Vivian Genevieve (Ingebrigtson) Eggen, 93, of Wannaska passed away on March 26, 2022 at McIntosh Senior Living Center, McIntosh, MN.
Vivian was born August 13, 1928 in Grimstead Township, to Earnest and Selma (Bengtson) Ingebrigtson. When she was three-years-old, they moved to Palmville Township after purchasing the Torfin farm. She attended 44 East, the Torfin School, across Hwy 89 from the farm through eighth grade. Vivian attended Oak Grove Lutheran High School, Fargo, ND, graduating in 1946. In her senior year, Kenny Eggen, from Wannaska came to Oak Grove. They started dating that year.
Vivian dreamed of becoming a teacher. She attended college at Augsburg, Minneapolis, MN and Teacher’s College, Moorhead, MN, earning a two-year teaching certificate. Charlie Christianson, County Superintendent of Schools, contacted her as there was a shortage of teachers. Vivian and Kenny were married on June 6, 1948 at Palmville Baptist Church by Rev. Morris Eggen.
1948, Vivian’s first year of teaching, was at Beaver School, Pencer, MN, then two years at Wannaska. During the Korean Conflict, Vivian joined Kenny at bases in Biloxi, MS and Chandler, AZ. In 1954, she taught in Skime, MN. In 1956, she took time off from teaching, until 1962, when Charlie Christianson and Leland Lee told her it was time to get back to teaching. This led to a 34 year stretch of teaching at Wannaska School. In 1967, she graduated Cum Laude from Bemidji State College, after years of traveling to night classes in Bemidji, teaching all day, home in the middle of the night, then teaching the next day. She attended summer school in Bemidji. Vivian loved to teach. During her total of 37 years teaching, she earned a life teaching certificate. Being a teacher in rural schools, she was able to share her love for reading, artwork, singing and skating with “her kids.”
As the oldest of two girls in a farm family, she developed a strong work ethic. She was her father’s helper, tending the animals and driving machinery. This experience was put to use when she and Kenny farmed. Vivian could plow, bale hay, drive the swather and combine as needed.
Community activities included the WCTU and was a 4-H leader. In 2006, Vivian was honored as Roseau County Senior Citizen. She was head judge for Palmville Township. She looked forward to weekly Bible Study and singing at The Manor in Roseau. The history of the Wannaska community is told in her book, Pioneers’ Progress, written to commemorate the Wannaska Centennial in 1996.
Vivian was a member of Riverside Lutheran Church. She was a Sunday School, Release-time and Confirmation teacher. Vivian and Kenny were youth leaders for thirteen years, she directed the Youth Choir. She also directed the Junior and Senior Choirs, was a quilter and worked on mission projects with the church women. She visited community members, inviting them to church, sharing her love for Jesus. In later years, Vivian questioned why she was still here on earth when so many others had gone before her. She answered saying, “I guess I can still pray for you all.”
Summers and after retirement, Vivian traveled. Her goal to visit every state fell short by one, never getting to Alaska. Vivian lived in her own home until after her 90th birthday. Over the next three years, she had a rapid decline from dementia.
Vivian was preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Eggen; parents Earnest and Selma Ingebrigtson; sister Reita Ingebrigtson; parents-in-law Rev. Morris and Ella Eggen; brothers/sisters-in-law Ardys (Merle) Knutson, Elaine (Norman) Rehbein, Morris Eggen, Carston Eggen, Ida Marie Benson, Audrey (John) Graham.
Vivian is survived by daughters Roxanne (Richard) Rollefson, Colleen (Steven) Nelson and Dianne Crisp; grandchildren Aaron (Emily) Nelson, Joshua (Theresa) Nelson, Tali (Garrick) Zinsli, Jared (Joci) Nelson, Will Crisp and Carson Crisp; great grandchildren Silas and Arlo Nelson, Claire and Charlotte Zinsli; step-grandchildren Ann (Mike) Rollefson, Dan (Julie) Rollefson; and step-great grandchildren; cousin & brother-in-law Robert Benson; nieces and nephews.
A Funeral Service for Vivian Eggen of Wannaska, MN will be held on Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Riverside Lutheran Church in Wannaska, MN. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 29, 2022 from 5-7PM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Roseau, MN.