Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2008
Astrid VanDeWege, 94
Astrid Vera Elisabet (Sjogren, Campbell) VanDeWege, 94, died on Sept. 29th, 2008 at Luther Memorial Home, in Madelia, Minn.
Born on Dec. 14, 1913, she and her parents, Oscar J. and Anna (Johnson) Sjogren came to the United States from Emmaboda, Sweden. She graduated from Denfeld High School in Duluth, Minn. in 1930 and continued her studies at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, focusing on English, Drama, Journalism, Biology and Library Science. Astrid was voted “May Queen” before graduating in 1934, then teaching in the Duluth school district. She married William “Bill” J. Campbell, a Methodist minister from Duluth, in 1938. They moved to Boston, Mass., serving churches in Lawrence, Mass. and Salem, N.H. They returned to Minnesota and served churches in Proctor, Duluth and Austin. After having five children and while serving his 13th year at the First United Methodist Church in Austin, Bill died suddenly on Sept. 18th, 1961. He had been a well-known pastor in Austin, known to many as “Brother Bill”. A widow, Astrid’s faith helped her through as she moved to Minneapolis with her children and taught school as a substitute teacher. She was active in AAUW, League of Women Voters, Minneapolis Women’s Club, Parent Teacher Associations, American Swedish Institute and the Guthrie Theatre Stagehands. In 1969, Astrid married Merlin J. VanDeWege (“Van”), and moved to Mankato, Minn. Van was also a friend with Bill and past member 1st UMC. In Mankato, Astrid continued teaching, and was a volunteer with the YWCA, Art History Club, AAUW, League of Minnesota Poets, Southern Minnesota Poetry Society and member of Centenary United Methodist Church. She and “Van” moved to Edina in 1980 and she joined the P.E.O. Chapter S. In 1984, they moved to Sun City West, Ariz. where she was a member of several poetry societies, her poems printed regularly in their local newspapers. Both enjoyed traveling, throughout the United States and Europe, and in 1990 she published a poetry book called “Reflections”. Snowbirds for 16 years, they returned to Mankato in 2000 and resided at Old Main Village, a senior community. In 2006 she and her husband moved to the Luther Memorial Home, Madelia, Minn. Van and Astrid enjoyed 37 years together in marriage.
Astrid was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; one son, Charles Campbell and one grandchild, Rasmig Campbell.
She is survived by one daughter, Cynthia (Estin) Campbell-Kiger; three sons, Paul (Arpi) Campbell, LaCrescenta, Calif.; Rolf Campbell, Minneapolis/Nairobi, Kenya; Drew (Dawn) Campbell, Mankato, Minn.; step-son, John (Josie) Vandewege, Rosemount, Minn.; step-daughters, Gloria (Dale) Schaffer, Custer, S.D. and Charlene (Ivan) Clark, Spearfish, S.D. and many wonderful grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is planned for Thursday, Oct. 16, at 3:30 p.m., at Centenary United Methodist Church in Mankato. Visitation will be 30 minutes prior to service. The Landkamer, Johnson-Boman Funeral Home is helping with arrangements. A memorial and burial service is also planned for Saturday, October 18, in Duluth at 2 p.m., at Forbes United Methodist Church of Proctor, Minn. Visitation 30 minutes prior to the service.