Frances Elaine Vandenberg, age 90, of Baldwin, WI, died early the morning of September 10, 2013, at her home, in the Birchwood Apartments. Frances was born on September 2, 1923, to Amos and Della (Pundy) McConnell in Rush River Township, Wisconsin. She grew up on the family farm south of Baldwin, attended Palmer Grade School, and graduated from Baldwin High School. Frances was lifetime member of the Peace Lutheran Church in Baldwin, where she was baptized and confirmed. She was also an associate member of the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Dade City, Florida. On December 26, 1942, Frances was united in marriage to Orval Vandenberg in St. Paul, Minnesota. While Orval was stationed in Texas with his army unit, Frances supported the war effort by working in various defense plants. When Orval’s unit was deployed for World War II, Frances returned to Baldwin, WI to live with her parents. It was there that she gave birth to their first son, Jim. After returning from Europe, Orval returned to Frances in Baldwin where they farmed together for 30 years. The family was blessed with two more children, Gerry and Jill. Frances and Orval retired to a home in Woodville and began to winter in Florida. They did this for sixteen years until Orval’s passing in 1997. Frances moved back to Baldwin where she remained close to family and friends.
Frances was very devoted to her family and home. She enjoyed sewing, crocheting, quilting, feeding the birds, and reading. Her children recall many Saturday nights listening to her read from the family Bible. She was a wonderful Norwegian cook, known for her lefse, rommegrot, and even oyster stew. She canned and froze her own vegetables and taught her children the value of a dollar. She was an active 4-H leader, served with Peace Lutheran Church as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher, member of the ladies aid (holding many offices), and member of the Woodville American Legion and Hudson VFW Ladies Auxiliaries.
Frances is survived by her: two sons, James (Terry) of Brownsville, TX and Gerald (Nancy) of Snohomish, WA, daughter, Jill (Bruce Anderson) Falde of Plum City, grandchildren, Lisa (Donald) Traun of Durand, WI, Jennifer Vandenberg, and Jay Vandenberg of Snohomish, WA, step-grandchildren, Jennifer Anderson of Fergus Falls, MN and Dylan Lien of Cottage Grove, MN, great-grandchildren, Nathan Traun and Aubrey Vandenberg, brother-in-law, Vernon Vandenberg of Baldwin, WI, special great-great niece, Kasey Been, and numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Frances is preceded in death by: her husband of 54 years, Orval, parents, granddaughter, Amy Joy Falde, siblings, Harlan (Lorraine) McConnell, Ethel (Clair) Austrum, and Berniece (Namond) Jacobson, and son-in-law, Dennis Falde.
Funeral services for Frances will be held at 6:00 pm on Saturday, September 14, 2013, at Peace Lutheran Church of Baldwin. Burial will follow at the church cemetery. A visitation will be held from 5:00 pm until time of service. Memorials may be given in Frances’ memory to the Peace Lutheran Church or a charity of the donor’s choosing. Services are in the care of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home – Baldwin chapel. 715.684.3434
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