Edythe Grandstrand, 96

February 12, 2024
Edythe Grandstrand, 96 Edythe Grandstrand, 96

Edythe Grandstrand went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at the age of 96.

Edythe LaVerne Benson was born July 30, 1927, to George and Selma Benson at their home in Augsburg Township rural Stephen, Minnesota. She attended the country school in Augsburg Township through the eighth grade. She was baptized in the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Salem Lutheran Church rural Stephen – where she was a lifelong member.

After completing school, Edythe worked in the dining facilities at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul. From there she went on to care for the health needs of a disabled lady in South St. Paul. Later, after attending Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis for a time, she returned home to care for her mother, who had a stroke and lived ten years longer than doctors predicted thanks to Edythe’s loving care.

On February 12, 1950, Edythe married Paul Grandstrand, a childhood classmate from the Augsburg country school (neither admitted to having ANY memories of the other from school) and they made their home in Section 4 of Augsburg township, where their 3 children were born. In 1969 they moved to the Grandstrand “home” in Section 10 (which had been built by her grandfather’s brother) where she lived until her 90th birthday.

Paul and Edythe were both Sunday School teachers for a number of years at Salem, and Edythe was a member of the LCW where she enjoyed making quilts and helped with the school and hygiene kits that were sent to kids overseas and others in need. After husband Paul’s death in 2004, the old farmhouse often turned into a patchwork quilt factory as she ramped up quilt production for LCW and the local foster home.

Edythe had a deep love for God’s creation, and you could often find her outdoors digging in the garden, tending her perennials, trimming trees, feeding the birds, or petting her cats. She loved to take her golfcart through the tree tunnels and watch the wind sway the branches. She passed that love of nature onto her family by gathering the grandkids at the largest cottonwood tree on the farm, joining hand in hand to reach around it and give it a big hug.

Edythe was a lifelong learner and loved to read the local church and township history books. She was proud of her Swedish heritage and the legacy her forefathers left in the area. She was also so pleased each time her family gathered together, saying, “I have the best family in the world, and I feel so lucky.”

Edythe loved to feed her people well and family gatherings always included feasts of scalloped potatoes and homemade buns, but no meal was complete without a proper dessert. Coffee time was a daily occurrence at the farm and often included her lard-fried donuts or other baked goods.

She is remembered by her family for her bountiful gardens where we all ate peas off the plants, her home cooking as no one has been able to replicate her buns or donuts, bringing lunch and gas to the fields, the annual cleaning of the grain bins and power washing the other out buildings on the farm, mowing the 7-acre farm yard on her trusty John Deere, the annual tractor parades on her birthday as the model D was her favorite, giving rides through the tree tunnels to grandkids and cats on her golfcart, making homemade soap with Paul's help, and being a nurse for Paul as he dealt with diabetes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Selma Benson; 2 brothers in infancy; brother, Ray Benson; sister, Rose Bagaas; husband of 54 years, Paul Grandstrand; and 1 granddaughter, Rachel Gerhardt.

Edythe is survived by her 3 children: David (Karen) Grandstrand, Carol (Doug) Sele, Sam (Diane) Grandstrand; 7 grandchildren: Paul (Rachel) Grandstrand, Nathan (Andrea) Sele, Andrea (Luke) Borsvold, Kaia (Matt) Peterson, Philip Grandstrand, Laura (Jerry) Keenan, Jenna (Chris) Berglund, and Samantha Kraulik, who is like a granddaughter; and 11 (soon to be 13) great grandchildren: Christopher, Harper, Lynden, Torsten, Gordie, Freya, Sammy, Maverick, Ivar, Livvy, and Burton.

Funeral services were held at 2:00PM, Saturday, February 10, 2024 at Salem Lutheran Church of rural Stephen, MN. with Pastor Caitlin Jensen-Brown presiding.

Visitation was held after 5PM, Friday at Collins Funeral Chapel in Karlstad with a Prayer Service at 7PM. Visitation was also held one hour prior to services at the church.

Interment services were held at Salem Lutheran Cemetery following services.

Arrangements are with Collins Funeral Home of Karlstad, MN.

An online guestbook is available at www.collinsfunerals.com