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Fern's Story

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Fern Harriet (Schultz) Gustafson, age 94, of St. Peter, died Friday, July 7th at the Benedictine Health Center of St. Peter. Fern was born January 12, 1923 to Edward and Olga Schultz of North Mankato. She married Chester Gustafson in 1943 and they lived and farmed in Oshawa Township. Fern taught elementary and junior high students in St. Peter until retiring from teaching in 1982.
Chet and Fern loved to travel before and after retirement. They wintered in Mesa, Arizona for many years and were fortunate to be away from St. Peter during the March 1998 tornado that destroyed their farmstead. Fern continued to winter in Mesa after Chester died in 2004, until 2013, when health problems caused her to move to the Benedictine Center in St. Peter.
In their younger years, Chet and Fern loved to attend dances in the area. They curled and attended bonspiels with friends from Mapleton, and Fern was an avid bridge player around St. Peter for many years. They were experienced worldwide travelers, visiting every continent except South America and Antarctica.
Fern is survived by children Janyce Afdahl of Mankato, and Richard Gustafson (Susan) of Lincoln, Nebraska; her sister Olga McCloud, of Riverside, California; grandchildren Jennifer Coleman (Sean), Calie Bruender (Jim), Peter Afdahl (Tiffany), Kristen Works (Matt), Jim Gustafson, Erin Gustafson, and ten great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by husband Chet, parents Edward and Olga Schultz, infant daughter Joan, granddaughter Ingrid Afdahl, and sister Vivian Timberman.
Services are scheduled Tuesday July 11th at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church in St. Peter. Visitation prior to the service begins at 9 a.m. St. Peter Funeral Home is assisting the family.
A special thanks to the Benedictine Center of St. Peter where Fern spent the last four years of her life and received loving care. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to the Benedictine Living Community of St. Peter.
Published on July 9, 2017
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