HJ-ED-DHJ Obituaries


Marian K. Ahlstrom

Marian K. Ahlstrom, a native of Cokato, died Saturday, June 2, 2007, at the Mount Olivet Lutheran Home in Minneapolis.

A memorial service to celebrate Marian’s life is set for Friday, June 22 at 1 p.m. at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Avenue South, Minneapolis. Interment of ashes will be at a later date at the Cokato Evangelical Lutheran Church cemetery in Cokato.

Marian was born June 10, 1913 in her home in Cokato at 7:50 a.m., “just as the morning train came rumbling through,” her mother often told her. She was the seventh of 10 children born to Esther Bergstrom Johnson and N. F. Johnson, owner of the Johnson Produce Company.

Marian had an almost idyllic childhood in Cokato. She and her parents and her nine siblings were active in the Cokato Baptist Church, and all 10 children attended Cokato High School.

Her deft skills with needle and thread and her fascination with antiques were nurtured at a young age. She was a key member of the high school girls’ basketball team and graduated with honors in the Class of 1931.

After attending Carlton College, the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Minnesota, she graduated with a degree in home economics in 1936. Marian taught for five years in the public schools of Lancaster and Pine City in northern Minnesota.

She was wed to another Cokato native, J. Millard Ahlstrom, June 20, 1940 at the Cokato Baptist Church.

The couple’s three sons, Mark, John, and Thomas, were born at the Cokato Hospital.

Marian spent most of her adult life handling the considerable duties of the wife of a parish pastor. They served congregations in New Boston, Ill., Battle Lake, Minn., St. Peter, Minn., and Grasston, Minn. She returned to teaching home economics with a brief stint at St. Peter High School.

In December of 1968, when Pastor Ahlstrom was enlisted to serve on the State Crime Commission under Gov. Harold LeVander, the family moved to a home on Clinton Avenue in Minneapolis. Marian spent the remainder of her life there, almost 40 years.

She was an accomplished gardener, an expert in all matters relating to nutrition, and was a volunteer for the American Cancer Society for nearly half a century.

Marian was preceded in death by her husband, J. Millard Ahlstrom; and a son, Mark.

She is survived by two sons, Thomas Ahlstrom of Minneapolis, and John (Chris) Ahlstrom of St. Paul; daughter-in-law, Judy Ahlstrom of St. Peter; five grandchildren, Jacqueline, Hilary, Aaron, Katie, and Luke; and a sister, Vernette Gaustad, of Sun Lakes, Ariz.

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