Obit: Torkelson, Evelyn M. (1919 – 2009)
Surnames: Torkelson, Young, Gonia, Stetzer, Polege, Stefanski, Stenulson, Balsiger, Yahnke, Ahles, Iverson, Biddle, Hedrick, Everson, Peske, Stetzer
----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) January 7, 2009
Torkelson, Evelyn M. (28 June 1919 – 1 January 2009)
Evelyn M. Torkelson, 89, of Black River Falls died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, in the Pine View Care Center in Black River Falls.
Prior to moving to the Care Center, she had been a resident at Parkside Residence also in Black River Falls.
Evelyn was the oldest of eight children born to William P. and Olga (Young) Gonia, June 28, 1919, in the Town of Albion, Jackson County. She was raised in the Town of Albion and attended the Papoose Creek Country School. She was the salutatorian of the Black River Falls High School graduating class of 1937.
She married Alvin M. Torkelson Sept. 5, 1937, in Blair. The couple lived and farmed in the Town of Irving near Disco. For many years, they worked during cranberry harvesting on the Gebhardt Cranberry Marsh. Al preceded Evelyn in death Oct. 5, 1993. Soon after his death, Evelyn moved to Black River Falls. They loved to go snowmobiling. Each one had his or her own machine, and they would often ride to various neighboring communities to have lunch.
Evelyn was a 4-H leader of a club, and she also served on the executive board of the Jackson County 4-H. She taught Sunday school and also served as superintendent. Evelyn was an avid volunteer for the local Red Cross. She served as the county chairman, and for many years, she was the contact person who notified service people of a death in their families. She was instrumental in the local chapter obtaining a van to help with disasters.
She enjoyed growing and watching flowers, knitting, writing deer hunting poems and making banners for the church. She spent an enormous amount of time doing family history albums. Evelyn was known to her grandchildren as the “Sports Grandma.” She attended just as many of their sporting events that she possibly could.
Surviving are two sons, Ronald (Virginia) Torkelson, Bismarck, ND, and Jerry Torkelson, Chippewa Falls; a daughter, Beverly (Gary) Stetzer, and a daughter-in-law, Karen Torkelson, both of Black River Falls; two sisters, Delores Polege, Wausau, and Verna Stefanski, Onalaska; 13 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Wayne Torkelson; two brothers, Russell and William “Bud” Gonia; and three sisters, Lucille Stenulson, Eileen Balsiger and LaVon Yahnke.
Funeral services for Evelyn M. Torkelson were held at 11 a.m. Monday, Jan. 5, 2008, at the Upper Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, CTH C rural Taylor. Pastor Benjamin Ahles-Iverson officiated, and burial was in the church cemetery. Relatives and friends called at Torgerson’s Funeral Home (715-284-4321), Black River Falls on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. and at the church Monday from 10 a.m. until the time of services.
Honorary pallbearers were Shane Torkelson, Shannon Biddle, Shawn Hedrick, Wendy Everson and Nicole Peske. Pallbearers were Todd, Tim, Troy, Scott, Travis and Justin Torkelson and Dan and Tom Stetzer.
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