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Kathryn Gustafson

Kathryn Wenzel Gustafson, 103, was born on January 17, 1913 in Hay Township to Jacob and Annie Wenzel. She grew up on the farm, attended country school, and graduated from Osnabrock High School in 1931. She rode the train to Valley City Teacher’s College and graduated from there with a two year teaching degree. Kathryn taught in various country schools. One of the places she stayed was at Andrew and Sophie Gustafson’s where she met her to-be-husband, Joseph. They were married in June of 1936. They lived in South Olga Township on a farm. While living on this farm, they had four of their five children: Joyce Rude of Fargo, ND, Andrew (Lynne) of Marco Island, FL, Richard, and Judy (Bob) Burner of Donnelly, MN. In 1944, they moved to their farm they called home for the rest of their lives. There, Jonielle (Chuck) Soderstrom of Devils Lake was born.

Kathryn was a hard worker, and until the kids were old enough, she worked the farm and barn animals with her husband. She did what had to be done. She always had a beautiful yard and worked hard in the garden and canned. She was always so proud of her raspberries and strawberries and made jam, jelly, and pies for her kids and grandkids her whole life. She was the best cook and made sure no one went away hungry.

The winters were so bad in 1956, the family moved to Langdon but just for the winters. Each spring, they went back to the farm and then back to town in the fall. Kathryn lost her son, Richard, in 1963; her husband in 1968; her son, Andrew, in 2012; her son-in-law, Glenn Rude; her sister, Frances Mirehouse; and her brothers, Sterling and Harold Wenzel.

Kathryn was active in the church from birth until the closing of the Zion Church, 10 miles east of Langdon. She was a member of the Zion EUB Church, the Langdon EUB Church and later, the United Methodist Church. Kathryn was a 4-H leader and always said she learned more than the kids. She was a recipient of �Yard of the Month’ which was a proud accomplishment for her.

Kathryn had seven grandchildren: Dr. Jackie (Dr. John) Osland, Rob (Jen) Burner, Craig (Steph) Burner, Dr. Jocelyn Soderstrom, Shane (Brook) Soderstrom, Angie Gustafson, and Mitchell (Lauren) Gustafson, eleven great-grandchildren: Travis & Hannah Osland; Ellia, Luke & Andrew Gustafson; Austyn, Abigail, Joe & Ben Burner; and Garrett, Charlie Jo, Carsyn, Joshua, & Ian Soderstrom and one great- great-granddaughter, Kenley Soderstrom. She also has one brother, Bob Wenzel of Saratoga, CA and a sister-in-law, Lauretta Wenzel.

Kathryn was a very special mom, grandma, great-grandma and great-great-grandma. She saw many changes in her years and will be missed.

Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in Langdon, ND with visitation starting 1:00 the day of the service.

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Dear Family, I was so saddened when Joyce called me this past Sunday with the news of Aunt Kathryn"s passing, but at the same time I realized how special she was, & how privileged I was to have known Kathryn & to always be included in her & her family's lives. I stayed with Kathryn in 2002 or so, & upon entering her home, I was embraced, felt love, & in a flash a Pot Roast was in the oven & she was in the garden. Man, what a dinner, how that woman could cook, & yes I was sent on my way with Jam the next day. I could go on & on, but I just want to send our love & good thoughts to all my cousins. What a special women & if there is a heaven, all are eating well. All our love, Vern & Cindy.


Judy I am sorry to hear of your mother's death...she has lived a long life...and hopefully not a difficult one in the last few years... It's always hard to loose a Mom...I know for it was more than difficult for me to see my Mom die.... There is a old Hebrew proverb; Say not in grief 'she is no more' but live in thankfulness that she was'. We should be happy rather than sad that we were able to share and care in a good life...Time will allow you to know that Judy. I give you and your family my deepest sympthy

John Bergman Feb 27 2016 12:00 AM

You all indeed have my sympathy in the loss of your Mom, Grandmother, great Grandmother,great,great and great,great,great Grandmother..what a legacy she has left. I will always remember Kathryn and Frances as the sisters that one was tall and one was "not so tall". What also comes to mind is the beautiful Red Geraniums she always had in front of her home.. Losing your Mom will leave a spot that really , no one else can fill..and just be thankful for all the good memories..I am sure when you have raspberries and strawberries you will think of her too.. "Anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His" Hebrews 4:10 Sorry to miss her funeral. Special hugs to you, Judy and Bob.. Betty Fetzer

Betty Fetzer Feb 25 2016 12:00 AM

Jane and I extend our deepest sympathy, love and prayers to one and all of Kathryn's family. We will miss Kathryn, too. May God bless you all

Rev. Rick and Jane Hazen Feb 24 2016 12:00 AM

Jonielle, Chuck & Family, Our sympathy to all of you in the loss of your mom. We had never met her but was told what a wonderful lady she was. May the memories you have of her comfort you during this sad time. Pam & Duane

Duane Schuler Feb 24 2016 12:00 AM

so sorry of your loss of a dear mom

William &Kathy roy Feb 23 2016 12:00 AM