Sonstegard, Marlene E. (Johnson) Age 86, formerly of Fridley, passed away August 17, 2023. Preceded in death by husband, Roger; son, Reed. Survived by daughter, Angie (Fred) Kuismi; daughter-in-law, Kay Sonstegard; grandchildren, Jonathan, Allison, Anthony, Isabel; siblings, Bev, Ron (Kay), Greg (Pam).
A Joint Celebration of Life for Roger and Marlene will be held Saturday, October 28, 2023 at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN - Visitation at 11:00, Service at 12:00, followed by lunch.
Private Interment at Fort Snelling
Marlene Elda (Johnson) Sonstegard was born on July 1, 1937. She grew up on a farm near Clara City, Minnesota with her older sister Bev. When the girls were teenagers, along came their two younger brothers, Ron and Greg. Her mom would joke that they first had the babysitters and then the babies. The girls loved spoiling and having fun with their younger brothers. Growing up on a farm, she liked to swing from a rope, sometimes jumping into the hay. She didn’t like to gather eggs because she was afraid the chickens would peck at her fingers. She loved the peaceful feeling of being alone out in the pasture while bringing the cows home.
She went to a one room school house for elementary school. While in high school, she kept busy with many activities, such as cheerleading, plays, and band (played the trombone). She graduated from Maynard High School in 1955. After high school, she moved to Minneapolis where she worked in Accounts Payable at May Brothers Company.
Marlene met her future husband on a blind date. After a short engagement, they were married in February 1960. Soon after getting married, they purchased a new home in Fridley where they lived for over 50 years. They were blessed with two children, Reed and Angie. She stayed at home to raise them and returned to work once they were teens. Roger and Marlene enjoyed traveling, including many US mainland trips, as well as trips to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Marlene often had a camera in her hand, ready to capture all of her experiences. She created many photo albums, filled with her pictures and brochures, along with detailed handwritten notes.
She enjoyed spending time at the cabin located on Lake Koronis, near Paynesville, MN. She could be found taking a dip in the lake or reading magazines on the boat while Roger fished. Throughout her life, she loved spending time with her childhood friend and her “gang” of twelve girlfriends.
Marlene had many hobbies. She loved to play cards, especially bridge, 500 and whist. Other favorite pastimes were playing the piano, reading and coloring. She loved to entertain and was meticulous with every detail, from the menu to the table setting. She was a great cook, but an even better baker. She was best known for all of the delicious pies that she made. She liked to try new recipes and had a great sense of humor when they didn’t quite meet expectations.
She also had many skills and talents. She was a master at sewing. She sewed anything from clothes for the family to cushions for the furniture at the cabin. She also enjoyed knitting, embroidering and quilting. She was incredibly organized with everything she did. She came up with the “talk page”, a collection of notes to later share with both family and friends. She continued to send letters and birthday cards to many well into her eighties.
Marlene had a very strong faith. She was blessed to have been baptized, confirmed and married in the same little white country church. While living in Fridley, Roger and Marlene were members of St Philip’s Lutheran Church where they enjoyed many activities such as volleyball, playing bridge and volunteer work. She taught Sunday School, took part in a prayer chain, read many devotionals and loved singing in church.
Marlene, aka “Grandmar”, loved spending time with her family and friends. She was blessed to watch her grandkids grow up before her. In 2015, they sold their Fridley home and moved to Eden Prairie, MN (to be near daughter Angie and family). She was beloved by all who knew her and made everyone feel special.
Her gratitude, unconditional love, zest and appreciation for life, kindness, smile and good nature will be dearly missed.