Olaf Gunnar Mjelde

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Mr. Olaf Gunnar Mjelde, died Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

He was born in Bergen, Norway, on Aug. 22, 1924, son of the late Mikal and the late Elise Mjelde. Elise died giving birth to Olaf’s sister, Sonja, and after her death, Mikal married Edvarda (the sister of Elise) and together they raised Olaf and his two sisters.

He grew up in Bergen as a youngster, and afterwards, at the age of 19 or 20, he entered the Norwegian Air Force for one year to fulfill his military service.

Educated as a mechanical engineer, he emigrated to New York City in 1951, where he established a successful manufacturing business, Toroy Die Casting in Long Island, later Trolka Tool and Die Corp in New Jersey.

Pursuing a “lifelong love” of art and sculpture, he attended Trenton State College in New Jersey where he was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. His paintings hang in many private collectors’ homes, as well as in restaurants, hotels, etc. in the United States and Norway.

Survivors include his loving wife of 31 years, Deanne Serafin Mjelde of Cypress Landing; sons, Torstein Mjelde and wife Katherine of Roanoke, Va., Roy Mjelde and wife Pamela of Baraboo, Wis. and Olaf Werner Mjelde and special friend Beth Hanenburg of San Diego, Calif.; daughter, Karin Myrtvedt and husband Bjorn-Morten of Bergen, Norway; brother-in-law, Richard T. Serafin and wife Patricia of New Jersey; niece, Brooke S. Christine and husband Michael of New Jersey; two great-nieces, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sisters, Else-Margrethe Wasserfall and Sonja Herdlevær.

Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution in Olaf’s name is asked to consider St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memorial and Honor Program, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105.

Paul Funeral Home & Crematory of Washington is honored to serve the Mjelde family.