Cover photo for Laurence A. "Chief" Kjorness's Obituary
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1934 Laurence 2023

Laurence A. "Chief" Kjorness

August 10, 1934 — June 5, 2023

Laurence “Chief” A. Kjorness, 88, of Sioux City, IA, passed away at home surrounded by family on June 5th, 2023, from cancer.   A celebration of life service will be held Friday, June 9th at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Bob Dillman officiating, at Southern Hills Baptist Church.  Visitation will be Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at the Meyer Brothers Morningside Chapel.  Online condolences may be made to

Laurence was born on August 10th, 1934, in Garrison, North Dakota to Alfred and Carrie (Bolin) Kjorness. As a young child he moved with his family to a 40-acre farm in rural Quimby, Iowa. On the farm he helped his father build onto the farmhouse additional rooms and porches.  They also built additional outbuildings together.

His childhood was filled with hunting, fishing, and trapping.  During which he was accompanied by his faithful companion, a collie, named Rover, on all his adventures.  He would run his trap lines early in the morning on his walk to country school.  Selling the pelts to Sears, Roebuck & Company.  The highlight of all his trappings was when he caught a mink that he was able to sell for $30.00, which in 1946, was quite a payday. He also enjoyed baseball and played for the Quimby Midgets as a boy.

At age 12, after the death of his father, he moved with his mother and siblings to Cherokee, Iowa.  He had attended country school through the 7th grade, then he attended school in town.  He always said this was a hard transition but he continued on and graduated in 1952 from Wilson High School in Cherokee, Iowa.

His strong work ethic started during his youth when he began working as a farm hand for the Johnson’s as a young boy.  During high school he was employed in the meat department at Fareway in Cherokee.  At the age of 17 he secured a job with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company for whom he worked until his retirement in 1988. 

On August 22nd, 1954 he was united in marriage to Barbara Kahl at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Cherokee, Iowa.  They subsequently made their home in Sioux City, Iowa.  To this union was born four children, Carla, Kirk, Robin, and Lisa.

Laurence served in the Army reserves for 10 years.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the Northwestern Telephone Credit Union for 11 years, as both treasurer and then president.

During his time in Sioux City, he was a charter member of Bethel Baptist Church and was a member of Southern Hills Baptist Church. 

Laurence enjoyed hunting but his true love was fishing.  His love for fishing was contagious.  He taught his children, grandchildren, friends, and anyone who would ask how to fish. Whether all his fish tales are true only he truly knows. Many happy memories were made with family on camping and fishing trips.  Laurence was also an avid sports fan with football and basketball being his favorite.

After his retirement in 1988, he and his wife enjoyed camping, traveling, and wintering in Arizona.  They traveled abroad to many foreign countries and were able to visit all 50 states.

He is survived by his wife Barbara.  His sister Charlene Merry, of Pender, NE.  His children: daughter Carla (David) Moore of North Sioux City, SD; son Kirk (Craig) Kjorness, of Cedar Rapids, IA; daughter Robin (Parker) Stone, of Cleveland, GA; and daughter Lisa (Tim) Hanna of Sioux City, IA. His beloved grandchildren: Bethany Hahn, Dan Moore, Eric Moore, Scott Stone, Claire Beekman, Rachel Krzton-Presson, Andrew Hanna, Regan Hanna, and Anabelle Hanna. He is also survived by 7 great grandchildren: Emily Grace & Morgan Hahn, Lilly Moore, Brayden & Elsie Moore, & Naya & Molly Mae Krzton-Presson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfred & Carrie Kjorness, a brother Charles Kjorness, and a sister Marcy Hoffman.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laurence A. "Chief" Kjorness, please visit our flower store.


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