Elva Bergstedt (nee Elva Eileen Ray) passed away comfortably in her sleep on Sunday July 10th at the Cottagewood Senior Community in Rochester, MN. She was born in 1921 and was raised on a farm near Ashippun, WI where she developed a love of the beauty and mystery of nature that stayed with her all her life. She attended high school in Oconomowoc, WI where she met her future husband, Bill Bergstedt, and fell in love. They married just before Bill joined the Marines to serve in World War II as First Lieutenant in both Okinawa and China. During the war, Elva gave birth to her eldest son, Bob. After the war they settled in Rochester, MN where they had two more children, Jim and Mary.
As young parents, Bill and Elva loved to go out dancing with their friends to the great swing band music of their day. Elva was also known for her amazing singing voice and delighted her children with her beautiful lullabies, classic jazz standards, and popular show tunes. Neighbors walking by would often stop to listen to the fabulous music coming out of the house through the open windows.
Like her children, Elva loved to ski. She had grown up skiing downhill in Minnesota. After a heavy snow, she was known to ski cross country down the streets of Rochester well into her 80s. Elva is survived by her children, Bob, Jim, and Mary, and by her four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
In keeping Elva's request, a memorial service is not planned. In lieu of flowers, gifts in memory of Elva Bergstedt can be made to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's disease research.
Memorials can be made online at:
or mailed to Department of Development, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.
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