Thief River Falls - With her loving family by her side, Olga Engevik, age 102, passed away at the Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls, on Sunday, May 25, 2014.
A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 30 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Thief River Falls, with Reverend Greg Schram officiating. Interment will follow at Landstad Cemetery, Gatzke.
A Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., with a 7 p.m. prayer service, Thursday, May 29 at Johnson Funeral Service, Thief River Falls. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the funeral service at the church on Friday.
Olga Louise Boardson Engevik was born on July 30, 1911 in Vega Township, Marshall County near Alvarado. Her parents were Martin Ludvig and Olive Irene Christenson Boardson. She was baptized at the Warren Evangelical Lutheran Church. Olga loved the Lord and was a godly example for her family. She loved to sing hymns and hear verses of scripture, which were such an encouragement to her.
Olga graduated from Alvarado High School in 1929, then graduated with a teacher’s training certificate from Moorhead State Teacher’s College in 1930. Olga first taught at West Valley School near Newfolden in 1930.
In 1931, she began teaching at Wildwood School east of Gatzke. At that time she met Ervin Gerhard Engevik, and they were married on June 19,1934 at Pastor Sigrid Carlson’s home in Warren. They farmed east of Gatzke and were members of United Lutheran Church in Gatzke where Olga taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, sang in the choir and directed youth choir. She was also a leader of the Busy Beavers 4-H club. Olga taught 6th grade and elementary music at Grygla Public School from 1961 to 1974. In 1971, at the age of 60, she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Bemidji State College.
Olga moved to Thief River Falls in 1980 and in retirement continued volunteering. As a member of Zion Lutheran Church she directed the Silvertone Choir from 1983 to 1991, was active in Stephen Ministry and worked in the church library. She was awarded Outstanding Senior Citizen of Pennington County in 1991 and 1999, going to the state level both years. The newspaper at that time reported “Olga has been doing for others for most of her life as an educator, wife, mother and community volunteer. Olga serves as an example to others, young and old, as she has adapted to limitations and continued to positively share her talents with others.” She volunteered at the Northrop School Library, Pioneer Village and was a member of Northwest Medical Center Auxiliary accumulating 1600 volunteer hours at the hospital coffee shop. She loved to quilt and made quilts for grandchildren graduation gifts as long as her vision allowed her do it. She loved to walk and won walking awards in the senior walk-a-thons. When snow confined her to her small house in the Minnesota winter, she would count her steps and figure out how far she had walked each day.
Olga was recognized for her leadership. She served as President of the American Lutheran Church Women of the Thief River Conference for 4 years. She received one of the 1992 National Community Awards from AARP when she was 81. As a member of the Northland Retired Educators Association, she was selected by that unit for her outstanding volunteer contributions to the community.
She was recognized for her 12 years of leadership on the Northwest Region Minnesota Federation Board that founded and built the Heritage Community Center in Thief River Falls. She directed the Heritage Community Choir for seven years.
She is survived by her sister Pearl Roux of Duluth, brother-in-law Milo Roux of Fosston, and sister-in-law Blanche Engevik of Sun City, Ariz.; three daughters: Carol (Donald) Kelsey of St. Paul, Marjorie (Glenn) Espe of Thief River Falls and Kathryn (Harvey) Ebbighausen of Burnsville; grandchildren: Mark (Kim) Kelsey, Heather Kelsey (Randy) Quale, Michael Kelsey, Karmon Espe (Rick) Trontvet, KayLyn Espe (Faron) Fox, Karla Espe (Steve) Rachac, Thane (Jenelle) Espe, Rochelle (Shelly) Ebbighausen (Steve) Van Dyne, Rebecca (Becky) Ebbighausen (Chris) Schultze, Mathew (Katie) Ebbighausen; great-grandchildren, Morgan & Alec Kelsey, Stella Quale, Kyle (Rachel) Trontvet, Kasey (fiancé Carli) and Karter Trontvet, Kerry and Kendall Fox, Keira and Kory Rachac, Morgan, Raegan and Maren Espe, Ashley, Paige and Alexa Van Dyne, Riley, Camden and Eli Schultze, Grace, Tyler, Hanna and Eve Ebbighausen; and great-great-grandchildren Harper and Jaxen Trontvet, in addition to several nieces and nephews.
Olga moved to Greenleaf Assisted Living in 2004 and to the Thief River Care Center in 2012. She was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls.
She was preceded in death by husband Ervin (1967), son David (1983), grandson Joshua (2008), her parents, stepmother Inga Boardson, sisters Alida Hasselberg, Marion Johnson and Doris Roux and infant sister and brother Olive and Melvin Boardson.