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Geraldine Leona (Carlson) Rystrom, age 97, of Stromsburg, Nebraska, passed away on October 24, 2018 at the Midwest Covenant Home in Stromsburg.
Funeral services will be held Monday, October 29, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Stromsburg with Pastor Bob Johnson officiating. Visitation will be Sunday, October 28 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Dubas Funeral Home in Stromsburg. Organist will be Deb Franz. Musical selections will be "What A Friend We Have in Jesus", "Jesus Loves Me", and "How Great Thou Art." Pallbearers will be Dustin Rystrom, Joshua Werth, Jacob Ulffers, David Rystrom, Rusty Rystrom and Caleb Ulffers. Honorary pallbearers will be Tim Rystrom, Zach Rystrom, Sam Rystrom, James Rystrom. Interment will be in the Stromsburg Cemetery.
Geraldine was born on May 26, 1921 to David and Hannah (Larson) Carlson in Swede Home, Nebraska. She was baptized at Swede Home Lutheran Church and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in Stromsburg. She attended elementary school at District 51 and Stromsburg elementary, graduating from Stromsburg High School in 1939. Geraldine moved to Chicago after graduation where she attended The Chicago Expression and Dramatic Art School at Loyola University.
On Thanksgiving Day November 27, 1941 she was united in marriage to Donald R. Rystrom. Geraldine and Donald moved to Racine, Wisconsin. Pearl Harbor was attacked 10 days after they were married. While Donald was in the service, Geraldine attended the Louis Institute of Technology in Chicago and then was employed at Binks Manufacturing in the engineering department as a draftsman. In 1945, Geraldine moved back to Stromsburg and Donald joined her there after the war. Geraldine and Donald lived in Stromsburg the rest of their lives, raising five children. Geraldine drew the plans for the home she and Donald lived in for the last 60 years and Donald built it.
Geraldine was actively involved in the Lutheran Church teaching Advanced Bible History for many years. She was active in volunteerism in the community, including Polk County Chairman for the March of Dimes, Smorgasbord Chairman for 25 years, Community Improvement Leadership, helping to start the Res-Q Shoppe and Senior Center. She was a member of the Woman's Club, GOP Polk County Women, and was a Nebraska Merit Mother. She was employed at The Polk County News and did the first radio report for the KAWL Stromsburg News and Photography. Geraldine also spearheaded the collection of and authored two Stromsburg history books.
Geraldine and Donald loved to travel and coordinated many trips to Sweden through the Scandinavian Heritage Tours. They especially enjoyed spending time as Mission Builders in Kona, Hawaii. In 1991, at the age of 70, they attended a Discipleship Training School for missions in Kona with Youth with a Mission, where they were commissioned as missionaries. In 1992 they helped to start Living Word Church in Stromsburg.
Geraldine always felt her life calling was to be a wife and mother. She loved the Lord Jesus and leaves a powerful legacy of faithfulness and love.
Left to cherish her memory are her five children: Helen Virginia (Jerry) Werth, Jerry Donald (Lori) Rystrom of Stromsburg, Joseph Irven Rystrom of Hong Kong, Mary Elizabeth (Michael) Ulffers and Michael David (Sandy) Rystrom of Stromsburg; 16 grandchildren who were raised within five miles of their beloved grandparents; 26 great grandchildren; brother Melford Carlson of Lake Havasu, Arizona; and a host of other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 67 years, Donald R. Rystrom, who died April 2, 2009; great grandson Isaac Joshua Werth; her parents, David and Hannah Carlson; brother Aaron Carlson; sisters, Orpha Carlson, Norma Hansen and Virginia Gerwin.
Memorials are to Living Word Church for Hong Kong Mission.
Dubas Funeral Home of Osceola and Stromsburg has been entrusted with arrangements.