Wanda Quam Rygh
Wanda (Quam) Rygh, 93, rural Rake, passed away Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at Timely Mission Nursing Home, Buffalo Center. Funeral services were held Saturday, Feb. 3, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Thompson, with Pastor Katie Pals officiating. Burial was held in Trinity Church Cemetery, rural Thompson. Mittelstadt Funeral Home, Lake Mills, was in charge of arrangements.
Wanda Violet Quam was born Aug. 26, 1924, at Rake, the eldest daughter of Oscar E. “Butch” and Lillian (Knudtson) Quam. Wanda was baptized and later confirmed in her faith at Zion Lutheran Church, Rake.
Always ambitious, Wanda worked summer vacations and holidays at her cousin Melvin Kallestad’s restaurant in Rake and at her aunt Jeanette Oswald’s restaurant in Anoka, Minn.
In 1941, while still 16 years old, she graduated as valedictorian of her Rake High School class and entered Waldorf College, Forest City. The following year, she taught country school grades 1–8, riding her bicycle from Rake to the school, a few miles south of town.
On June 16, 1944, she married Lloyd Rygh at First Lutheran Church parsonage, Albert Lea, Minn., then proceeded to the Terp Ballroom, Austin, Minn., where Lloyd’s cousin, Fritz Rygh, and his Scandinavian Orchestra were performing.
They began married life in Pasco, Wash., where Lloyd was receiving advanced flight training with the U.S. Navy. Following his deployment as a carrier pilot in the south Pacific, Wanda returned to Rake, working at the State Savings Bank.
After the war, Wanda and Lloyd moved to naval bases in Maine and Virginia, before returning to Rake to farm. While farm life was not the life she expected, she embraced it; learning to drive tractors, pick corn, cultivate and bale hay, while raising five children and participating in church, school and family activities.
In 1998, Lloyd was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig disease). Wanda was his primary caregiver until his death in 2002. Since then, she made her home at her farm home, surrounded by her family, flower gardens and cats.
She is survived by daughters: Linda (husband, John) Reuter and Suzanne (husband, Frank) Wedel; sons: Ronald Rygh, Thomas Rygh and Lance Rygh; seven grandchildren: Daniel (wife, Nicole) Cagley, Amy (husband, Brian) Bucknell, Vicki (husband, Scott) Trueg, Adam (wife, Tonya) Lamos, Zach (wife, Rene) Wedel, Charles Wedel, and Eli Wdel; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Wanda was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lloyd; sisters: Opal Tieg and Virginia Reimers; brothers: Gerald Quam and Lyle Quam; and granddaughter, Emily Wedel.