June K. (Rolstad) Berg - Her Birthday and Legacy 2011
- Published on Saturday, 05 November 2011 19:05
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
A Legacy has been defined as a set of character values handed down by ancestors to their future generations. A legacy is not built in one lifetime. It is the blending of the character qualities and, the moral and ethical strengths of several generations of a family. What is the legacy that June has refined, blended and passed on to her children and grandchildren?
June K. Rolstad was born at home in rural Dunn County, Wisconsin as the first daughter of Haldis and Henry Rolstad on Tuesday 8 November 1927. Haldis and Henry were famers on a small diary farm at the dawning of the "Great Depression" years.
June’s birth was awaited with some trepidation and concern. While June was the oldest of the surviving children, she was not the first born. Because of unfavorable mortality in the 1920's, June had a brother Richard Herald who was born a year earlier in 1925 but only survived a few months. It was with great joy that June’s birth was that of a beautiful and healthy baby girl. June was given the middle name of “Kanuata” after a beloved Norwegian nurse. The last name Rolstad came from the father’s Norwegian family farm in Ringebu, Norway.
June inherited a very desirable legacy from her parents. Haldis and Henry Rolstad were both humble, hardworking, honest, loving, kind and generous parents with a Norwegian ancestry. Both Haldis and Henry lived a faithful Christian life strongly impacted by their local Norwegian Lutheran Church.
June is a mother and grandmother that has “been there and done that!” June traveled extensively with Stan to international forensic science conferences throughout the US, Canada and Europe. She was part of an early forensic cultural exchange with Russia in 1969 at the height of the “Cold War.” She visited her favorite city London 8 times on forensic conferences and matters. June also enjoyed visits with her friends the Bruce family of nearby Bexley, Kent just south of London. A forensic trip to Rome in 1973 resulted in an audience and a handshake with Pope Paul at the Vatican. She led 2 trips to Norway taking her mother and later her sister Betty to visit her mother’s birthplace in Rodoy. June loved dancing. She and Stan danced the night away in such exotic places as Moscow and Leningrad. June spent a week at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) (1972), Oxford University (UK) (1984), and later the University of Dusseldorf (Germany) (1993) on forensic conferences. June has participated in State receptions by Her Majesty’s Government (UK), President Leone (Italy), City and State of Zurich, (Austria) City and University of Edinburgh, US Embassy in Rome and many others.
June has been a dedicated servant of God, spreading the word of God’s love! June much enjoyed her church activities at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fridley where she was a member for over 50 years. She saw to the religious education of her children and watched all four of them confirmed in the Redeemer Lutheran Church. She participated for many years in the International (BSF) Bible Study Fellowship. June delivered “Meals on Wheels.” She also served on the Church Board. She taught Sunday school, was a member of the Bell Choir and frequently served as a Church Greeter on Sunday’s. June was a Girl Scout Leader for the Church sponsored scout troop. June was active in the Church “Ruth” and later “Rebecca” Circles and took her turn in hosting meetings in her home. June also served as a kitchen volunteer at Redeemer.
June cared about the elderly and was a frequent nursing home visitor. June was a volunteer to the Lynwood Nursing Home on Wednesday evenings, having dinner and visitation with the residents. June participated in the Redeemer afternoon ministry to the Fridley Convalescent Nursing Home. June was also a volunteer when the church provided periodic food and assistance to the Marie Sandvik Mission in downtown Minneapolis.
In 1995, June co-sponsored a little African girl from Kenya through her church endorsed "Compassion International" children’s program. This has been continued to this day.
June also served on the Redeemer evangelism team that called on church members and visitors. Dean Eberhardt who was paired with June on such a team recalls:
“I remember for June, presenting the gospel was a very natural thing for her to do. People felt comfortable and not threatened by her because she was so genuine and related effectively with them. Her love for the Lord shone through her as she conversed with the people...she had a special spirit about her and always smiling.”
June reflects the greatest of all Christian virtues, the virtue of modesty, humility and humbleness. June gave little import to her own accomplishments. June’s character and personality never strayed far from that of the original Colfax, WI farm girl that I met in 1951. June always put family, friends and others before herself. One of June’s long time friends and neighbor, Jeanne Lindquist, advised me that June had never told her of her many world travel accomplishments. June never appeared to attach any importance to receiving recognition for any of her work in behalf of God nor attached any special worldly importance to what she frequently did daily and routinely.
June, do you remember the time when you returned home very late for supper? I heard distant sirens and feared the worst. But then you arrived all smiles and puzzled to see me standing in the door with a tear stained face. To my explanation you responded - "I never thought I was so important." My voice and words failed me and I could only hug you close. How could I ever find the words to tell you that to me you are like the sun with my world revolving around you?
June, The Bible describes you very well: “A Wife of noble character…is worth far more than rubies…she brings good all the days of her life…she opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…she speaks with wisdom...she watches over the affairs of her household…her children…call her blessed…her husband…praises her…give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise…”.( Proverbs: 31: 10-31).
June you pass on a great Legacy and Inspiration to your Children and Grandchildren. I am so proud of you. You were and are a daily blessing and inspiration to me! You truly did make my life an adventure. It was the evil of Alzheimer’s that brought your life and times to an end. I and the children all love you and miss you so very much! With your passing the world lost one of it’s brightest lights, kindest hearts and Humblest souls!
(Published in the Sunday November 6th, 2011 Minneapolis Star – Tribune.)
After battling Alzheimer's for almost 11 years, an exhausted June was called home by God on October 23rd, 2008. Her funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website under the "In Memoriam" label - Click on: