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Harriet Mjelde


Harriet Mjelde, a Home Economics teacher and longtime resident of Three Forks, MT, passed away on February 9, 2024, at the age of 103. Harriet was born on May 14, 1920, in Denver Colorado to Reverend Henry and Anna Mecklenburg. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Florence Ylinen, and Ruth Warren.

Her father was a Methodist minister and her family moved frequently. She spent her childhood in Montana, California, and Minnesota. Harriet graduated from Helena High School in 1938 and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT in 1942. Her family owned a cabin in Glacier Park and Harriet had many fond memories of spending summers there and at the Methodist church camp on Flathead Lake that her father was instrumental in building.

During summer breaks in college Harriet worked at Van Cleves Dude Ranch near Big Timer, MT, Yellowstone Park, and at the Spokane Army Air Depot base near Spokane, WA. Her early teaching jobs were in Lodge Grass, MT and then Big Timber, MT. While in Big Timber she met and married Bill Mjelde. They spent their early married life in Forest Grove, OR, where he graduated from Pacific University as an optometrist. Harriet taught school in Hillsboro, OR. They moved to Billings, MT and then Hardin, MT.

Harriet and her four children moved to Three Forks in 1963 where she became the Home Economics teacher at Three Forks High School until her retirement in 1982. Harriet enjoyed traveling with her friends and family to the East Coast, Southwest, Florida, and Canada. Her favorite trips were always to Flathead Lake to visit her sister Florence and stay in the cabin that their father helped build.

Harriet moved to Sandpoint, ID in 2012 and enjoyed living at Luther Park Senior Living. She made many wonderful friends during her time there.

Harriet leaves behind an echo of laughter from the stories that she loved to tell. The knowledge that she shared in and out of the classroom will be passed down for generations to come. Harriet is lovingly remembered by her children Rick (Debbie), Margaret Jim (Heidi) and Ron (Carol); grandchildren Johanna, Chris, Melissa, and Matthew; nine great grandchildren and a community of friends and former students.

Per her request there will be no services. The family requests that memorial contributions be made to The Montana Community Foundation, attention Three Forks Memorial Scholarship Fund. P.O. Box 1145, Helena MT 59624 or at

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