Lillian Ida Johanna Wahlstrom, of Braham, Minn. died March 4, 2011 at the Augustana Care Center in Apple Valley, Minn. She had developed pneumonia about week earlier and died peacefully in her sleep. She had been at the Augustana Care Center for a little over three years. Prior to that she had been at the Golden Living Care Center at Rush City for four years. She resided at Elmhurst Commons in Braham after giving up her home on 2nd Street in Braham in 1999.
Lillian was cognizant of life up to the very end. She really enjoyed her family and relished visits from sons, daughters, grandkids, nieces and nephews, and the extended families however distantly related. She particularly enjoyed when her family would bring their guitars and come and sing with her, never missing a beat, reminding you if you left out a verse.
Lillian was born Aug. 27, 1907. That was the year her parents, John and Christine Olson, moved from Vasa, Minn. to a 180-acre farm near Grasston, Minn. Lillian grew up on this farm, attending elementary school at Bryant, a one room school house a couple of miles from the farm. She met her husband to be at a Luther League Convention at the Dalbo Lutheran Church. On April 14, 1927 she married Oscar Wahlstrom and he joined the Olsons on the farm. There Lillian and Oscar raised a family of nine children: three daughters and six sons. In 1953 Lillian began working at the Braham High School as a cafeteria cook. In 1959 Oscar and Lillian sold the farm and moved to Braham. Lillian continued to work at school until her retirement in 1973. Life on the farm was hard work, but it was a good place to raise a family.
Lillian was a committed sports fan. She enjoyed watching all her children play sports for Braham High School and the Braham baseball teams. The daughters followed sports also. Her oldest daughter, Shirley, taught sports at the college level and daughter Jean graduated from the U of M with a double major in Physical Education and Music. Lillian followed the Twins and the Vikings with great fervor. She had a Twins towel on the back of her chair and when they would win the towel stayed up but if they lost the towel would come down vigorously.
After she moved to Braham she developed a liking for walleye fishing especially. We never knew if that passion was genuine or if it was Oscar’s way to go fishing more often. Lillian was very good with her hands. She crocheted afghans for most of the family and made winter wool quilts for many of us. She would make hot pads and many other things that were useful.
Lillian has been a life-long Lutheran. She was baptized and confirmed at Hope Lutheran Church In Grasston and continued to serve the Lord as they moved to Braham and joined the Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church. Much of her life was centered around the fellowship, worship, and service activities through the church. Her faith was evidenced to us in her daily prayers for family. While she was still able to read, the Bible and the sports page shared equal attention.
Lillian was preceded in death by her husband Oscar, sons Maynard and Vernon.
She is survived by daughters Shirley Stilwell of Lakeville, Minn.; Marian (John) Korpi of Soudan, Minn.; Jean (Marvin) Kananen of Bellevue, Wash.; and sons Duane (Georgia) of Sheldon, Iowa; Jerry (Diane Pearson) of Baxter, Minn.; Marlyn (Muriel) of Des Moines, Wash.; Carl (Diana) of Lakeville, Minn.; and 24 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren. Many other relatives and friends.
A Funeral service was held Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church with Rev. Rich Chronis officiating. Organist was Ruth Grundyson and Special Music was provided by the Wahlstrom Family. Casketbearers were Duane Wahlstrom, Jerry Wahlstrom, Marlyn Wahlstrom, Carl Wahlstrom, John Korpi and Marvin Kananen. Interment was in the Grasston Union Cemetery. Arrangements were with the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.