Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Esther Virginia Gilbertson, age 90, of Austin, died Sunday morning, Sept. 6, 2009 at the Good Samaritan Center in Albert Lea.
She was born April 13, 1919 to Carl and Alma (Espeseth) Erickson in Hesper Township, Winneshiek County, Iowa, and baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Esther graduated from Decorah High School in 1937 and taught country school in Winneshiek County. On Dec. 30, 1938 she married Elmer Gilbertson at the Decorah Lutheran Church parsonage and they farmed on the Minnesota-Iowa border near Burr Oak, Iowa. Esther returned to school and graduated from General Beadle Teachers College in Madison, S.D. in 1958. That year they moved to Austin, where she taught for 20 years before retiring in 1979.
An active member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway and Hadeland Lag, Esther enjoyed painting, ceramics, quilting and made several pieces of furniture. Esther and Elmer traveled twice to Norway. Esther spent many hours researching genealogy of the Erickson and Espeseth families. Elmer passed away Jan. 17, 2006.
Survivors include sons: Davis (Julie) Gilbertson of Albert Lea, Wayne Gilbertson of Woodbury, Minn., Leslie (Beverly) Gilbertson of Warsaw, Ind.; nine grandchildren; sister, Vernelle (Alex) Kurak, of Minneapolis; many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Elmer; brother, Myron Erickson; sister, Hildred Vikesland; and daughter-in-law Cheryl Gilbertson.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 18, 2009 at St. Olaf Lutheran Church with the Rev. Kristi Koppel officiating. Visitation is one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment is at Burr Oak (Iowa) Cemetery at 2 p.m. The family prefers memorials to Peace & Power of First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, Crossroads Community Hospice or Good Samaritan Care Center in Albert Lea. Worlein Funeral Home of Austin is in charge of arrangements.