Kerstin Reinholdsson Danielson died early morning, June 23, on Swedish Midsummer’s Eve.
Born in 1940 in Karlstad, Sweden, she graduated from Karlstad Gymnasium and then Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas.
She wed Larry Danielson in 1962, and over the course of a nearly 58 year marriage, they welcomed into their family two daughters, a son-in-law, and three grandchildren. Kerstin was an affectionate, good-natured wife, mother, and grandmother who always thought of others’ well-being first, and put those thoughts into action.
Kerstin earned her Masters degree in Special Education from Indiana University and was a classroom teacher in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and then Bowling Green, Kentucky. She was a devoted and gifted teacher who worked tirelessly to support the elementary and high school students who were often challenged by the traditional classroom. Her sense of humor, imaginative teaching methods, and genuine concern for pupils’ well-being benefited hundreds of young people over the years.
In 2001 she and Larry retired and re-located to Appleton, Wisconsin. Not one to be defined solely by occupation, Kerstin also was a devoted volunteer. She knit countless baby caps, sweaters, and shawls for those in need. She also enjoyed the company of the First English Lutheran quilting group as they worked together to complete numerous quilts for local shelters. Kerstin could always be counted on to provide home-baked goods and delicious food for social gatherings. Her Christmas smorgasbord was legendary. She enjoyed concerts, opera, and recitals, read widely, was passionate about social justice, and created a welcoming home for friends, family, and the occasional stranger. She deeply appreciated the beauty of the natural world and loved to travel.
Kerstin lived her life according to a central value in Swedish culture, “lagom,” or “just right, not too much, not too little,” and it served her, her family, and her friends wonderfully. Kerstin will be profoundly missed by those who knew and loved her, but they will be sustained by all the rich and varied memories she created with them over the years.
Kerstin was pre-deceased by an infant daughter, Marit Frida, and is survived by her husband Larry, daughters Sigrid and Gudrun (Chris), grandchildren Jason, Josephine, and William, sister Lena (Stig), brothers Åke (Agneta), and Stig (Marianne), sister-in-law Charlotte, as well as nieces and nephews in the U.S. and in Sweden.
In lieu of flowers, memorials should be sent to The Messiah Festival of the Arts care of Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kansas, or The American Immigration Council. A burial service will take place at a future date in Lindsborg. In Appleton, a commemoration of Kerstin’s life is being planned.
Her family is grateful to the excellent staff at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center, Appleton, and the ThedaCare at Home program for their invaluable assistance and thoughtfulness throughout the past two years.
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