We Lost a Good One…

My Aunt Agnes passed away.  She was one great lady.  Our family was so blessed to have her in our lives.

Aunt Agnes wasn’t the front runner, stand-out front kind of lady.  She was the one in the background managing everything…few of us ever knew all she was doing.

She died a few weeks shy of her 104th birthday.  What a legacy she left.  HERE’s the link to her obituary.  She had three children, 8 grandchildren,17 great-grandchildren…and as the obituary said, “numerous nieces and nephews”.  I am one of those nieces.

I am lucky in that my Aunt Agnes was a crafter and quilter like me.  She is one of the reasons I am so supportive of Lutheran World Relief.  In fact, my memorial money for her will go there.  She helped to make easily thousands of quilts for the organization.  My memorial money will go to the fund to help ship quilts.  I know she’d like that.

She was a master Hardanger too.  She did amazing work.  I just love it.  Here is one of the pieces she gave to me…


I was extra lucky.  Aunt Agnes was also my godmother.  When we were driving home from the funeral the kids and I were talking.  She was 47 when I was born…my dad, her brother just 2 years younger, was 45 when I was born.  My kids just couldn’t believe having a kid so “old”.

Here is a picture of Kalissa, Carver, and I with Aunt Agnes…I’m guessing this… was in 2018.


(oh my I’ve lost weight since then).

Here’s a picture of Carver, Kalissa and Aunt Agnes the year before.

It was important to us to have pictures with her.

We took Carver with us to the funeral.  We wanted him to have a “funeral experience” while he’s still young and it’s not someone he was particularly close to.  Sadly going to funerals is something we all need to learn to do.

He looks bored in this picture but he was waiting for the bathroom…


I was so happy I braved things and went to the funeral.  I was going to do everything I could to be there even if I was zonked the next day…and I was.  Aunt Agnes was super special to me.

I told you she was a “behind the scenes” kind of lady.  She gave up some of her ambitions and stayed back to take care of my ailing Grandmother, her mom.  She quilted with her and helped her as her health failed.

She was the first person my dad called when my mom passed away.  It was such a comfort to us kids to know that dad had his sister Agnes when we weren’t.  Agnes had lost her husband when she was 70 and knew how to cope…she helped my dad so much.

Aunt Agnes was the only sibling in the family who left their inheritance in the farm so when it came time for my parents to buy the family farm from my grandparents’ estate, my parents were able to get the money to do it.  Yes, my parents paid Aunt Agnes over time, but she left her money there so the farm could stay in the family.

My Aunt Agnes was so good and dealing with my dad, doing things that us kids didn’t know how to talk to him about…or didn’t even know.  She helped my dad invest money.  She helped him put a will together, get nursing home insurance, and the like…all things that us kids knew little about.  She was so good to my dad.   I will always love her for that alone.

My dad and Aunt Agnes became such a team.  Agnes came with him often when he came to visit.  They became the others’ “plus one”.  In that theme, being my own mom had died young, Aunt Agnes acted as a grandma figure for them.  She was great at it.

Together all through the fall, Dad and Aunt Agnes hit up every Lutefisk dinner in southern Minnesota.  They both loved and were so proud of their Swedish heritage.  Eating lutefisk was just part of all of that.

As a kid, I remember my Aunt Agnes often hosted a Christmas get-together.  She was the glue that kept the family together.  She always made sure there were Scandinavian foods for us to eat or try.

As she got older she gave me a few things that were my Grandma’s.  My Grandma had died before I was born so I didn’t know her except through stories.

We did grab a sibling picture when we were all at the funeral.  Left to right is my sister Judy, brothers, Jule, Jim and Jay and then me…


My Aunt Agnes was such a great person in my life.  I’m so blessed that she was mine…I was blessed with great parents but along the way, other good people came into my life and my Aunt Agnes is right at the top of the list.

32 thoughts on “We Lost a Good One…

  1. Christina

    So sorry for your loss, but so grateful you had Aunt Agnes in your life. It appears she had a large effect on your life. What lovely pictures and what an amazing lady, she looked so calm and peaceful. Love to you and all your family at this sad time.

    Reply
  2. Evelyn H

    What a beautiful testimony to your aunt. Sorry for losing her, but happy that you had her in your life for such a long time. (Hugs)

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  3. Lisa B

    Your aunt Agnes sounds like she was a wonderful woman. I’m sorry for your family’s loss. And thankful you were able to go to the memorial.

    Reply
  4. June

    I’m so sorry for your loss. You were definitely Blessed to have had her in your lives and for so long. I hope that you are feeling better. And that as time goes on you will cherish and share those good memories with your younger generations in your family. My husbands grams lived to be just two weeks shy of her 105th- what they can share of their lives is amazing…
    God Bless

    Reply
  5. Judith Fairchild

    Oh Jo, losing a special relative like your Aunt Agnes is hard. I had An aunt like that while I was growing up. A
    Unys and uncles can and do set examples for us. What a great lady your Aunt Agnes is. I had forgotten about Hardanger embroidery. We learned how to do it one year in V.B.S. Mom picked it up and did beautiful work. I’m going to have to see what I can do. You were so blessed in your Aunt.

    Reply
  6. Gayla Livengood

    Sorry for your loss. I too had a special aunt in my life so I completely understand. You were blessed to have her in your life

    Reply
  7. NJ

    We are all better people for having these wonderful Aunts and Uncles in our life. Thanks for sharing the story of your amazing and wise Aunt.

    Reply
  8. Nancy Summa

    What a wonderful woman! Your family was very fortunate to have her in your lives. Her influence has helped to shape everyone become the people they are today. There is no greater gift. I can see her love, generosity, and sincerity reflected in you. May you be comforted by your wonderful memories.❤️

    Reply
  9. Donna Weeks

    Thank you for sharing your memories of your Aunt. She certainly was a truly great person and the memories of her in your life will be a comfort.
    I always say, “we lead by example” and your aunt showed you how to do that. Your daily life mirrors her goodness, talents and love of family.
    May the memories of your Aunt bring you comfort.

    Reply
  10. Ellie

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Aunt Agnes sounds like a wonderful woman! Having people like her in our lives is so important! And her Hardanger was outstanding. I’m so glad you have it framed to preserve it.

    Reply
  11. Robin

    Your tribute to your Aunt Agnes is such a tribute to a beautiful lady. I went back through some archives and read earlier posts about her and she reminds me so much of a great aunt I had. The world needs more “Agneses”. I was just complaining last night that my sister asked if I was having a super bowl party. I have every…single…family…gathering…., and frankly I’m tired of it. After reading your post about Agnes I realize all of the work is worth it. My nieces, nephews, cousins, aunt, uncles, and more all love coming to my house. I am making memories with all of this work, and that makes it worth it. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

    Reply
  12. Joyce Coker

    So sorryfor your loss. Glad you had such a special person in your life. She lived a long life and I am sure she is now experiencing heaven with your parents and your husband. Glad you are feeling better.

    Reply
  13. Linnea

    What a beautiful tribute to your Aunt Agnes, Jo. Calm assurance you will be reunited with your parents and her one day.

    Reply
  14. Cindy F

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Sharing your memories with us gave us a glimpse into the wonderful person she was to you and your family. Thank you for sharing her with us.

    Reply
  15. Sheila in WI

    While I’m sorry for your loss, I also celebrate the wonderful life that she lived. She sounds like she was a treasure and wonderful example. Thank you for honoring her in this post.

    Reply
  16. Gail L Piper

    What a blessing she was – and thanks for sharing! She was indeed an inspiration, an example of a life well-lived.

    Reply
  17. Janet

    Sorry for your loss, Jo, but so happy you had your Aunt Agnes in your life. In my family we had my Great-Aunt Glady, who always signed cards and letters “oceans of love”. I wish for everyone to have those oceans in their life!

    Reply
  18. Beryl BC

    I’m sorry for your loss. It is a blessing to have special aunts and uncles. My Swedish relatives came into the family by marriage. My Swedish aunt got me my first sewing machine, an old Singer for $7 at a crazy days sale. She also made potato bologna for Christmas; I’m not sure if that was Swedish or not.

    Reply
  19. Cindy in NC

    I was just thinking about your Aunt Agnes and remembering when you asked readers to send her cards for her 100th birthday. I assumed she had passed away, but she lived another four years! Thinking about all she witnessed during her long life reminded me of a book I think you’d enjoy. Little Heathens by Mildred Armstrong Kalish is about the author’s life growing up on an Iowa farm during the depression. I’ll be she and Aunt Agnes shared a lot of experiences.

    Reply
  20. Penny J Holliday

    Sorry for your families loss Jo! Such a tribute you wrote of Aunt Agnes to acquaint us with your wonderful family member. Now please rest up & take care of yourself! Keeping you in my prayers

    Reply
  21. Sherry Bobak

    So sorry for your loss but happy that you have so many wonderful memories of her. My grandmother was my special person. She was the only grandparent I really knew. My mom’s mom died when I was a baby and her dad passed when I was to young to remember. Nobody knows who my dad’s father was. It was a big secret that my grandma would never talk about. But she was a feisty lady who had three boys and always wanted a girl. So when I came along, she spoiled me rotten. We made many great memories before she passed. Take care of yourself and I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    Reply
  22. Sue G.

    Thank you for sharing Your Aunt Agnes with us. She was a very special woman. Many memories with laughter and i’m sure some tears as well. Blessings to you and your family.

    Reply
  23. Linda in NE

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. All my aunts & uncles are gone, my husband has one aunt left. We celebrated her 90th b-day this past summer. Seems so strange that’s all that’s left of two large families.
    You were lucky enough to get a really nice picture of you and your siblings. Your brother Jule really reminds me of Karl.

    Reply
  24. Cindie

    I’m sorry for your loss. Everyone should have an aunt like yours. I do, and your post made me sit down and write my two aunts who are still on this side of Glory.

    Reply

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