Ramae Joyce Birkestrand, 58, Luverne, died Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009, at the Sanford Hospice Cottage in Luverne.
Funeral services were Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009, at First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. The Rev. Dr. Terry Morse officiated. Burial followed at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne.
Ramae Blom was born on July 14, 1951, to Henry and Edna (Van Surksum) Blom in Pipestone. She grew up in Leota and attended Leota Christian School. She graduated from Edgerton Public High School in 1969. She attended Northwestern College, Orange City, Iowa, where she received a degree in elementary education.
On May 18, 1973, she married Rolland Birkestrand at Bethel Reformed Church in Leota. After their marriage, they lived in Worthington from 1974 to 1978. She was a teacher at West Elementary School in Worthington. In 1978 they moved to Luverne. She stayed home with her children while they were little. In 1985 she returned to work at Berkley Corporation as a business analyst. On Nov. 2, 2005, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Mrs. Birkestrand was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Luverne. She taught Sunday school and Youth Club, served as an elder and was a member of the bell choir. She enjoyed flower gardening, cooking and listening to, playing and singing music.
She is survived by her husband, Rollie Birkestrand, Luverne; two daughters, Erin (Juan) Aguirre, Omaha, Neb., and RaLonda (Matt) Lens, Montevideo; three grandchildren, Lauren, Elsie and Matisyn; eight siblings, Gene (Darla) Blom, Yankton, S.D., Ed Blom, Leota, Katrina Watts, Hartsville, Mo., Betty (Ray) Hawbecker, Worthington, Ada Kalass, Luverne, Marge (Mike) McAloon Sr., Plano, Texas, Eloyce (Brian Kilmartin) Shaw, South St. Paul, and Brenda (Gene) Van’t Hof, Edgerton; a sister-in-law, Linda (Jerry) Blom-Eiben, Dubuque, Iowa; and other family and friends.
Mrs. Birkestrand was preceded in death by her parents, a brother, Alvin Blom, a nephew, Damien Shaw, and a great-niece, Amily McAloon.
Hartquist Funeral Home — Engebretson Chapel of Luverne was in charge of arrangements.
A tree will be dedicated in her memory by Sanford Hospice of Luverne.
To sign an online guest registry, go to www.hartquistfuneral.com.