STOUGHTON-Rebecca Lunde, age 96, of Stoughton died peacefully surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013.
She was born on Dec. 23,1916, the daughter of John L. and Margit Stokstad, she shared a happy childhood with her sisters Esther (Mrs. Odvar Haug), Ruth (Mrs. Conrad Quam); and brothers, Walter, Lloyd and Douglas, all of whom are deceased.
After graduating from Stoughton High School in 1934, she married Herman Gjestson, Jr. During their 19 year marriage they had two children, Kathryn and David. Three years after her first marriage ended, Rebecca married John Herbert Olson. They were married for 14 years until his unexpected death. Rebecca later became reacquainted with Olaf Lunde at their 40th class reunion and they were married for 38 years before Olaf's death in March of 2012. Rebecca and Olaf loved to travel and took many trips together. Their favorite destinations included Norway, France, Greece, Italy, and Hawaii, as well many trips to the East and West Coasts.
In the mid 1940s, Rebecca opened one of the first licensed daycare centers in Wisconsin. She loved caring for children and worked in this industry for nearly 50 years before retiring.
Rebecca's faith was very important to her and she was a lifelong member of First Lutheran Church. She sang in the choir for 50 years, taught Sunday school for 40 years, was an original member of the Forum Bible Study group and an active member of Ladies Aid. She especially enjoyed being a member of the Quilters group, which spends 4 months each year making quilts for the less fortunate. Rebecca rarely missed a Sunday and on her 90th birthday joined the choir in singing the Hallelujah Chorus at their annual concert. Rebecca was known for her kind and generous heart. She always felt blessed and in turn became a blessing to everyone.
Rebecca loved spending time with her family; playing cards with friends at the Vennevold Clubhouse and participating in all the social events at Skaalen Home. She was an active member of the Sons of Norway, where her father served as the first president. She was a member of the Stoughton Hospital Auxiliary and did volunteer work at Skaalen. One of her favorite memories was when she represented Stoughton in the 1933 Miss Wisconsin pageant in Cambridge.
Rebecca is survived by her children, Kathryn (Utter) and David (Laura); her grandchildren, Kathy Bakke (Dennis), Dan Utter (Anne Marie), Laura Logan (Michael), Scott Gjestson (Anne Marie) and Christopher Gjestson; her great-grandchildren, Josie and Luke Logan, Jacob Utter and Miles Gjestson; her stepchildren; step-grandchildren; and step-great-grandchildren. Rebecca also had special affection for her sister-in-law, Shirley Stokstad; two special cousins, Sanford and Marshall Moen; and many nieces and nephews.
Our family is indebted to the staff at Skaalen, especially the physical therapy and River Walk Rehabilitation Departments who expressed so much kindness and care to Rebecca.
A memorial service to celebrate Rebecca's life will be held at SKAALEN CHAPEL, 400 N. Morris Street, Stoughton, at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 27, 2013. Visitation will be held at the chapel from 12:30 p.m. until time of service on Tuesday. Memorials may be given in Rebecca's name to The Skaalen Home or Sons of Norway. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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