Juletta Mae (Ramlo) Trygstad, 92, of Mabel, Minn., died Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel.
Juletta Mae Trygstad lived her entire life in Mabel, a town that influenced her and, over 42 years as an elementary school teacher, Sunday schoolteacher, and Library Club member, a place that she influenced.
It's not that she did not find time to travel -- she was three times in Norway with her husband, Neil and the Luren Singers; there were a handful of bus trips across the United States with Zimmer Tours and Mabel friends; there was a trip to Germany, to visit her son, Craig and his wife, Lynne in their home in Berlin; and there were three trips to Ireland, with her niece, Mary (HOUSKER) Klimesh ‘76, where she stayed with Craig and his wife, Lynne in their home in Leighlinbridge. Along the way, predictably, she made friends who remember her still.
Born in Mabel on Nov. 28, 1920, to parents, Clara (Bersie) Ramlo and Carl Ramlo, Juletta Mae Ramlo was the ninth child in a family of 10 children (three of the children died in infancy). Her dad worked for Ted Johnson Road Construction and, as such, was often out of town for a week or more at a time, Juletta remembered. That meant "mom was the main head of the household of seven active kids. She was a mighty busy mom, a very good seamstress so most of the six girls clothes were homemade or hand-me-downs from the older to the younger."
Carl Ramlo was just 43 when he became ill with pneumonia and passed away "leaving mom with the big job of raising the family," Juletta said. The youngest child, Jeanan, was just five years old. The eldest child, Beulah, who was 16 years of age at the time, quit school to help support the family. She went to work full time at Jim Amdahl's Jack Sprat store in Mabel.
The family lived on the Percy Lind farm, located on the east end of Mabel, for several years after her dad died. It proved to be a home that created serious health anxieties for the family when Juletta, her brother Harlan, and her sister Virginia all contracted typhoid fever. Harlan, in particular, became "very, very sick and a special nurse, Maise Holmson, was hired to come to the farm to take care of him, Virginia, and me for two weeks," Juletta said. "They blamed the drinking water."
All of her sisters and brother Harlan attended school in Mabel. Getting to school each day when she was in elementary school, Juletta remembered, was via a horse-driven school bus (Jim Miner was the driver). It was "quite a thrill" when, after three years, Miner purchased Mabel's first motorized school bus. Juletta graduated from Mabel High School in 1939 in the same class with Neil Trygstad, who would become her husband.
Just after graduation she and her sister, Loyes (Ramlo) Housker ‘41, borrowed money from Arne Hougland (who she calls "an old Norwegian carpenter living in Mabel") and headed for Luther to take two years of elementary education training. With that two-year degree, she taught for one year at Hesper Rural School District#1 and for one year at Hesper Independent School for one year. She made $100 per month.
In 1944, she married Neil at Mabel First Lutheran Church. Rev. Ivar Havneros officiated. (Mom remembers that Rev. Havneros often told Neil, who loved to sing, that he would have liked it if Neil had sung at his wedding. As it turned out, Neil was a soloist at Pastor Ivar's funeral. Singing was a big part of Juletta and Neil's life. Both were members of the Mabel First Lutheran Church choir; Neil was a member the Luren Singers since he joined in 1970. With Luren, both traveled to Norway on three concert tours and across the United States for a number of Sangerfests. Neil was a soloist and Juletta organized the flowers at the wedding of their son, Craig to Lynne Coleman in 1994.)
Juletta joined the faculty of Mabel Public Schools in 1946 as an elementary school teacher. She taught "mostly grade two" until 1988 when she retired (by then, consolidated as Mabel-Canton Public Schools, she drove to Canton each morning where elementary classes took place). In a touching decision, the Mabel-Canton School Board "retired" her room No. 102 in 1988. Along with family photos, room No.102, displayed as a plaque, hung on the walls of her home on the farm one mile north of Mabel, later in her apartment at the Meadows assisted living center, and, finally, in her room at Green Lea Manor, where she died on April 16, 2013.
Juletta was a member of the Mabel First Lutheran Church where she also taught Sunday school, the Mabel Library Club, Lutheran Brotherhood Branch 8536 for some 20 years, and Fillmore County ADK for 17 years. She enjoyed making cards and candy, collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House, delivering Meals on Wheels, and making candy.
Juletta is survived by a son, Craig (Lynne Colman) Trygstad of Lewiston, Idaho; a sister, Clara Jeanan Anderson of Mankato; special niece, Mary (HOUSKER) Klimesh ‘76; and several other nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Neil; a brother, Harlan; and four sisters, Loyes (Ramlo) Housker ‘41,Virginia, Beulah, and Ruby.
Funeral services were held April 22, at the Mabel First Lutheran Church in Mabel, with the Rev. Gail Klavetter officiating. Burial was in the Mabel Lutheran Cemetery.
Mengis Funeral Home, 301 N. Maple St. Mabel, MN 55954.507-493-5129. mengisfuneralhome.com.