My name is Beverly Ann Haakenstad Spande. I was born December 27, 1930, to Clara Olson and Herbert Sylvester Haakenstad. I was one of eight children. We grew up on a farm in Fillmore County.
Growing up in the country was a great place. We could roam, walk in the woods, and had a lot of space to run and play. As I think back, I had a happy childhood. I attended a one room schoolhouse for seven years. I recall one year there were not enough children to open the school, so we were bussed to the public school in Mabel. When I was in the second grade, a family moved in near us with four children. They had a daughter, Marilyn, and she became my bosom friend in grade school, high school and beyond.
I married Curtis Spande. We had two sons, Michael and David. Curt was a military career soldier, which led us to live in many different places. Those places included Fort Deven, Fort Meade, Vint Hill, Fort Benning, and Kagnew Station in Africa. Curt did two tours, Vietnam and Korea. While Curt served, I attended Winona State University as a nontraditional student, graduating Magna Cum Laude. I also had a variety of employment during this time. I was a clerk at Webster and Neville schools in Austin as well as at Fort Benning. I was a receptionist at the Baltimore Public Library. I managed the Kagnew Library at Kagnew Station in Africa. I then worked for the Department of Economic Security as an unemployment compensation representative, from which I retired.
We decided to settle in Winona. I enjoyed helping my grandchildren with school events or just having them over to my house for fun. I enjoyed Saturday mornings peeling apples for my granddaughters’ Cross Cultural Ministry pie sale fundraiser. Then I turned around and bought the pies after making them.
When my grandchildren graduated from high school, I took them on a trip of their choice. Between my five grandchildren I travelled to Florida, New York, Boston, and New Orleans twice. New Orleans became one of my favorite cities to visit. I took a cruise up the Mississippi from New Orleans, which was a highlight for me and a very wonderful trip. I also travelled to Europe with my husband. We travelled to visit his brothers and their families in different parts of the United States. I travelled with my siblings to Europe, Scandinavia and the British Isles.
I belonged to many organizations. They included Central Lutheran Church, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Friends of the Refuge (where I served as president, vice president, and treasurer). Friends of the Refuge organized ice fishing on the Mississippi River for the youth and fishing for Project COMPASS annually, which I enjoyed being a part of. I was also the president for the local chapter of AAUW and the program chair for the state of Minnesota. I ushered at Saint Mary’s University Paige Theatre for the Beethoven Festival and at Winona State University for Shakespeare.
In 1986 I organized the first Haakenstad gathering and hosted it for many years. My great-nephew Michael took over in 2022. Over the years activities included cross country skiing, bowling, cards and a potluck. It started out at my home and as it grew over the years, we moved it to different locations including the East End Rec, Lake Lodge and Holzinger Lodge. Family came from around the country. It was fun to see how each family was growing. I loved entertaining my family and volunteering in the community. All in all, I lived a full life. There are always regrets, but that is part of the course. Take care of each other.
Beverly was preceded in death by husband Curtis, sons Michael and David, grandchildren Holly and Wilkes, parents Herbert and Clara, brother Richard, and sisters Helen, Edna and Lavonne.
She is survived by her grandchildren Annie, Angela, Heidi (John), Danielle (Jon) and Erika (Clayton); great-grandchildren Kinley, Braylon, Alexis, Layla, Carina, Grayson, Soren and Ashton; daughters-in-law Becky and Carol; sisters Elaine, Dolores and Shirley; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to your favorite local charity.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 1, 2023, at Central Lutheran Church, Winona. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. at the church. Lunch will be served following the service.
Interment will be at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, Minn., at a later date.
Services entrusted to Fawcett Junker Funeral Home & Crematory, Winona, Minn. Online condolences can be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com.