Georgene A. Kittelson, age 82 of Grafton, ND passed away on Saturday, April 4, 2015 at Altru Hospital of Grand Forks, ND.
Georgene died on quiet Saturday, the day before Easter. In the old days, and still in many churches around the world, quiet Saturday was called the Easter vigil commemorating Jesus lying in the tomb as believers waited and watched for Easter Sunday. Many churches baptized folks during the vigil. Georgene went to be with her risen Lord waiting for the festival of that resurrection.
Georgene is a part of that generation that we need to ask questions of and remember because they are a part of our history that will be forgotten if we don’t take note of it. Georgene’s family, was part of the Saxon immigration that brought Lutherans to America in the mid 1800’s. They came here for religious freedom and resisted the State Church that forced a “union” between the Lutherans and the Reformed. There is a large historical “confessional” Lutheran remnant that extended from Drayton ND to Warren and Radium MN to Great Bend ND, and down to Millbank SD and Ortonville MN. There have been many “6 degrees of separation” stories about our connections up here in the North country because of the work of the traveling missionaries who came and preached here.
Georgene was in the last confirmation class confirmed at Trinity in Acton township before the church divided and moved to Drayton and Grafton. She is a part of the “Schumacher clan” that has been written about in these pages as well. Her husband Marlyn sold me an Electrolux vacuum cleaner that still works after all these years. She sold me my first wool sports coat out of the Reyleck’s Department store in Grafton, which is pretty historical as well.
Her witness to me was of the close and loving family that sticks together through thick and thin and who need to have family gatherings in the Armory. In home visits with her she always related the concern she had for her children and grandchildren and great grand children in this ever changing world, and the prayers that she offered for them. Her quiet, confident faith when her children died was a testament to the Resurrection of Christ. Her constant attempts to get me to douse myself with “essential oils” will be missed. She never reprimanded or scolded me even though I have spelled her last name “Kittleson” for 37 years.
Georgene A. Tanke was born September 4, 1932 in Grafton, ND the daughter of the late George and Anne (Schumacher) Tanke. She was baptized and confirmed at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Acton Township near Grafton. She graduated from Grafton High School in 1950. Georgene was united in marriage to Marlyn Kittelson on December 29, 1950 in Warren, MN. The couple made their home in Grafton. Georgene worked as a sales associate at Marvin Jewelry, W.W. Reyleck’s Department Store and Alco, retiring in 2008. Marlyn passed away November 13, 1991.
Georgene was a member of Zion English Lutheran Church and LWML of Grafton.
She is survived by her children: Greg (Sally) Kittelson, Edmond, OK; Guy Kittelson, Grand Forks, ND; Kristy (Bill) Dahl, Grafton, ND; Bonnie (Kevin) Lein, Fargo, ND; Brett Kittelson, Oakwood, ND; David Kittelson, Grand Forks, ND; Kerri (Wayne) Stegman, Drayton, ND; Troy (Sally) Kittelson, Hoople, ND; Shane Kittelson, Middle River, MN; 26 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Marlyn, children: Steve and Kay and her sister Lois.
Thanks to Tollefson Funeral Home for the obituary. Funeral services will be Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 11:00 A.M. at Zion English Lutheran Church of Grafton, ND. Visitation will be tonight from 5-7 PM with a prayer service at 7:00 PM at the Tollefson Funeral Home of Grafton.