Luetta Margaret (Ellefson) Hostager passed away suddenly from a hemorrhaging stroke on June 11, 2013. She was enjoying time with close friends when the stroke occurred, and when she passed away, all of her immediate family was by her side. Luetta believed, "life is a gift, each of us is unique and my life has been enriched by faith, family, and friends." Her joy was evident in her radiant smile.
Luetta was born on August 16, 1935 in Phillip, SD. The third child of a Lutheran pastor, ELMER ELLEFSON ’27, she was used to moving as an adventure, and she always looked forward to meeting new people. She spent much of her early childhood in Lily and Brandt, S.D., and she moved to Minneapolis before junior high. She attended Minnehaha Christian Academy, earning half her tuition from various jobs, and developing a strong work ethic. Her parents moved again to Decorah, Iowa, and Luetta attended Luther College and earned a degree in Social Service in three years. She met Harris Hostager ’56 on the second day of class. They married one year after college. She did not pursue graduate school for social work as originally planned, because she felt called to be a supportive partner in Harris's ministry.
During their 56-year marriage, as a pastor’s wife, she was a gift to every parish they served. They served in Miller, Akron, Belmond, Audubon, Gowrie, all in Iowa. They lived in La Crosse, Wis., while Harris served as Assistant to the Bishop in the La Crosse Area Synod. She also participated in the life congregations in which Harris served as interim pastor in retirement. She loved her church, her Bible, bible studies, worship. She kept a very long prayer list. Many of you who are reading this are on it.
They raised four sons, Steve, Mark HOSTAGER ‘84, Jonathan HOSTAGER ‘86, and Daniel. When the children were old enough to wash their own clothes, she acquired an associate degree in nursing and training as an EMT. She worked part-time as a nurse in nursing homes until the children finished college. This equipped her as a more recent caregiver for her appreciative husband. She saved him from many a fashion faux pas.
Luetta loved cooking traditional Norwegian dishes, serving others, reading, socializing with friends, bridge, and travel. She gladly helped take care of others in the community who needed help with doctor visits, a meal when ill, or simple acts of kindness. While so giving and selfless in nature, she still knew how to have lots of fun and was an eternal optimist. She loved getting together with friends for coffee and socials, shopping, and cooking. Her love of family and friends, although generous, did not extend to cats… Or to mice --which meant a heavy investment in traps. God must have meant this marriage to have been very happy, as this was a mouse-less marriage.
Luetta was a loving grandma and travelled many hours just to babysit for one or two nights! She attended many of her grand children's recitals, plays and music or sporting events. She is survived by her husband, Harris, her children, Steve and wife Julie, Mark and wife Brenda, Jonathan, Daniel and wife Maria, and grandchildren Noah, Quinn, Jack, Max, Heather, Quincy, Scott and Shaelyn.
Her giving spirit continued even at the end of her life providing gifts of organs to give life to others. She had planned on leaving for a trip for Norway. Instead, she made a journey to a destination far better. She had always been prepared for this journey. Thanks be to God!
For memorials, Luetta always preferred works of compassion, such ELCA World Hunger, disaster relief, or Hope's Seminary Fund.
Funeral Services for Luetta were held June 17, 2013 at Hope Lutheran Church in Walker, Minn. Officiates were Pastor Bob Alley, Pastor April ULRING Larson ‘72 and Pastor Keith Piller. Musicians were Mike Kerrigan, Rick James, Jack Hostager, Jill Anderson and Hope Lutheran Chancel Choir. Pallbearers for Luetta were Steve, Mark, Jon, Dan, Quinn and Max Hostager. Honorary pallbearer was Luetta’s brother, Dave Ellefson ‘56. Interment was June 18, 2013 in the Holden Lutheran Church Cemetery at Kenyon, Minnesota.
Luetta’s Care is entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN.
218-547-3323. Online condolences for the family may be given at www.northernpeace.com