Wava Valder, 95, Fergus Falls, Minn., formerly of Joice, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at PioneerCare, Fergus Falls. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 22, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, with visitation one hour prior to services at the church. A second funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church, Joice. Interment will be held in Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church Cemetery, Joice. Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls, is in charge of arrangements.
Wava Lorene Ramsey Valder was born June 19, 1922, on her family farm in rural Joice. She was the second child born to Theodore and Wilma Ramsey. Her siblings were Beryl, Lynn and Dean. Wava was baptized at Beaver Creek Lutheran Church and confirmed at Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church, both located in rural Joice.
She had a fun time growing up on her parents’ homestead farm. This was also when she began to develop the beautiful gift of music that God gave her. She loved playing the piano in her home, and soon was asked to sing as well as play the piano and organ in her church, and continued to do so all her life.
Her early education was at Larson country school, followed by ninth grade at Augustana Academy in Sioux Falls, S.D., 10th-12th grades at Lutheran Brethren Schools (LBS), Fergus Falls, Minn., and one year of college at Augsburg, Minneapolis, Minn.
While at LBS, she had numerous opportunities to use her amazing musical gifts, and used them humbly, always wanting to give God the glory. Her ability to play any song she heard in any key, by ear, made her a highly desired accompanist.
Another highlight of those years was meeting Palmer Valder, a dashing young man from Ferndale, Wash., whom she discovered had the fascinating history of being born in China, as a child of missionaries. They dated throughout high school, graduated together in 1939, and a few years later, on Valentine’s Day, 1942, they were happily married in Lake Mills.
Part of their honeymoon included driving back to Fergus Falls to spend a night in a dorm room at their alma mater (LBS), where friends helped them celebrate with all kinds of fun and pranks.
God blessed them with three daughters: Sharon, Joanne and Marilyn, and eventually five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
For much of their married life, they lived in Minneapolis, where Palmer was in sales and Wava worked at General Mills. After retiring from there she loved working for a number of years at Billy Graham Association.
All her life Wava was known for her walk with the Lord, most frequently expressed through her music (both singing and playing), but also in her caring relationships with family and friends. Many people have expressed over the years how Wava deeply touched their lives. Both Wava and Palmer’s magnanimous spirits enabled them to enjoy worship with anyone who loved the Lord, whatever their church tradition.
When they reached their 90’s, Wava and Palmer lived at Pioneer Care, Fergus Falls, Minn., and enjoyed connecting with a number of “old” friends from their LBS days. Midway through her 95th year, the Lord ushered Wava in to her eagerly anticipated heavenly home.
She is survived by her daughters: Sharon Fuhrman Dahl, Joanne (John) Austin, and Marilyn (Gary) Erdahl; her five grandchildren: Greg (Amy) Fuhrman, Tim (Mary) Austin, Kara (Donnie) Williams, Steve (Shawna) Erdahl and Allen (Inga) Erdahl; and 15 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Palmer; her sister, Beryl Sand; and brothers: Lynn and Dean Ramsey; as well as her sons-in law: Dennis Fuhrman and Frank Dahl.