Linda A. Gustafson, 78, a longtime, former resident of Brainerd died unexpectedly at her home in Hibbing on May 25, 2022. Born on August 3, 1943, in Thief River Falls to D. Kendall (Ken) and Lily (Erickson) Gustafson she was the oldest of their five children.
Linda excelled in school where she set a high standard for her siblings. She graduated in the top ten of her class in 1961 from Lincoln High School in Thief River Falls. With a passion for foreign languages, she headed to the University of North Dakota graduating in 1965 with honors, a Phi Beta Kappa key and a Bachelor's Degree with a double major in French and German. She spent the summer between her junior and senior years at UND studying languages at the University of Vienna and traveling around Europe.
Linda's working career was spent as an educator. She taught two years in Hibbing before moving to Brainerd to teach French. Linda was the first woman in the Brainerd School District to be granted a sabbatical, obtaining a Master's Degree in Guidance and Counseling from St. Cloud State University. She counseled junior high school students in the Brainerd School District for the rest of her career, retiring in 1999.
Jim Moren was the love of her life and they spent the last fifteen years together in Hibbing. Jim passed away on Veteran's Day, 2021, at the age of 91. Linda took care of him in their home until the last two weeks of his life. They were both very active in retired teacher activities, Education Minnesota and DFL Politics. Linda loved reading, bird watching, flower gardening, word games, watching Jeopardy and spending time with her family.
Linda is survived by her siblings Jeff (Rosie) Gustafson of Thief River Falls, Bob (Sarah Hellekson) Gustafson of St. Michael and Kay (Jack) Kraywinkle of Brainerd as well as her beloved nieces and nephews: Sarah Andrade and sons Trey and Luke, Karl (Becky) Kraywinkle and children Greta and Ben, Matt Gustafson, Ann (Nick) Tunheim and children Yohannes, Kaleb, Malia and Halle, Erika (Brian) Totman and daughters Kendall and Brynn and Lily Gustafson. Additionally, she is survived by Jim Moren's children: Glen (Kris) Moren, Wayne (Val) Moren, Bruce (Patty) Moren, Kenneth Moren, Julie Danielson (Scott), Kari Olson (Adam Tronnes) and their families.
Linda also leaves behind dear friends and former Brainerd educators including Dorothy Paskvan and her “Games Group”: Elsie Husom, Tashana Husom, Mary Mangini, Jan Mathieu, Karen Ogdahl, Melody Schulte and Barb Stokke.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother David Gustafson and her loving significant other, Jim Moren.
Linda was laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls on June 3rd. A memorial service will be held at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd on Saturday, July 16th at 1pm. The church is located at 415 Juniper Street. Pastors Terry Tilton and Leslie Moughty will be officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.
Linda will be greatly missed by family and friends. We are grateful for her life which was lived with love as its centerpiece. God bless her memory.
Memorials preferred to the Brainerd Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Fund for graduates going into School Counseling or World Languages or to the Minnesota School Counselor Association.