Paulette Irene (Elfstrom) Rustad, 79, peacefully went to the other side of the stars at her home in Lancaster, Minn., on Aug.15, 2023.
Paulette was born to Samuel and Minnie (Porter) Elfstrom on Oct. 14, 1943, in Chicago, Ill. She graduated from Lancaster High School in 1961. Paulette was united in marriage to Robert Rustad in Lancaster on Nov. 16, 1959. To this union her daughters, Cynthia and Jennifer, were born. The Rustads lived in Torrance, Calif., from 1962 to 1966 where Paulette was employed by Mattel. Her daughter and sister were so excited to be gifted with some of the first Barbies!
Paulette made her home in Lexington, Minn. She worked in the accounting department at Control Data from 1967-2002. Looking for more to do after retirement, Paulette went back to work as an accounting associate in the cash office at her favorite store, Walmart. What was going to be a short stint lasted from 2003-2015!
Paulette enjoyed her flower gardens, playing cards, and hanging clothes on the line. She also enjoyed going to the senior center and was an integral part of their annual jewelry sale. She looked forward to her yearly mystery trips she went on with her dear friend Marian Nelson. Before moving back to Lancaster, on her trips from the cities going up north, she enjoyed stopping in Mahnomen for lunch and to try her luck on the machines. She liked to say it was a good day if her winnings paid for her gas and lunch, but she joked that she usually just made a small donation.
Paulette moved back to Lancaster in January of 2023. She jumped right into the community by joining the American Legion Auxiliary and being elected Sergeant of Arms. She enjoyed going to Lenten soup and sandwich meals at Sion Lutheran Church, her Sunday sibling suppers, and reconnecting with her classmates through visits, coffee, and cards. As her sign says in her kitchen, “Right back where you started from is right where you belong.” Paulette always looked for the best in people and when she was asked how she wanted to be remembered, she wants people to remember her as “so sweet” and she truly was!
Paulette is survived by: her daughters, Cynthia (Scott) Smith and Jennifer Rustad; grandchildren, Mason (Eszter) Smith, Regan Smith, Landon Smith, Domonique Newman, and Taleah Brown; brothers, Jimmey (Kathy) Elfstrom, Roger (Brenda) Elfstrom; and her favorite sister, Debra Groves; several nieces and nephews, family and friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents Sam and Minnie, and brother-in-law, Jerry Groves.
Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, at 2 p.m. in Sion Lutheran Church, Lancaster. Visitation will be held at the church for one hour prior to the service.
Austin Funeral Chapel, Hallock, is in charge of arrangements. www.austinfuneralchapel.com.