Avis Evenson, age 93, of Glenwood, formerly of Brooten and Westport, died Saturday, August 29, 2020 at Glenwood Retirement Village under the care of Glacial Ridge Hospice after a long and courageous battle with Dementia. Friends and family are invited to attend a funeral service for Avis, with limited seating due to Covid restrictions, beginning at 2:00 P.M. on Friday, September 4th, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brooten, officiated by Pastor Stephen Bovendam. Visitation will be held at the church, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Trinity Lutheran Cemetery at Brooten. Following the burial, weather permitting, those attending are invited to gather in the Brooten City Park for coffee, cold beverages, and a light lunch, along with a time to share memories. The family hopes an outdoor venue will make it easier for everyone to enjoy social conversation while at the same time allowing for social distancing. Those planning on joining the family at the park are asked to bring a lawn chair as seating will be limited.
In addition, pursuant to Gov. Walz’s executive order, face masks will be required in the church building and those attending are asked to properly social distance while on church grounds. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Brooten
Avis Ruth Powers was born December 11, 1926, in Swift County, near Sunburg, MN to Vinson and Gladys (Whiston) Powers. Avis’ mother passed away when she was young, leaving her to grow up fast. Before she was even a teenager she helped on the farm and cared for younger siblings, including the youngest brother who was still a toddler. There were hardships like the Armistice Blizzard of 1940, when they lost almost a thousand turkeys. Their father did his best to carry on and get the children an education. Avis attended country school near Munson Lake and later high school in Kerkoven and Glenwood. After graduation she worked at the National Tea Grocery Store in Benson, MN and in the restaurant.
Rolling Forks Lutheran Church is where she was confirmed and also later where she married Richard Evenson on October 19, 1947. They went to California for a winter and then back to Starbuck, MN to the Rueben Evenson family farm and were blessed with sons Emery and Lawrence. A farm by Westport caught their eye and with the dream of owning their own land they purchased it. Realizing they needed more cash for operating expenses, they leased it out and moved to Minneapolis for a few years of earning “big city” wages. The family grew with the addition of a third child, Jane, and country life was calling. The budget was lean, but they settled down on the Westport farm and enjoyed the major part of their lives there, including the birth of their youngest child, Julie. The farm was a lot of work; cows to milk, crops to put in and harvest, and a large garden to tend, but it also had its rewards such as being the gathering place for extended family. Their children attended Villard Public School and Avis was very active at the St. John’s Lutheran Church and Ladies Aid. She held various jobs through the years including working at the school and building airplane shells at Bellanca.
Richard and Avis retired to the small nearby town of Brooten, where they joined Trinity Lutheran Church. She was a part of the women’s circle and quilting group there and also worked at the food shelf. Avis enjoyed playing cards with the neighbor ladies and at the Senior Center. She cared for her husband as long as she could but when it got too hard, he became a resident of the Belgrade Nursing home. Avis made many trips to see him until he passed in February of 2011.
Avis enjoyed church, gardening, growing flowers, raising chickens, ducks, cattle and horses and other farm animals. She was a good homemaker; cooking, canning, baking, sewing, and quilting. For fun, she liked doing puzzles, Sudoku, reading, playing cards, assorted checker games and chess and sometimes a bit of mischief like April Fool’s pranks. Some of her favorite outdoor activities were going for walks, fishing, swimming, and watching parades, county fairs, and family reunion picnics. What Avis enjoyed most of all was her family and children. Her eyes would light up just to see them or even if you just talked about them. To have a grandchild or great grandchild sit in her lap was a great joy to her.
Avis is survived by three of her four children; Lawrence (Bonnie) Evenson of Zimmerman; Jane (“Shorty” N. Cary) Braten of Columbus, MT; and Julie (Douglas) Denecke of Worland , WY; her daughter-in-law, the widow of Avis’ late son, Emery, Deb Evenson of Villard; eight grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren. Avis is also survived by her two sisters, Donna Plautz, and Marilyn (Russell) Kneeland; sisters-in-law, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; Vinson and Gladys (Whiston) Powers; her husband, Richard Evenson; and eldest son, Emery Evenson (in 2018). Two of Avis’ older sisters passed in their youth, Luella Alberta Powers and Vivian Powers. Also preceding her in death was her sister, Betty (Claudie) Oelkers and brothers, Curtis Powers, Victor Powers; brothers-in-law, and other extended family.
Avis was always ready to visit; the coffee pot was always on! She believed in the Lord and healthy living. She was very family orientated, the best mother, loving grandmother, and devoted wife to Richard for over 63 years. She was kind to all.
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