Evelyn Austvold, age 94, of Willmar, and formerly of Sedan, MN, died Friday, March 20, 2020, at Rice Care Center in Willmar. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions, private family services will be held later this week, with burial in Glenwood Lutheran Cemetery. Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Evelyn Belle Vadner, daughter of Lester Hubert and Alma Catherine (Coulter) Vadner, was born on May 11, 1925, in Saint Paul, MN. She was the oldest of nine children, with six brothers and two sisters. Soon after Evelyn’s birth, her family moved to Buffalo, and later they farmed near Monticello and Kimball. Evelyn attended country school near Kimball through the 8th grade. She later completed her GED and eventually attended Alexandria Vocational and Technical Institute where she earned her Nurse’s Aide Certificate.
On July 22, 1944, Evelyn was united in marriage to Louie Austvold in Bellingham, WA. Louie was born and raised in Pope County, Minnesota, but had settled in Bellingham after his honorable discharge from the military. Evelyn’s father, Lester, met Louie while Louie was home visiting family in Glenwood. Lester must have been impressed because he introduced Louie to Evelyn. One thing led to another and before long Evelyn and her mother traveled to Bellingham, where she became Mrs. Louie Austvold. The two made their home in Bellingham, where Louie operated a fishing business. As time went on, Evelyn longed to be back in Minnesota, closer to family, so in 1948 they returned to Minnesota, settling in Sedan. Their marriage was blessed with four children, Niles, Louie Jr., Phillis, and John. Evelyn and Louie shared 30 happy years of marriage before his death in 1974. On March 6, 1976, she was united in marriage to Leslie Johnson of Glenwood. Leslie joined Evelyn at her home in Sedan, where they enjoyed 29 years of marriage before Leslie’s death on June 22, 2005.
After Leslie’s death, Evelyn continued living at home in Sedan, until 2008, when she moved to Rice Care Center in Willmar.
Evelyn was employed as a Nurse’s Aide at Glacial Ridge Hospital for over 35 years before her retirement in June of 2002. She was a longtime member of Glenwood Lutheran Church and the American Legion Auxiliary. Evelyn volunteered at Hearts and Hands Food Shelf, taught Sunday school, and was a trained Stephen Minister. Her hobbies included knitting, crocheting, crafts, and flower gardening.
Evelyn will be remembered for her flowers, meatballs, black jelly beans, tomato sauce spaghetti, and Christmas craft decorations. In addition, and more importantly, she will be remembered as a devoted Sunday school teacher, for her strong faith in God, for living out her faith, and for the importance she placed on reading and learning.
Evelyn passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020, surrounded by family, at Rice Care Center in Willmar, at the age of 94 years.
She is survived by her daughter, Phillis (Bruce) DeBlieck of Willmar; three sons, Niles (Patty) of Rogers, Louie, Jr. (Laurie) of New Ulm, and John (Irene) of Lynnwood, WA; step-son, Paul (Janice) Johnson of Bloomington; seven grandchildren, six step-grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; a sister, Kathleen Anderson of Alexandria; a brother, Walter (Lois) Vadner of Andover; as wells as nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Lester and Alma; her husbands, Louie Austvold and Leslie Johnson; five brothers, Dale, Kermit, Russell, Douglas and John; a sister, Beulah Clapshaw; and her step-daughter and step-son-in-law, Rosie and Gordy Jacobson.
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