembling quilts with her mother and her sisters, who have always shared a close bond. I don’t think there is a family member who hasn’t been cooked a meal or gotten a special homemade gift from Aunt Martha!!
Her child care legacy began west of Williston where she provided care for neighbor children and close family members. Even back then, there were too many to remember all the names of children who passed through the Njos home. In the early 90’s, when all the neighbor kids she cherished had grown, she took her heart and love for babies to Williston. She began providing in home care for families and eventually met the Jungles family, who rented her a place to start “Auntie’s Daycare”. Martha went out of her way to be loving to the families she worked with. Special occasions were always met with a gift or homemade token to let them know how much they meant to her.
Martha was rarely seen without a baby in her arms or a niece or nephew on her lap. She LOVED babies!! Her children were her world and there is nothing she wanted more than to be by their sides through every special moment or life struggles. If she was needed, she was there. She loved her grandchildren deeply and her absence will leave her husband Ron and her children missing the softest heart a family could have hoped for.
If there is anything she loved more than babies, it was puppies. Martha’s endearing love for her cherished pets was obvious, and there wasn’t an animal she wouldn’t welcome into her home, except for maybe birds. She loved to collect things that melted her heart, and it helped if they were pink. Martha has a Precious Moments collection that would make any gift shop envious. She was a special “Aunt” to so many whom she held dear. She was adored for her thoughtfulness. As a dear mother, she reminded us that this world needs more people to forgive, lead, and love with all your heart. Hold tight to the gift she gave you, for there is no greater gift than love.
Martha is survived by her husband, Ron, their children, Dwan Akerley (Dana), of Moorehead, MN, Troy Njos of Williston, ND, Luci Dishon (Terry) of Williston, ND, and Ryan Njos, of Williston, ND, their grandchildren, Amber Akerley, St. Paul, MN, Heather Akerley, Williston, ND, Reo Akerley, Moorehead, MN, Dustin Njos, Williston, ND, Dalton Njos, Chehalis, WA, Danae Njos, Williston, ND, Alexis Carnes (Jessie), Williston, ND, Allison Johnsrud, Sidney, MT, Bailey Johnsrud, Williston, ND, 5 great grandchildren, 4 sisters, Shirley, Phillis, Kathryn, and Gail, who has been by her side through the last few years of difficult surgeries. 6 brothers, Dan, Jim, Keith, David, Elden, and Randy, 30 nieces and nephews, 49 great nieces and nephews, and 3 great, great, nieces and nephews.
Martha was preceded in death by her parents, Bill and Lucy, her brother Terry, an infant nephew, and her dear friend Barb Harp.
The Everson Funeral Home of Williston is caring for the family.