Ida Mildenstein, 83, Albert Lea

Published 6:32 am Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ida Lorraine Mildenstein, 83, of St. Johns Lutheran Home, Albert Lea, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, passed away suddenly, on Friday, April 27. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Bonnerup Funeral Service, in Albert Lea and one hour before services at the church. A celebration of life worship service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. John Holt will officiate. Ida will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetery in Albert Lea.

Ida Mildenstein

Ida was born Feb. 13, 1929, in Albert Lea, daughter of Carl and Burnett Behrends. Ida was baptized and confirmed at Concordia Lutheran Church of Pickerel Lake.

Ida grew up on the Behrends family farm 1 1/2 miles south of the Armstrong corner. During her youth she enjoyed teaching Sunday school, gardening and canning with her mother, participating in high school plays, writing poetry, painting and cheerleading to name a few.

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On July 4, 1946, she was united in marriage to Roland Petersen, son of Andrew and Dagney Petersen of Alden. Together she and Roland started farming and raising their family. Ida enjoyed all the activity of farm life, working side by side with Roland and the children, doing field work and farm chores. She was active in Ladies Aid, church circles, card clubs and passionately enjoyed her flower and vegetable gardens through the years. Roland and Ida traveled extensively with their children in all the states in the union except Alaska, Hawaii and Maine.

On Dec. 31, 1976, she was united in marriage to James Mildenstein. They resided in rural Albert Lea, enjoying the beautiful and breathtaking sunsets across Pickerel Lake for 29 years, until the time of Jim’s death in January 2005. During those years, Ida was an active member on four bowling leagues, pool and golf leagues. She was a member of the Eagles and volunteered her time and talent whenever she could. She volunteered ringing the bells around Christmas for the Salvation Army and selling poppies for the disabled American veterans. She was an active member of the Senior Citizen Center, volunteering, giving rides to and from bingo, and enjoyed many bus trips there. Ida was an active member of the American Legion and VFW auxiliaries. She marched with pride in many parades and in later years rode on floats in the 4th of July parades in Albert Lea.

The highlight of each and every year for Ida was her big family Christmas celebrations. She cooked enough food and goodies for an army, we flocked to her home in droves. All her children and their families enjoyed love and laughter, Santa and gifts, playing cards and games, family photo sessions, and a prize for whomever found the nut in the potatoes! It was a treasured and joy-filled time for her whole family.

Ida’s livelihood did not stop when she entered St. John’s Lutheran Home, quite to the contrary, Ida was a member of the church choir and volunteered at quilting class, resident council and donating items at the mother-daughter teas to name a few. She participated in two to three activities per day, and got her great-grandchildren involved in attending bingo with her. She dressed up and participated in Hazzle Dazzle parades. She felt honored to portray Mary in the nativity pageant last Christmas. She loved her St. John’s family of nurses and caregivers. Alzheimer’s disease may have taken away part of her memory, but it was not what she forgot that we dwelled on. It’s what she remembered that mattered the most, her hugs and kisses for her family and friends, her smile could light up the room, her love for her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was as strong in her memory and heart as ever.

Ida’s soft-spoken and loving nature won the hearts of all who knew her. Ida always looked on the bright side of every situation, offering prayers, encouragement, kind words, big hugs, laughter and hope to not only her family, but to every single person she came to know. God bless her for her wonderful positive attitude. She will be dearly missed and loved forever by her family, her St. John’s family and all who knew her.

Ida is survived by her five children, daughters, Helen (John) Newell, Paula (Darryl) Juveland, Wanda (Mike) Wangsness, sons, Ronald (Denise) Petersen, Dennis Petersen and special friend Sharon Florhaug; 18 grandchildren; Laura (Kayvan) Sylvan, Michelle Newell and fiance Dave Bradee, Christina Newell and Johnny Newell; Todd (Shari) Sailor, Travis Sailor, Thomas Cartin and special friend LeAnne Nelson, Nicole (Derek) Brown, Mindy (Dave) Eilertson, Kirk Petersen and special friend Stacy Adams, Andrea Petersen, Alex Petersen and special friend Marcy Berg; Philip (Afton) Wacholz, Adam (Amy) Wacholz, Matthew Wacholz and fiancee Ashley Paulson; Brooke Wangsness, Lucas Wangsness, Christian Petersen, Robin and Katherine Sylvan; 20 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandsons, Triten and Jude Dorenkamp, brother Warren Behrends, sister Joan Darling, sister-in-law Evelyn Petersen and countless nieces and nephews.

Ida was preceded in death by her parents; husbands Roland Petersen and James Mildenstein; daughter-in-law, Sarah Petersen; nieces Julie Ann Petersen and Ilene Petersen; sister-in-law Almira Behrends, brothers-in-law Robert Darling, Alfred Petersen and nephews Jody and Mike Darling and Frank Petersen.