Catherine Martha (Layhon) Klegstad, 93, was born on Sept. 30, 1927, and passed away on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.
She was the third of 12 children born to Alex and Lena (Krishka) Layhon of Pembina, N.D. She attended Pembina school where she learned the English language as a kindergartener and graduated valedictorian of her eighth grade class. At that time, she started working to help out with family needs.
In the spring of 1947 she met Ernie and about a year later, without hesitation, she accepted his proposal. On Oct. 18, 1948, Catherine married Levern (Ernie) Klegstad. They lived in Hallock their entire married life and recently celebrated their 72nd anniversary. Together they raised eight children who blessed them with 21 grandchildren and 17 (18 in January) great-grandchildren. Throughout their years together they have been active members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. In 2013 they received the Bishop’s award for a lifetime of selfless giving to benefit others.
Catherine’s greatest joy was her time spent with family. Sunday drives to visit relatives were cherished. She also enjoyed many years of curling with Ernie, took a few trips including a motorhome adventure with a sister to the West Coast and a few days in Las Vegas.
Catherine worked as a nurse’s aide before their first child was born, then worked 18 years at home raising the children. She returned to being a nurse’s aide in 1968, then held a job at the Farmer’s Store before returning to the nursing home as an aide giving loving care to the residents until she retired in 1988.
Loving care-that was the definition of Catherine. She knew how to listen and everybody who talked with her knew that she cared and that they were special to her. Famous for her “cookie corner,” a visit would always include sitting at the kitchen table with a plateful of homemade cookies and a cup of something to drink. Over the years she gifted a tea cup from her collection to each of her children and grandchildren as a way to remember that delicious cup of hot chocolate or tea they shared. From reading books as a child to playing Aggravation as a teen to a game of 500 as an adult, it was always more fun if mom/grandma was involved. And could she write letters! Everyone who received one from her knew they were in for a good read and a smile. She also shared her handiwork talents of embroidery, cross-stitching, knitting and crocheting with family, friends and the church bazaar. She enjoyed sharing produce from her enormous garden, cooking her traditional Ukrainian foods and embracing Ernie’s Norwegian heritage by learning to prepare his childhood favorites, even lutefisk.
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Catherine was all of these. How blessed we are that God chose her to help create this family.
Catherine is survived by: her loving husband, Ernie; and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: MERIETTA (Denny) Johnson: Ben, Jeff, and Maraya (Matt) Sharp; MICHEAL: Heather (Karl) Johnson: Alex and Anthony; Heidi (Todd) Carlson: Grant and Maddie; Hayley Klegstad: Cooper, and Tucker; Keri (Bryan Ulmer); Tommy; Billy. THOMAS (Sharlene): Erin (Nick) Weiler; Ami (Cory) Kochendorfer and Finley. YVONNE (Tom) Lykken: Rachel (Rusty) Bohn. CATHERINE Peterson: Mikey. ROBERT (Kim): Katy (Andrew) Johnson: Jaden, Ryan, and Faith; Sean (Lisa): Xavier and Layla; Meghan (Ryan) McGarry: Mason and Mia. DEBORA (Kirk) Meseck: Nick (Tori): Brodie, Murphie and Landrie; Tony (Kendyl): Violet and baby in January. KEITH (Joelle): Leah (Matthew) Green; Dalton (Brianna Schumacher); Sophie. Sisters: Doris (Ray) Heiser, Annie (Frank) Bergh, Helen (Tom) Weleske and Margaret Mattson. And many many loving nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Mike, John, and Alex Layhon; sisters Mary Bordeniuk, Sophie Zaharia, Rose Younggren and Barbara Hagen; brothers-in-law John Bordeniuk, Mike Zaharia and Gordon Klegstad; sisters-in-law Margaret, Vera and Belle Layhon, Marlene Klegstad and Gloria Hackbarth; stillborn daughter Doris, grandson Tyler (Keith and Joelle) Klegstad, and sons-in-law Greg Maloney and Bob Peterson.
Funeral services will be held next spring or summer.
Austin Funeral Chapel, Hallock, is in charge of the arrangements. www.austinfuneralchapel.com