November 21, 1932 - August 21, 2017
Geraldine Mae (Folske) StenbergGeraldine Mae (Folske) Stenberg, age 84, of Eden Prairie, MN, died very peacefully on the morning of August 21, 2017, at Haven Homes of Maple Plain, MN.
Gerry was a Thanksgiving baby, born on the twenty-first day of November in 1932. She was born to two loving and hardworking East St. Paul parents, Maybelle Irene Swanson and Edward “Eddie” Folske. The eldest of three children, Gerry took great care in looking out for her brother Don and her little sister Dianne. She was very active in her church, Mount Calvary, and attended Johnson High School, where she was universally regarded as the class clown.
Upon graduating from high school her parents were proud that she took a clerical job at the local Veterans Administration office in St. Paul. But after Gerry noticed an application for a scholarship from a nursing program she worked up the nerve to ask her parents if they would help her pursue a career in medicine. It wasn’t long before she enrolled in the Lutheran Deaconess Hospital Nursing Program in Minneapolis where she met some of the best and most important friends she has ever had. She quickly earned her degree and became a certified Registered Nurse. She spent many days (and nights) caring for the sick, the aged, and those near death. She considered it a very high calling to care for many of her Ebenezer Nursing Home patients in their last hours on earth; praying, reading scripture verses, and singing hymns.
In April of 1954 Gerry was assigned to a nursing rotation at the far northern edge of the world, Thief River Falls, Minnesota. She was caring for a stoic Norwegian dairy farmer in the local hospital when his son, Arthur, walked into the room. A handsome farm boy, he was instantly smitten by this dark haired and exotic beauty from East Saint Paul. Within a week, he told his best friend that he was going to marry her. And exactly one year (and just a few dates later) Arthur and Geraldine were married.
In November of 1953 Arthur enlisted in the Army and was stationed in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. As a newly wedded Army bride, Gerry joined Arthur in April 1955. Art made Sergeant in only eighteen months and Gerry couldn’t help but gloat a bit as she sewed the stripes on his shirts.
The young couple endured many ups and downs. Pressures of work, family life, and farming weighed heavily on them at times. And yet they persisted as loyal, faithful, and loving partners. They were called back to the farm a couple of times. But eventually they realized that, for the sake of their children, they would need to make a new life, on their own, in the small town of Buffalo, Minnesota
Life in Buffalo was good. Gerry, who had always had a personal, daily, and vital relationship with Jesus Christ, saw her husband come to a spiritual awakening. Aided by her prayers, he turned his life over to Christ and their lives were never the same. Gerry, Art, Shelley, Susan, and Mark were blessed to live as a family, and in loving community with the Covenant Church in Buffalo, under the faithful and wise leadership of Reverend Donald Thomas, with music minister Howard Redman at his side.
Gerry would want to be remembered most for her honest, passionate, and ever enduring relationship with the God revealed in Jesus Christ. This relationship was the center of her life. From this deep, expansive knowledge that she was loved, she passed that love on to others.
Geraldine’s memory is indelible and eternal. She was incredibly kind, strong, brave, and brilliant. She remains with her family in so many ways. There has never been a caregiver who had so much energy, patience, creativity, and humor. She has absolutely changed the world with her boundless, steadfast, and creative love.
Geraldine is preceded in death by her father, Edward Folske, her Mother, Maybelle (Swanson) Folske, her Brother, Don Folske, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Gerry is survived, first of all, by her devoted, faithful, and ever-loving husband, Arthur Stenberg. She is also survived by her loving and brilliant sister, Dianne and by her three children, into which she poured her life and soul: Shelley (Stenberg) Torkelson, Susan (Stenberg) Ask, and Mark Stenberg. She joyfully offered her tireless, creative energy to her grandchildren: Bryant, Joshua, Anna, Madeline, Sam, Stacey, John, Bobby, Angela, and Mateo. And she was filled with hope, peace, and inspiration by her great grandchildren: Bennett, Ruthie, Conley, and Evelyn.
A memorial service will be held at Buffalo Covenant Church, 1601 Highway 25 North, on Saturday September 2nd at 1 pm, with a casual reception to follow. Memorials will go to an educational fund for Gerry’s grandchildren and great grandchildren, in care of Arthur Stenberg, 7900 Timber Lake Drive #206, Eden Prairie, MN 55347.