Leona E. Carlson-Sivigny, of Cambridge, MN, formerly of Mora and Braham, passed away on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at GracePointe Crossings- The Commons. She was 90 years old,
FUNERAL SERVICE will be held on Monday, May 2nd at 12:00 noon at Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Mora.
VISITATION will be one hour prior to the service from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home.
INTERMENT will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Mora.
Our mother’s ability to survive tragic situations always amazed me. It all began before she and her identical twin sister, Lenora, were even 1 year old. Their mother, Amanda, died leaving those 2 babies and their 5 brothers in the care of their father. But he just left them all, telling the oldest son, who was only 10 years old, that he was going to run errands and to watch them all. He never returned. A neighbor found them and the community of Salem Covenant Church placed them. Mom was taken by Henry and Nanny Halverson, who raised her as their very own. They became her mom and dad and our grandma and grandpa. They were a wonderful christian family, who loved and adored her. Lenora was raised 1 mile away by Reuben and Mabel Halverson. Reuben was Henry and Nanny’s oldest son and they had no children. Her brother, Burle was raised by Mabel and Wallace Johnson, Henry and Nanny’s oldest daughter. All but the youngest brother, Harold, was raised in the surrounding area. He was moved a couple times before he settled in Mora. Mom met him for the first time when she was a teenager. Tragic that she had no memory of her mother, but so very fortunate to be raised in a loving christian family. So fortunate to grown up close to her Sister.
Mom told how they would walk and meet half way between their homes. They would sit in the ditch talking and laughing. They sang duets in church. When dating they would switch dates and the dates never knew Their first babies were born 4 days apart in the same hospital. They played their switching game there too. Tragedy came when Lenora died at the age of 27, on Dec. 24th. I remember that Mom was overwhelmed with grief. A part of her had died. I was afraid she would die from her broken heart. God and her faith helped her heal, but Christmas was never the same for our family. Mom missed Lenora every day of her life.
Tragedy struck again when our brother, Vern, died Dec. 26 1966. He was only 20 and Mom was 40 years old. He died after a “friendly fire” explosion during the VietNam war. Her overwhelming grief returned. In time God brought her peace. We all shared missing him every day.
Mom’s love for her family was a constant. You never outgrow hearing “I love you”. We loved her hugs and kisses. She blessed us with her great cooking and baking. Sunday dinner after church was mouth-watering. Baking included home-made bread, cinnamon rolls, cake, cookies, pies and the best donuts ever. We ate them hot out of the fryer. And of course, there was rice pudding. She loved flowers, her gardening, and yard work. She loved summer and the sunshine.
Music was always a big part of her life. Besides singing duets with her sister, she sang duets with our Dad. She sang in the church choir. She knew all the words to every verse of every hymn. When I took her to my house for weekends, I would play music from the 40’s and 50’s on the car radio. Her toes would be tapping and she would sing along.
Our Dad had a motorcycle when they got married and then again later in their marriage. She loved traveling on that bike with him.
Mom moved to Mpls. when she was a teenager. She worked as a waitress at the Forum in downtown Mpls. When we moved from Bloomington to Mora, she worked check-out at Malmgren’s Grocery. She worked at Fingerhut and as a waitress at Sportsman’s Cafe. Her last jobs were cooking at Freddie’s in Mora and then a restaurant in Pine City. She was known for her chicken and potato salads and her great pies. She retired at age 72.
Mothers are special people to be cherished. Even as her memory faded, her smile continued. We will miss her but it is a comfort knowing that God has made her healthy and happy in heaven with all the family and friends who left before her.
Leona is preceded in death by her son Vernell Carlson; husbands, Dwight Carlson, Finis Isaacs, and Donald Sivigny; mother and father, Virgil and Amanda (Larson) Fuller; brothers, Murle, Burle, Clifford, Kenneth, and Harold Fuller; identical twin sister Lenora Edberg; foster parents, Henry and Nanny Halverson; foster brothers, Reuben, Paul, Leonard, and Wallace Halverson; foster sisters, Mabel Johnson, Florence Halverson, and Ella Loven.
She is survived by her children, Glory (Ricky) Shackett, Donna (Richard) Wicks, Ronald (Debbie) Carlson, Darlene (David) Broughton, and Duane (Eileen) Carlson; grandchildren, Phillip (Emily) Carlson, Katie (Chris) Uttke, Kelsie Carlson, Jessica Raymond, Andrew (Erin) Shackett, Susan Shackett, Kristin (Kevin) Gedmin, Justinian (Katrina) Broughton, and Deanna (Nate) George; 17 great grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.