COOPERSTOWN – Erna D. Richards, forever remembered for her love of her family and her Norwegian heritage, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family early Friday morning, August 27, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Roseboom. She was 97.
Born May 6, 1924, in Alversund, Norway, Erna Dagny Hovik was the youngest child of Hans Knutsen Hovik and Hanna Teodora Ekeland Hovik. At the age of four, she and her family immigrated to the United States and settled on Long Island. She grew up in Huntington, and always enjoyed telling stories of the fun times she had while growing up there.
She was first married to Thorbjorn “Toby” Haugland Bergene and they had four children: Theodore, Gregory, Steven, and Katrina. Following their divorce, Erna met and married Bruce J. Richards, a Cooperstown Native Son, and they enjoyed 25 years of marriage until his sudden passing on May 8, 1999.
Erna started her working life at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City, and then spent the remainder of her career in the food services department at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
Always proud of her Norwegian heritage, she loved sharing stories of her native land. She was a spirited Viking woman who was known as mom, grandma and GG!