Maj-Stina Lunstrum, 1948-2014

Published 11:31am Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Maj-Stina “Maja” Neel Lunstrum died March 21, 2014, in Aurora, Colo., from complications of pneumonia after many years of declining health. Family and friends were at her bedside.

Maj-Stina Lunstrum
Maj-Stina Lunstrum

She was born at Naeve Hospital in Albert Lea Jan. 8, 1948. She graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1966. Throughout her childhood and high school years, she was a piano pupil of the well-known and iconic piano teacher Sadie Bliss Cox of Albert Lea. In 1967, she married Steven Lunstrum. He worked in his family’s plate glass business in Albert Lea and she taught piano lessons. Several of her pupils received regional piano awards for their performances.

She continued her own piano studies throughout college. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1982. She is among several family members who are graduates of Cornell University. Subsequently she earned a master’s degree in education from Elmira College in Elmira, N.Y.

Lunstrum lived in a large medical family. Her mother, May Bjornsson Neel, was a nutritionist and an honoree of the American Dietetic Association for her promotion of good nutrition long before it became an issue of public interest. Her father, Harry B. Neel, M.D., was a legendary surgeon and citizen of Albert Lea. He was a recipient of the Key to the City on his 100th birthday and was a co-founder of the Albert Lea Medical and Surgical Center, now a part of  of the Mayo Clinic Health System. Her brother, H. Bryan Neel, M.D., Ph.D., is an internationally recognized surgeon, scientist and educator. He is emeritus professor and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology, ENT at the Mayo Clinic Rochester and is emeritus regent of the University of Minnesota. Her sister-in-law, Ingrid Neel, M.D., practiced pediatrics and allergy and immunology at the Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester and is an emeritus assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Mayo College of Medicine. In keeping with family tradition, Lunstrum’s older daughter, Maj-Stina “Maja” Rudolph, M.D., is a geriatric psychiatrist and practices in Aurora, Colo.

Lunstrum’s special interests included music, especially the piano, teaching, painting in watercolors and oils and collecting Christmas decorations, in particular those from Sweden. She decorated extensively for Christmas, a highlight each year for her and her family. She cherished her family and friends, was known for her good sense of humor and keen intellect and had many fond memories of growing up in Albert Lea.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Steven, and son-in-law, Christopher Rudolph. Survivors include her daughters Maj-Stina Rudolph and Britta Lunstrum; three grandchildren, Sydney, Jordan and Christopher Rudolph; brother, H. Bryan Neel and sister-in-law, Ingrid Neel; and three nephews and their seven children.

Interment of the ashes will be in Woodlawn Cemetery in Wellsville, N.Y.

Memorials may be sent to the Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colo., a place for meditation and contemplation in the Rocky Mountains.

Mother Cabrini Shrine c/o JoAnn Seaman: 20189 Cabrini Blvd. Golden, CO 80401.