Verna Hvidsten, age 92, died peacefully, surrounded by her family on July 6, 2019 at the assisted-living community of Serenity Living, Dilworth, Minn.

Verna Lois (Hamberg) Hvidsten was born March 14, 1927 in Nelson Park Township, Marshall County, the daughter of Jons “J.E.” and Gunda (Nelson) Hamberg, and the eighth of nine children. Verna was baptized in the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church in rural Stephen, Minn. She attended Woodside country school in Nelson Park Township until eighth grade and later went to Karlstad High School, where she graduated in 1944. Verna enjoyed sports and played basketball in high school.

Verna met Orville Hvidsten at Salem Lutheran Church. They were united in marriage on June 25, 1948. The couple made their home on the Hvidsten family farm in Wanger Township, Marshall County until 1969, when they moved to Thief River Falls. In 1970, they built their own home, where they resided until 2005, when Orville passed away. Verna moved into a townhome in the city of Thief River Falls in 2006 and lived there until she moved to Serenity Living in 2015.

Verna and Orville operated their family farms for many years near Stephen and Thief River Falls, and also worked at Arctic Cat in Thief River Falls. Verna also worked at Model Laundry in Thief River Falls. In 1978, Verna and Orville started the Rainbow Nursery, which they ran until 2002. They also sold farm produce and Christmas trees. An avid gardener, Verna planted numerous vegetable and flower gardens and grew hundreds of gladiolas each season, which in summertime graced her kitchen table and the altar of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls.

At Salem Lutheran Church, Verna served as the Superintendent of Sunday School and was the President of Ladies Aid. At Redeemer Lutheran Church, Verna was a member of the Altar Guild and the Quilting Group for many years.

Family and friends were the heart of Verna’s life. She treasured time spent those closest to her, whether it was a laughter-filled game of cards with friends and neighbors or joyful holidays and annual reunions with her family. Verna remained close to her siblings, in-laws and their families throughout her life and cherished her vibrant and large extended family. Verna’s many talents included baking and sewing, which she especially loved doing. She created a variety of items, including handcrafted keepsake quilts for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as kids’ cuddly blankets that she donated to an emergency domestic violence shelter for women and children in Thief River Falls.

Left to honor Verna and remember her love are her six children, Susan Geiszler of Rochester, James Hvidsten of South St. Paul, Marie (Larry Haugen) Hvidsten of Moorhead, Mike (Rebekah Richards) Hvidsten of St. Paul, Steve Hvidsten of Duluth and Scott (Paul Griffin) Hvidsten of Minneapolis; 12 grandchildren, Nicole Geiszler, Erika (Mark) Fetterman, Christopher Roadfeldt, Alicia Roadfeldt, Amy (Chris) Jones, Katie (Matt) Hedman, Teri (Carl) Olfesky, Tara (Thomas) Anderson, Trevor (Sarah) Haugen, David (Sarah Hickman) Hvidsten, Sarah Hvidsten and Nathan Hvidsten; 16 great-grandchildren; 3 great-great-grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Lorraine Hamberg of Staples; and many nephews and nieces. Verna will be remembered for her loving, kind and generous spirit by family and countless friends, neighbors and family members.

Verna was preceded in death by her husband, Orville on October 14, 2005; a son, Peter Jon; son-in-law, Keith Geiszler; her parents; and eight brothers and sisters, Nels Hamberg, Blenda Hamberg, Harry Hamberg, Grace Johnson, Ruby Jensen, Roy Hamberg, Nan Hamberg and Ann Merdink.

Funeral services are scheduled for Thursday, July 11, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1300 Nora Street East, Thief River Falls, MN with Rev. Darrel Cory officiating.  Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the service on Thursday.  Internment will be at Salem Lutheran Church Cemetery, rural Stephen, MN.

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