Grygla - Gail Lian, 97, Grygla, died peacefully on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls, with her loving family at her side.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla, with Rev. Vicki Saude-Worthington officiating. Casketbearers include Gail’s grandchildren. Honorary casketbearers include Lull-a-While Homemakers Club. Interment will follow at St. Petri Cemetery, rural Grygla.
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Friday at Grace Lutheran Church.
Gail Margaret Johnson was born Dec.4, 1916 in the Grygla Hospital in Grygla, the third of six children born to Severin and Christine (Sundelin) Johnson. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Petri Lutheran Church, rural Grygla. Gail attended the North School in Eckvoll Township through the eighth grade. At the age of 15, Gail’s mother Christine died and that left Gail to take over the household responsibilities. Gail was like a mother to her little sister, Joyce, who was only 19 months old at the time of their mother’s death.
Even though Gail was very busy with her household duties, she still had time for fun. She loved to dance, get together with friends in the different school houses and homes, and she also loved to ride horses. At a dance at the Young People’s Hall, Gail met her future husband, Palmer Lian. The couple was married on October 24, 1938 at the Grygla parsonage. They made their home on a farm in Eckvoll Township, near Grygla, and in 1948 purchased land and created a farm on the six-mile corner west of Grygla. Gail was proud to still have the farm in the family.
Together, Gail and Palmer raised their four children, Duane, Richard, Gary and Sharon. Gail was proud of her boys and was especially excited at the birth of her daughter. On the farm, they raised small grains, had dairy cows, hogs, sheep, chicken, geese and a little bit of everything. When Palmer worked out on construction, Gail and her kids kept on with the farm work. When the kids were older, Gail accompanied Palmer on the different construction sites where he worked, traveling in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. When Palmer retired from construction, they moved back to Grygla permanently. Gail worked at Arctic Cat for ten years starting in the late 1960’s. In 1974, Gail and Palmer started the Southside Trailer Court in Grygla.
The Lians were members of St. Petri Lutheran Church where Gail was active in the ladies’ activities and she also sang in the choir. In 1960, they joined the Grace Lutheran Church in Grygla where Gail was active in the Ladies Aid and Circle. She was a charter member of the Lull-a-While Homemakers Club and was a Grygla Lioness. Gail also enjoyed fishing, especially when she would out-fish Palmer. She loved flower and vegetable gardening; she always had the coffee pot on, and was well known for her cooking and baking, especially her pickles, buns, donuts, and brownies. She expressed her love by feeding her family and friends.
In 2011, Gail and her sister, Audrey, moved to Valley Home and later to the Thief River Care Center where they resided.
Survivors include four children, Duane (Janet) Lian, Grygla, Richard (Donna) Lian, Grygla, Gary (Eileen) Lian, Warroad, and Sharon (Curtiss) Hovet, Grygla; 12 grandchildren, Jodie Olson, Thief River Falls, Jaylene Lian, Grygla, Michelle (Jason) Kuznia, Grygla, Stephanie (Jared) Sjulestad, Thief River Falls, Greg (Stacy) Lian, Gillette, Wyo., Nikki (Reed) Engelstad, Red Lake Falls, Ryan Hovet, Casper, Wyo., Crystal (Mike) Goulet, Watford City, N.D., Christopher (Brandee) Lian, Duluth, Jennifer (Derrick) Ewald, Ft. McMurray, Alberta Canada, Patrick (Jocelyn) Lian, Apple Valley, and Kailee (Zach) Hallett, Warroad; three stepgrandchildren, Kim (Scott) Crosby, Lakeville, Tony (Janita) McLean, Greenbush, and Christopher (Kelsey) McLean, Thief River Falls; 28 great-grandchildren, Joel, Justin, Jayce Olson, Joshua Lian, Chelsea, McKenzie and Chloe Kuznia, Jordan, Nicholas and Brendan Sjulestad, Gracie and Jaxon Lian, Rylee and Drake Englestad, Ariel, Tristan and Tyler Hovet, Brianna (Randy) Melby, Lindsey Goulet, Logan and Avery Lian, Cody and Megan Ewald, Gavin, Josie and Graden Lian, Cade and Mia Hallett; seven step great grandchildren, Brianna, Katie and Abby Schwinden, Taylor, Emily, Chloe and Kora McLean; one great-great-grandson, Stetson Melby; sister, Audrey Johnson; sisters-in-law, Edna Johnson and Luella Foss; and many other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Palmer in 2005; parents; brothers, Art, Erwin (Alpha) and Adrian Johnson; sister, Joyce (Walter) Rieck; grandson-in-law, Duran Olson; and several grandchildren in infancy.
Condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.