Edna Lavern (Peterson) Gustafson of Braham, Minn. passed away at the age of 90 on January 17, 2014 at St. Claire Living Community in Mora, Minn.
Edna was born Feb. 17, 1923 at home in Grass Lake Township, Kanabec County, Minnesota to Malker and Hulda Peterson.
She grew up on the family farm, the fifth of six children. Both parents passed away within six months of each other when Edna was five years of age. Her Aunt, Ada Peterson, selflessly stepped in and continued to care for the six children (aged infant to 16 years), making it possible for them to remain at home.
Ednas faith in God was very important to her. She was baptized May 13, 1923 and confirmed May 8, 1938 at Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church, where she remained a lifetime member.
She was educated through the eighth grade at Windom Country School in Grass Lake Township and continued her schooling at Braham High School, where she graduated. Following graduation she remained on the family farm. She began working at the Braham Hospital as a nurses aid, continuing to work there for several years. This was a perfect fit for her, as she was a very caring person.
Edna married Theodore Gustafson on March 3, 1951. To their union two sons were born: Steven and Michael. Glad to be a mom, Edna chose to stay home and raise her boys for several years before returning to work at the hospital until it closed in 1974. Ted and Edna especially enjoyed spending time with friends and family, and taking trips up North. Ted passed away on March 8, 1973.
Although retiring from her job at the hospital, Edna continued to work hard on the family farm. She greatly enjoyed volunteering at church, having coffee guests over to visit (with friends and family alike), going to hospital picnic reunions, playing her organ and singing. Edna also really looked forward to helping at blood pressure clinics and the blood mobile. Edna was very proud of donating blood, earning her 10 gallon pin.
In 2009, Edna entered the St. Clare Living Community in Mora and quickly made many new friends. Edna discovered in herself a new skill in yodeling taught to her by Marie Grundberg. Edna spent the next few years here enjoying crafts, worship time, playing bingo and other games with a community of friends until she went up to heaven to be with Jesus and dance the streets of gold.
Edna was preceded in death by her parents, Aunt Ada, two brothers: Roy Peterson and Earl Peterson; two sisters: Ruth Farah and Fern Soderstrom, along with several other relatives.
Edna is survived by: one brother, Carl; two sons: Steven (wife Julie) and Michael (special friend Karen Strom); three grand-daughters: Stephanie (Jeremy) Lyon, Kaylynn (Brian) Fiedler, Keri (Michael) Doble; eight great-grand-children: Brandon, Michaela, and Isaiah Fiedler, Brayden, Ella, and Tanner Doble, Emily and Melanie Lyon; nieces, other relatives and many friends. She will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Funeral Service was held Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at Braham Evangelical Lutheran Church with Rev. Rich Chronis officiating. Music was provided by Marie Grundberg and Ruth Grundyson. Casket Bearers were Stephanie Lyon, Jeremy Lyon, Kaylynn Fiedler, Brian Fiedler, Keri Doble, Michael Doble, Brandon Fiedler, and Brayden Doble. Her final resting place will be at Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham, Minn.