Apartment complex gets new name

While other buildings are named general monikers thought to be appealing, say, "Forest Park," "Lakeview Estates" or "Woodlawn Place," landlord David Hesley is firmly striding in the opposite direction.

Hesley’s Gervais Court Apartments will be named "Norgard Court Apartments" at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7, in honor of Hal Norgard, who died a year ago. Norgard, a longtime Ramsey County commissioner representing North St. Paul and Maplewood, was also known as a longtime basketball coach, a driver’s education teacher and a tireless club member and booster.

The idea of naming the apartments after a man who was synonymous with the area was a natural, Hesley’s wife Pam says. "David had the idea and talked to the (Norgard) family about it. They were thrilled."

Norgard’s daughters, Jackie Kluck, Candy Petersen and Karen Norgard, will attend the ceremony.

Norgard and Hesley go way back, Pam says, to the days Hesley played basketball on Norgard’s team. Later, Norgard had no problem helping a local boy make good and tapped Hesley, a CPA, as his accountant.

For many years, Hesley’s firm, Hesley Hunt & Associates, conducted accounting for Norgard, including his many real estate holdings.

"He was just such a great guy," Pam Hesley says of Norgard. "I work at David’s office, and Hal would walk in and put a $5 bill on the counter and say ‘Go tell David to take you out for some coffee.’ He had a big voice and could be kind of intimidating - that’s how some people read him, anyway - but he was just a sweet man and all heart."

Pam also worked for Norgard, when she was 16. "He was actually my first boss, at King Koin Laundromat," she says. "He was a great boss - we got along well."

The ceremony will include presentation of a plaque that will probably be displayed in the library at the future Norgard Court Apartments. The complex is located at 1807 Gervais Court in Maplewood. The public is invited to attend.

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