Anna Offerdahl

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Anna Offerdahl, age 95, of Benson, Minnesota passed April 16, 2020 at Meadow Lane Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center.  Services will be held Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church and interment was in Six Mile Grove Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., funeral service will be at 1:30 p.m.

 

Anna passed away April 16th, 2020 at Meadow Lane in Benson MN. She was born September 24, 1924 on a farm 2 miles west Swift Falls MN in the Camp Lake Township to Edwin and Myrtle Sevalson, delivered by her Grandmother Guri Sevalson, who was a midwife. She was baptized the 4th of Nov by Pastor J.R. Strand at Swift Falls Lutheran Church and confirmed June 28, 1939 in the Lutheran faith. Her sister Edith and her were very close, actually they were inseparable, and in later years they would often sing for various gatherings. Her father died when she was 5 years old and her mother later married Arthur Skarsten, and they had a son Milton. Anna was in charge of most the cooking from age 9 years old, and even worked as a “hired hand” to help with neighbor’s cooking and cleaning, especially during harvest season with the large thrashing crews. She attended rural school until 8th grade, when she then attended Benson High School. There was not a rural bus service, so she had to stay with various families in town in order to attend high school. She graduated in 1942 from Benson High School. She attended Northwestern School of Nursing, and joined the Cadet Nursing Corp, she earned her RN Bachelor degree in 1945. She worked in the obstetrics ward and talked about the nights were there would be 20 babies in the nursery. She worked as a RN for over 50 years, starting at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis Mn, then she went west to in Flagstaff AZ, San Bernardino CA and then moved back to Benson, and worked at the Swift Co Benson Hospital for 30 years and Meadow Lane for 7 years. When she put her nursing cap on, she always said CAP meant “Christ Approaching Patients”. She was a professional and compassionate nurse.

 

She married John Burns in AZ and they had 2 sons, Donald and Dale. They divorced and she returned to Benson, and he died soon after. She met Helmer (Heem) Offerdahl at cub scouts, she was the den mother. Helmer had a son Steven in the scouts. They were married Nov 27, 1957. Heem and Anna had a daughter, Sharon Dawn.

 

Anna was active in the Lutheran Church, with Ladies aid, Luther league, Circles, Sunday school teacher, cemetery board, smorgasbord, and bible studies, to mention just a few. She enjoyed sewing, quilting, crocheting, camping, gardening and traveling. She and Verna Gomer lead “Sing-a-long” at Meadow Lane for over 20 years. She was a lifelong active member of Sons of Norway.

 

Her favorite trips were the many camping trips they took as a family to Leech Lake MN, and to various state parks in MN and National Parks. She and Helmer, along with Sharon, took the trip of her life time to Norway and Sweden in 1993. She loved every minute and had gifts for all the relatives, especially those crocheted pot holders. Sharon took her on an Alaskan Cruise in 2011, and she was the only one to be allowed in the Control room on the Navigation Deck with the Captain Keijer while at Hubbard Glacier. She remarked to Sharon, with a giggle, that she now knew which button to press to blow the horn of that big ship.

Anna seemed to always find a way to help someone. Many of her gifts were made by her, she would sew bibs, baby quilts, full size quilts and crocheted afghans and pot holders. She was very generous and always felt the need to give “something”. She sent 1000’s of cards for various occasions; birthdays cards would include those two dollar bills. Her joy was her children and grandchildren, and great grandchildren and even one special great great grandson. She wrote about experiences of her time growing up on a farm during the depression, WWII, and nursing in her personal life story. Anna would often remark, that she didn’t think she would live this long, as all her uncles and parents had passed on at much earlier age. Her children kept telling her, they were very glad she was here with them. She was a very independent woman, including living in her home until she was 93.9 yrs old and knew details about all aspects of her life and others up until the last few weeks.

 

She is preceded in death by her parents, husbands, sons, sister, brother and is survived by her daughter Sharon (Scott) Offerdahl Ketchum, grandsons Sean Paul Burns, Jeff (Sherley) Offerdahl, Matthew (Angie) Offerdahl, granddaughter Jennifer (Mike) Anderson and 7 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandson.

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