Gwenola Pitsenbarger

Obituary of Gwenola Pitsenbarger

Gwen Overaas Pitsenbarger, 93, of Moorhead, MN died on June 12, 2024, at Walker Methodist Care Suites in Edina, MN under the compassionate care of Allina Hospice.

Gwen was born January 2, 1931, to Ludvig and Clara (Olson) in Jackson, MN. Her mother died at a young age and Clara’s sister, Sammy, came to raise the children. She grew up on a farm, attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated from Jackson High School. She attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD and graduated with an elementary education degree. Gwen moved to Edina, MN and taught 4th grade from 1953-1957. While in Edina, Gwen met the love of her life, Ron Pitsenbarger, and they were married on February 4, 1956. They honeymooned in San Francisco. In 1957, they moved to Moorhead, MN. She taught elementary art and 4th grade from 1957-1959.

Gwen and Ron were blessed with four children. Gwen was a stay-at-home wife and mom. Beyond her family, Gwen was deeply involved in the community. She served on the Clay County Social Services Welfare Board for 10 years and broke barriers as the first woman president on the church council at Elim Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. Gwen served on the Riverside and Prairie Home Cemetery board for 20 years. She enjoyed planting the public flower beds at the cemeteries. Gwen was an active member of PEO, AAUW, and the Fine Arts Club, finding joy in various social and cultural pursuits alongside her husband.

Gwen and Ron enjoyed their times with the Candlelight Dance Club, playing bridge with friends and golfing. They had special bonds with their friends from Elim and enjoyed many times of fun and frivolity together. Gwen’s passions included gardening, reading, entertaining, sewing, and church work. Hospitality was a gift of hers as she kept us well fed and always welcomed friends and family to gather together. In 1977, Gwen and Ron bought a lake cabin on Bad Medicine Lake in northern Minnesota. It remains a beloved place for family to gather and enjoy the beauty of creation.

Gwen moved into assisted living at the Linden (Eventide) in the fall of 2019. In October 2023, she moved to Walker Methodist Care Suites in Edina, MN.

Gwen is survived by her children: Andrea (Tom) Stordahl, Moorhead, MN; Tom (Peggy) Pitsenbarger, Fargo, ND; Mary Omaas, Saint Paul, MN; Julie (Amanda) Pitsenbarger, Shoreview, MN. Thirteen grandchildren: Clara Van Zee, Zach (Kelsey) Stordahl, Hannah (Erik) Lien, Sonja (Alex) Kohns, Amanda (Steve) Brown, Ashley (Eli) Dumke, Madison (Nathan) Van Hogen, Tracy Athmann, Lou Zurn, Isaac Zurn, Marta Zurn, Gray Pitsenbarger, and Soren Pitsenbarger. She is also survived by 14 great grandchildren, many nieces and nephew, and dear friends.

Gwen was preceded in death by her husband, Ron. Her parents, Ludvig and Clara; siblings Betty Kloster, Audrey Eggen, Duane, Lowell, and Peter Overaas. As well as several other relatives.

Gwen wanted us to know she was so grateful for each day she had to be with her kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. She had so many blessings and God always as her protector. God has a plan for us and it is always for good things.

We would like to thank the staff at the Linden, Walker Methodist Care Suites, and Allina Hospice for all their help and care with Gwen. She was so grateful for your assistance and love.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 20, at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, 301 County Road 19, Excelsior MN, 55331. The visitation will be at 10 AM followed by the service at 11 AM. Funeral arrangements are through the Cremation Society of Minnesota. A graveside service will be held in Moorhead, MN, at a later date. Memorials are preferred to Walker Methodist Foundation - Care Suites, 7400 York Ave S., Edina, MN 55432 or a designated charity of your choice.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Gwenola
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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