Lorraine Maxine Bergland Wangsness

September 16, 1925 – August 18, 2022

Lorraine Wangsness, 96, Calmar, passed away Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at Barthell Eastern Star, Decorah. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, Aug. 26, at Calmar Lutheran Church with Rev. Daryl Thompson officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 25, at Calmar Lutheran Church and also after 10 a.m. at the church Friday morning. The Helms Funeral Home is handling arrangements.  
Lorraine Maxine Bergland was born to Elmer and Ada (Thompson) Bergland, Sept. 16, 1925, in Winnebago County. Lorraine was baptized and confirmed at North Prairie Lutheran Church, rural Scarville. She attended a Winnebago County rural school through eighth grade and graduated from Lake Mills High School in 1943.
Lorraine then taught at a rural country school; a schoolhouse that has since been moved into Lake Mills as a museum. She attended Iowa State Teachers College in the summer of 1945, then enrolled at Luther College, Decorah, where she graduated in 1949 with degrees in teaching and physical education.
While at Luther College, she met a guy in the dining hall named Lloyd Anderson. They were married July 17, 1949, at North Prairie Lutheran Church and Lorraine taught school in Waukon, while Lloyd finished his last year at Luther College. The couple then moved to St. Paul, Minn., while Lloyd attended Luther Theological Seminary. During this time their first child, Luther, was born.
After Rev L.C. Anderson’s ordination, the family moved to west central Minnesota near Starbuck, where he served a rural two-point parish and Lorraine settled in as a mother and church basement lady. Three more children were added in the next few years: LeRoy, LaVerne, and Lisa.
In 1960, the family moved to Calmar, as they had accepted a call for Rev Anderson to be the pastor at another two-point parish . . . Calmar—Springfield Lutheran. Shortly thereafter another boy joined the family, Lowell.
The tide turned for Lorraine as her husband suffered from cancer and died in December of 1962, leaving her with five children ages nine and under. Community support was great, and Lorraine went back to teaching in 1963, this time in the local “newly formed” South Winneshiek School District.
After a couple years, Lorraine and a local farmer, Ervin Wangsness, got together, and they were married June 12, 1965, at Calmar Lutheran. Ervin kept farming but moved to town with his new family. They added another girl to the family, LuAnn. Lorraine kept teaching, mostly kindergarten in Ossian, until retiring in 1989.
Along with Lorraine’s passion for getting children started with a good education, she had a strong faith and worship life. She was very active with her church in many ways: teaching, singing with choir, WELCA, a “kitchen lady,” and custodial duties, “along with Ervin’s help.” They both did the lawn work in the cemetery, her bouncing along on the rider and Ervin doing the trimming.  
Lorraine was active in the community as well. When “Area One Vo-Tech” came to Calmar, she and Ervin transitioned properties in town to rental housing for students. She was also involved in getting a swimming pool in Calmar and the renovation of the historic Calmar Train Depot.
Later in her life, Lorraine decided that dancing was not such a bad thing. She and Ervin took ballroom dancing classes and spent happy times dancing to the “Big Band” sounds with friends at local ballrooms.
Many of their retirement winter years were spent in Mission Texas with Lorraine’s sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and Marion Ingebritson.  While there, they did a large amount of service work in the poorer areas around Mission.
When trips to Texas were no longer realistic, Lorraine stayed busy around Calmar with “Doing Days” at Calmar Lutheran. She enjoyed the quilting projects and the social aspects of working for a cause.
Lorraine was a member of many organizations, including, National Education Assn, American Legion Auxiliary, Calmar Commercial Club, Sons of Norway, Retired School Personnel, and Calmar Lutheran WELCA.
Lorraine, along with Lloyd and Ervin, were great providers for their children. While not over indulged, the children all had what they “needed,” and also, some of what they “wanted.” She let them live their lives, make their own mistakes, and hopefully learn from them. She also was proud when they did well.
Over the years Lorraine enjoyed many types of crafts, board games, puzzles, baking and making lefse. She passed the lefse making craft on to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Lorraine is survived by her children: Luther (Karen) Anderson, Calmar; LeRoy (Susan) Anderson, Corning, Calif.; daughter-in-law, Julie Anderson, Ossian; Lisa Anderson, Dubuque; Lowell (Laurel) Anderson, Escondido, Calif.; LuAnn Wangsness (Don Billen) Seattle, Wash.; brother, Gary Bergland, The Villages Fla.; grandchildren: Michele (Shannon) Duwe, Lucas Dehning, Kevin Anderson, Alyssa (fiancé, Brent Troyer) Anderson, Erin Anderson, Allen Anderson, Lara (Jeremy Knepper) Dohner, Johnny Dohner, Isaac (Christina) Engholm, Hannah (Chris Stiedemann) Engholm, Hannah Billen, Adam Billen; great-grandchildren: Marlee, Briggs, and Bryar Duwe, Alice and Elijah Engholm, Levi and Owen Stiedemann; brother-in-law, Louis “Bud” Herlitzke; and many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and nephews.
Lorraine was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Ada Bergland; son, LaVerne Anderson; husbands, Rev. Lloyd Anderson and Ervin Wangsness; sisters, Elaine Ingebritson and JoAnn Nelson; brothers-in-law, Marion Ingebritson and Robert Nelson; sisters-in-law, Mary Jo Bergland, and Evelyn Herlitzke; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Marvin (Marlys) Anderson, Beatrice (Joseph) Estrem, Theodore (Olga) Wangsness, Elva (Wallace) Roney, Viola (Arthur) Blegen, Clifford (Mabel) Wangsness; and niece, Jinger Nelson.

Lake Mills Graphic

204 N. Mill Street
Lake Mills, IA 50450

Office Number: (641) 592-4222
Fax Number: (641) 592-6397

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