Iva Carla Lysne, 90, of Blooming Prairie, died peacefully in her sleep Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Iva was born in Westby, Wis., on Oct. 16, 1923, to Oscar and Anne Marie (Knutson) Christianson. She grew up on the family farm the second youngest of seven children. Iva followed her siblings to Seas Branch Country School at the age of three where she began her love of books and the English language. Norwegian was spoken at home and at the Norwegian Coon Prairie Country Church at the time. Iva then went to Westby High School and graduated at age 16. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, earning her BA in English in 1944. Summer breaks were spent in Chicago, Ill., with her sister and sister-in-law doing riveting and soldering for military suppliers at the time. After graduation, Iva accepted a teaching position in Blooming Prairie. After three years, she accepted a position in Olivia and finally in Dodge Center, each for one year. She taught high school English and worked as a librarian in the schools. While in Dodge Center, she received a marriage proposal from the love of her life, Kenneth Lysne of Blooming Prairie. They were married on June 11, 1949. They were fortunate to have 52 years together before Kenneth died in 2001.
Soon after marriage, Kenneth and Iva started a family, and Iva retired from teaching. She managed the family and the household so that Kenneth could work long hours along with his brother in the family business, Lysne Construction Company. She volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, Boy Scout leader, Girl Scout leader and was a member of First Lutheran Church and AAUW. The family home was always a welcome place for the children's friends.
After the children left home, Ken and Iva enjoyed traveling in the United States and abroad. Iva was very proud of her Norwegian heritage and shared it passionately with her family, teaching everyone how to make lefse and krumkake so that the traditions would not be lost on the younger generation. She volunteered many years at First Lutheran Church for the annual Lutefisk dinner. Her creativity was demonstrated by knitting sweaters, decorating the house and cooking and baking. Iva was a prolific reader, enjoying classic literature, pop culture bestsellers and more recently Scandinavian contemporary mysteries. She was an avid gardener over the years, finally growing hybrid lilies which were a great joy to her. Iva spent winters in Arizona with her daughter, Mary and family, including two granddaughters whom she loved dearly.
Iva is survived by her daughter, Louise (Walter) Hanson, Rochester; son, Allen (Lori) Lysne, Blooming Prairie and daughter Mary (Jim) Garber, Scottsdale, Ariz. She is also survived by granddaughters, Samantha Garber and Kirsten Garber, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Memorial service will be held at First Lutheran Church in Blooming Prairie at 1 p.m. Friday, April 11. Friends may gather one hour before the service. Internment will be at Country Coon Prairie Church, Westby, Wis., Saturday, April 12, at 1 p.m.
Memorials are suggested to First Lutheran Church Building Fund Phase 2, Blooming Prairie or Country Coon Prairie Church Preservation, Inc., Westby, Wis.