Evelyn Hogenson

Monday, August 31, 2015 5:25 pm

Evelyn Hogenson, 88, of rural Decorah, died Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, at Traditions in West Union. Funeral services were at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Springfield Lutheran Church, 1969 Middle Calmar Road, rural Decorah, with Pastor Phillip Olson presiding. Burial was in the church cemetery. Visitation was 4-6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, at the Springfield Lutheran Church, 1969 Middle Calmar Road, Decorah, and also after 10 a.m., at the Church Saturday.

Evelyn Wyoma Hogenson was born July 5, 1927, the daughter of Roy and Beatrice (Saunders) Yocum in Gilmanton, Wis. Evelyn grew up in the Harmony and Bluffton areas. She graduated from Decorah High School in 1946. While in high school she took Normal Teacher Training. She began her teaching career at the Nerlie Country School, near the Springfield Lutheran Church, living with Emil and Hilda Jevne; whose family became life-long friends. She taught there from 1946-1950. She was united in marriage to Edward Hogenson March 5, 1948, at the First Lutheran Church in Decorah. She was a teacher and substitute teacher in the South Winneshiek and DeSales Schools, from 1954 until her retirement in 1998. Evelyn was honored in 1998 as the “Friend of Education” from the South Winneshiek School District. Evelyn enjoyed playing cards with neighbors, collecting spoons, bells, cups and saucers, nutcrackers, Depression glass and Beanie Babies. She also liked to crochet, read and garden, and was an excellent cook and baker. Evelyn was an active member of the Springfield Lutheran Church, holding every office in the WELCA, serving as church delegate to the District Convention, Bible study leader, chairman of several mother-daughter banquets, Sunday school teacher and Luther League leader. Evelyn Hogenson was a woman of strong convictions, courage and strength. She always was willing to donate her time to the church, to helping with elections, or to substitute teaching. One of our favorite stories of mom dealt with a student of hers that gave her a Christmas present. Mom knew that the boy came from a family that didn’t have very much. When she expressed her appreciation for the gift, the student confided that he’d given up a month of lunches to buy her that present. Mom was moved to tears by the boy’s generosity and sacrifice. She had that effect on people. Evelyn loved to play cards with friends and neighbors, as well as her family. Many of us never actually saw her lose at cards because if things looked bleak, often the game just ended abruptly. We think that she simply hated to lose! She also helped her husband farm in Springfield Township and was often seen in her red bandana driving the Allis Chalmers while baling hay. When she wasn’t baling hay, she’d be inside making meals that would make any farmhand happy. We still remember those wonderful meals that made all the farm work worthwhile. The fragrance of her apple pies filled the house with love. Evelyn loved her children and grandchildren. She would read to them and play with them and always gave them the attention they needed. She had a way of touching the hearts and minds of her family. Each of her grandchildren and children would make the pilgrimage back to Decorah or West Union to feel the touch of her love and compassion. When all of us would ask our children where they wanted to go for a weekend, the answer was inevitable — to grandpa and grandmas. They simply knew this was the place to be. Evelyn Hogenson was a great wife, a loving mother, a dedicated teacher and a true community member. She conveyed an unwavering spirit, which was cloaked in a tender heart. Her memories were taken from her by Alzheimer’s, but the memory of her loving life will live long into the future with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, students and friends. She had an indomitable spirit that impacted everyone around her. Her family will miss her smile, her holiday meals, the love she put into the holidays and her wonderful hugs and kisses. She was a gift to us all.

Evelyn is survived by her husband, Edward Hogenson, West Union; five children: Becky (Darrell) Sersland, Decorah; Barb Bennett, Ridgeway; Tom Hogenson, Oskaloosa; Terry (Theresa) Hogenson, Muscatine; and Beth (Ken) Koster, Centralia, Mo.; ten grandchildren: Kelly Sersland, Keri Sersland, Karla (Dave) Goertzen, Matt Hogenson, Brianne Hogenson, Katelyn Hogenson, Ashley (Zak) Watson, Morgan Hogenson, Andy Koster and Emily Koster; four great-grandchildren: Stella and Alexa Goertzen, Collin and Dylan Pasker; five siblings: Marquerite (Walt) Perkins, Grand Junction, Colo.; Rosemary Christopher, Cresco; Karl (Diane) Christopher, Hesper; Fred Christopher, Lima, Mont.; and Faye (Walt) Marlow, Bluffton; along with many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and -nephews.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, Roy and Beatrice (Saunders) Yocum; one granddaughter, Tara Bennett;  siblings: Marvin Bergmann, John Bergmann, Marjorie Darling, Katherine Bergmann, Alvie Bergmann, Ruth Logsdon and June Christopher.

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