Myrtle E. Telstad, of Braham, passed away on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at her home. She was 95 years old.
FUNERAL SERVICE will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4th at Braham Evangelical Church in Braham with Rev. Rich Chronis officiating.
VISITATION will be on Friday, October 3rd from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at BRAHAM EVEANGELICAL CHURCH with a Prayer Service at 7:00 pm; plus one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
INTERMENT will be in Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham.
Myrtle Evelyn (Swan) Telstad, age 95, died peacefully at her home, Elmhurst Common Apartments in Braham, MN on Thursday, September 25, 2014.
Myrtle was born to Fred and Mary (Dahlin) Swan. Myrtle delighted in her 5 siblings. Their family had the ability to find and share the joys of everyday living; opening their home and their hearts to everyone they met. Myrtle always felt so blessed to be ‘A Swan’.
Leonard “Lenny” Telstad and Myrtle were married on January 1, 1942. They had 3 children, Kathy, John, and LeRoy. Lenny and Myrtle worked to create a happy home that would, as she later wrote, “honor our children, our families, and our friends with Love and Happy Times.”
Myrtle’s life was steeped in Faith. Myrtle received an emergency baptism on April 16, 1920 when she became dangerously ill with whooping cough. From that moment on, the Church remained an important part of Myrtle’s life. She was confirmed on May 20, 1934. Sunday School, Church, and her Church family brought Myrtle great joy.
Myrtle learned to value education when she was a young child. Her dad, Fred, believed in education to the point he bought and drove a horse drawn school bus to get their 6 children and the neighbor children to and from school each day. When Myrtle was 16 she was the Valedictorian of the Grasston High School Class of 1936. She attended Teacher’s Training in Mora in 1936-1937. Myrtle first taught 8 grades in a one room school at age 17. When teaching requirements changed, Myrtle went back to college, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Cloud Teachers College in 1972.
Myrtle taught at Webb School, Morse School, and Brunswick School until 1944 when she took off time to raise her children. Myrtle returned to teaching in 1958 at the Coin School. From 1962 to 1968 she taught at the Day School. When the Day School closed in 1968, Myrtle developed and taught the special education program for Braham High School, and lobbied until the Braham special education students were awarded a high school diploma rather than a certificate of completion. She was Braham’s Teacher of the Year in 1977 and again in 1979. Myrtle retired from Braham High School in 1982.
Very gifted musically, Myrtle started singing in Church at age 5. She became known throughout the area for her outstanding ability to sing in Swedish. Between 1945 and 2004 Myrtle sang at over one hundred funerals, numerous weddings, and celebrations. For many years Myrtle was the choir director and church organist at Hope Lutheran Church in Grasston.
Myrtle was so proud of her Swedish heritage. She eagerly learned to read, write, and sing Swedish. She taught Swedish to her homeroom students and everyone else who wanted to learn. Myrtle used her Swedish training to translate Swedish letters and documents into English for friends, family, and community members.
Myrtle was preceded in death by parents, Fred and Mary (Dahlin) Swan, husband, Leonard, daughter, Kathy Conover, sisters, Ellen, Esther, and Edna, brothers, John and Roy, nephews, Allen Swan and Ron Lundeen.
Myrtle is survived by sons, John and his wife Karen of Rush Lake, LeRoy and his wife Cindy of Winona, Son- in-law, Vincent Conover of Florida, four grandchildren, ten great grandchildren, and three great great grandchildren. She is also survived by nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
During her 95 years Myrtle only lived in 5 houses within 10 miles. Despite living in such a small area all her life Myrtle’s love, kindness, and faith touched lives all over the world.
Her son, LeRoy, said it best, “I think in the minds of all she met they would give her a standing ovation for such a loving life. I am sure the ovation continued in welcoming her to her new home.”