Naomi G. Winter

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 1:46 pm

Naomi G. Winter, 91, of Decorah, died Thursday, June 22, 2017, at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah. Memorial services are at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 28, at Decorah Lutheran Church, with Pastor Dave Sorenson and Pastor Brenda Crossfield officiating. Private family inurnment is in Phelps Cemetery in Decorah. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 28, one hour before the service, at Decorah Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

Naomi Geraldine (Petersen) Winter was born at her farm home May 10, 1926, near Stone Bank, Wis., the only living child of Peter and Emma (Jacobson) Petersen. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in the same community. Her elementary education was at the Stone Bank School and she graduated from Hartland High School, Hartland, Wis. in 1943.
Naomi’s mother Emma died when Naomi was only 12 and after that Naomi, with assistance from relatives, kept house for her father, Peter. Following high school graduation she attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, Wis. and then, before getting her B.A. degree in music, taught public school music in several Waukesha County rural schools during the Second World War.
In the fall of 1947, following the death of her father, she enrolled at St. Olaf College, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public school music in 1951. While at St. Olaf she met her future husband, Ole Winter. After a year of teaching music in Marshall, Minn. public schools, Ole and Naomi were married June 21, 1952, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stone Bank, Wis., where she had been baptized and confirmed. At that time Ole was a student at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. and they lived in Minneapolis. During Ole’s year of internship in San Diego, Calif., Naomi was an organist and choir director at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, a position which she later held in all the churches in which Pastor Winter served. Four Children were born to this union: Mark, David, Larry and Kathryn.

Naomi was best known for her love and concern for people, especially her family. She is deeply grateful to her late aunt Hilda Jacobson and cousin Angeline Jacobson, who, following the death of her mother, cared for and supported her.
Music was always an important part of her life and she used her talents in the area in many ways. While yet in high school, she played the organ at her home congregation. When the Winters lived in California, she also gave lessons and trained a number of organists. The choir she directed at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Forest City numbered up to 50 members and they sang a number of cantatas as well as at the Sunday worship service. She also enjoyed volunteering as an accompanist for high school students as they performed at state music contests. Vocal and instrumental soloists for whom she played praised her ability as an accompanist.

While living in Forest City, she was employed part time as an office assistant for the Architectural Design Group.

During the Winters’ retirement years in Decorah, she was involved in many different kinds of volunteer work: in the Decorah City Public Library, playing the piano at nursing homes as well as many other opportunities at Decorah Lutheran Church.

Naomi is survived by her husband, Pastor Ole Winter; son, Mark and his wife, Annette of Thousand Oaks, Calif. and their children: Dane of Denver, Colo., Haley of Atlanta, Ga. and Rebecca of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; son, Larry and his wife, Jane Lee, also of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; a daughter, Kathryn Thomsen and her husband, Jim and daughters, Abbey and Leah of Eden Prairie, Minn.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother who died in infancy: and her son, David, who at age 42 died of multiple sclerosis.

Naomi requested that memorials be given to the “Winter Family Endowed Scholarship” at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul, MN 55108 or National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Southern California and Nevada Chapter, 5150 W. Goldleaf Circle, Suite 400, Los Angeles, CA 90056, Attn: Julie Kaufer, Chapter President.

Blessed be her memory. Soli Deo Gloria (To God be all the Glory).

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