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Lorraine V. SonstengAugust 23, 1924 ~ August 29, 2017 (age 93)
Funeral services for Lorraine Sonsteng will be held Tuesday, September 5, 2017, at 11:00 AM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, MN. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Moe-Rose Cemetery. Lorraine passed away on August 29th in Portland, OR.
Lorraine Virginia (Nelson) Sonsteng passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 29 in Portland Oregon with her daughter Karen and granddaughter Rebecca by her side. Lorraine was 93 years old.
Lorraine and her twin sister, Adelaine, were born August 23, 1924 in Stafford Township, Minnesota. The two girls were the first born of ten children to Albert and Hildie Nelson. Lorraine grew up in Stafford. She enjoyed school and singing. Her father was a self taught singer and musician. Lorraine and her sisters shared his gift and could harmonize beautifully. They sang often at church as well as local special events.
Lorraine attended high school in Roseau; and due to the 8-mile distance from her home to school, the local pastor in Roseau allowed Lorraine and two of her sisters to live in their upstairs apartment. The girls helped with housekeeping and looked after the couple’s children during their stay.
After graduating from high school Lorraine worked as a waitress at her uncle’s restaurant, Nelson’s Café. One afternoon a handsome man came strolling in and took a seat at the counter. The man’s name was Ole Sonsteng. The two had a playful and witty exchange. It was love at first sight. Lorraine and Ole were married in San Diego at The First Baptist Church on November 16, 1946. Last November, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.
Ole and Lorraine brought three beautiful children into the world; Diane, Karen, and David. Lorraine took pride in being a dedicated mother and wife. She was an impeccable housekeeper and her three children were always tidy. The family of five made trips every summer to Minnesota to reunite with family and friends.
A talented seamstress, Lorraine made clothes for all of her children and taught her daughters to sew. She enjoyed cooking and was known for her fresh blueberry pies, blueberry sauce and homemade dark bread. Other hobbies included gardening, bowling, and card games.
Lorraine had a strong Christian faith and preparation for Sunday morning church was deeply engrained in her weekly routine. She made sure everyone was bathed on Saturday night. She curled the girls’ hair, lay out the church attire, polished everyone’s shoes and lined them up at the door.
After Ole retired, the couple left California in 1981 and returned to Salol, Minnesota where fulfilled his promise to build a beautiful log home and serve Lorraine coffee in bed every morning. They enjoyed being back in Minnesota and spending time with relatives and friends. With their children and grandchildren out West, Ole and Lorraine made road trips or took the train to visit family for special occasions or holidays.
With each passing year Ole grew even more charming and Lorraine grew even more smitten with him. He presented her with red roses every Mother’s day, birthday, and anniversary. Ole and Lorraine had always been inseparable, but it was even more apparent to the other residents at Oak Crest who cleverly nicknamed them “the love birds”.
On June 9, 2017, Lorraine’s beloved Ole passed away. At the end of June, Lorraine’s daughter, Karen, and son-in-law, Ray, brought her to live in Portland Oregon. In mid-August she celebrated her 93rd birthday surrounded by her family.
Lorraine was tiny in stature but larger than life in the love that she gave to those around her. She was a loving daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend to so many. Her kindness, smile and beautiful spirit will be missed by many.
She is survived by her sisters and brother, Geraldine Johnson, LaDell Nelson, and Joyce Norberg; her three children, Diane Maher Bennett, Karen Needham, and David Sonsteng; six granddaughters, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Lorraine was preceded in death by husband Ole Sonsteng; her parents Albert and Hildie Nelson; her sisters and brothers Adelaine Gustafson, Verna Miller-Handley, Lowell Nelson, Elroy Nelson, Shirley Nelson, and Danny Nelson.