Funeral services for Lorena B. Riesgaard, 54, were conducted by Pastor Glen Meyers, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at the Exira Christian Church in Exira. Interment was in the Exira Cemetery in Exira. Honorary casket bearers were Willie Riesgaard, Jacob Riesgaard, Larry Johnston, Gary Johnston, John Johnston, James Johnston, Richard Johnston, Gary Riesgaard, Craig Riesgaard, and Jerry Riesgaard. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira was in charge of the arrangements.
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Lorena (Renie) Beatrice Riesgaard, the daughter of Emmert and Betty (Walker) Johnston was born Aug. 17, 1960, at the Audubon County Memorial Hospital in Audubon, and died Sept. 8, 2014, at the Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., at the age of 54 years and 21 days.
Lorena was baptized at the Exira Christian Church in Exira. She attended the Exira Community Schools and the Exira High School and later received her GED.
On June 2, 1978, she was united in marriage to Ronnie Eugene Riesgaard at the Little Brown Church in Nashua. Two sons Willie and Jacob were born to this union. They farmed northeast of Exira, and Renie helped Ronnie farm and was a home maker. In the spring of 1985 they moved to Fairbanks, Ala. Lorena was a home maker but later was hired as a cook at a local restaurant. They moved to Delta Junction, Ala., and Lorena was employed as a cook for the local school district. Lorena initiated a "healthy cooking" program where instead of using the processed food for the meals she would actually use fresh produce and meats. The program developed to the point where she was the head cook for three different school districts. Since she worked for the schools she had the summers free. During this time she worked as a cook on the North Slope on an oil rig. Later she accompanied groups of Professors into the mountains where she cooked for them while they studied the environment. As time passed Lorena became the environment engineer for the school system until she retired. They returned to Exira in 2013.
Lorena was a member of the Exira Christian Church in Exira. She enjoyed gardening, riding their motorcycle, and just being around family.
Lorena was preceded in death by her parents and her father-in-law Harley Riesgaard.
Survivors include her sons Willie and wife Krystal Riesgaard of Chaska, Minn., and Jacob and his wife Allison Riesgaard of Bonaire, Ga.; her grandchildren Colton, Myles, Lucas, and Mason Riesgaard all of Chaska, Minn., and Camille and Cody Riesgaard both of Bonaire, Ga.; her brothers and sisters Larry and wife Darlene Johnston of Audubon, Gary and wife Kathy Johnston and John and Judy Johnston all of Green Valley, Ariz., Becky and husband John Shaw of Winterset, Shirley Jensen of Des Moines, Kay and husband Jim Kjergaard of Kimballton, Jim and wife Mary Johnston of Silver City, and Richard and wife Tracy Johnston of Exira; her mother-in-law Madonna Riesgaard of Exira, her brothers-in-law Gary and wife Rebecca Riesgaard of Brayton,, Craig and wife Susan Riesgaard and Jerry and wife Colleen Riesgaard all of Exira; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Sept. 19 to Sept. 26, 2014