|Deborah Wittenberg, 50|
|Written by TRF Times|
St. Hilaire - Deborah Wittenberg, 50, of St. Hilaire, died at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 7, surrounded by her loving family after a long, courageous battle with cancer.
Funeral services were held on Monday, Aug. 13 at Zion Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Golv and Rev. Ale Tulu officiating. Casket bearers included Paul Tostenrud, Vern Wittenberg, Rob Almquist, Rick Trontvet, Mari Jo Nabben and Corie Erickson. Honorary casket bearers included Deb’s godmother, Nancy Manzey, Kari Wittenberg and Deb’s Digi-Key family. Interment was held at Greenwood Cemetery, Thief River Falls.
Deborah Kay Tostenrud was born on Jan. 21, 1962 in Springfield, the daughter of Donald and Loretta (Mellenthin) Tostenrud. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Springfield. She started playing church organ at St. John’s Lutheran Church during eighth grade. Deb attended Springfield Public School graduating in 1980. While in school, Deb was very active in the music program and also was her class homecoming queen.
Deb attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and earned her bachelor’s degree in business management in 1984. She was a member of the Luther College Symphony Orchestra and the Luther College Concert Band; and worked in the office of the music department.
One day during the fall after Deb graduated from Luther College, she was bringing lunch to her brother at a welding shop in Springfield, and there she met her future husband, Dick Wittenberg. It was love at first sight. On June 14, 1986, the couple was married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Springfield. They made their home in St. Louis Park and Deb worked fundraising for the Minnesota Orchestra, Gillette Children’s Hospital and Variety Club Heart Hospital. Dick worked for the Minnesota State Patrol. Deb was always very supportive of his career and sacrificed much for the State Patrol family.
In 1994, they moved to Thief River Falls and for the first few months, Deb worked for the Red Lake County Auditor’s Office. In 1995, she began working at Digi-Key, where she became the manager in Human Resources of Learning and Development. Deb was a dedicated, hardworking employee who loved her job and Digi-Key family. She worked throughout her illness up to the very end.
In 1998, Deb and Dick were blessed with a daughter, Leah. She developed her mother’s musical interests and her father’s love of the outdoors and farm life. Deb relished the time nurturing her daughter’s musical talent and providing for her musical education with Marcia Knuttila’s piano studio. Deb, Dick and Leah enjoyed many trips around the state for musical contests.
Deb was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, where she played as an organist on Sunday and accompanied the senior choir. She was also involved in other musical activities in the church. Music and church were a very big part of Deb’s life.
Survivors include her loving husband of 26 years, Dick of St. Hilaire; loving daughter, Leah; mother, Loretta Tostenrud of Springfield; mother-in-law, Maxine Wittenberg of Gonvick; brothers, Steven (Pauline) Tostenrud of Billings, Mont., David (Jill) Tostenrud of New Ulm; sister, Barbara (Robert) Garrett of Chandler, Ariz.; brothers-in-law, Dan (Shelly) Wittenberg of Kimball and Vern (Kari) Wittenberg of Gonvick; loving nieces and nephews and many relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her father, Donald Tostenrud in 1997; sister, Linda Tostenrud in 1958; and father-in-law, Vern Wittenberg Sr. in 2012.