PLAIN VIEW HERITAGE FARM,

RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:

"They Rise Up and Call Her Blessed,"

Tribute to Mother Estelle Stadem Rangen,

by Daughter Chloe Rangen Koslowsky,

Mother's Day, May 14, 2000

For several years I've longed to write a tribute honoring the most special lady I know. After receiving your telephone call informing us your cancer had returned, I knew it was time to seize the moment.

There are so many reasons I'm grateful you are my mother. You and Dad brought me to the Lord in infant baptism. My whole life you've shown me what it is to have faith in God. You've taught me how to love, worship and serve God by your consistent walk with Him. You have modeled a Christ-centered life in your home, the church, or wherever you are. It was a joy to grow up in a home that had an open door for whomever desired or needed entry, whether drunks, missionaries, strangers, or even a brazen preacher who destroyed your butter sculpture. Your ability to find those without a family to celebrate a holiday and make them feel loved and wanted caused our home to always feel full and complete and full of fun. Your reputation for water fun lives on. I believe your great granddaughter, Holly, may have received that gene. Your Norske heritage that had us marching around the Christmas tree holding hands while singing carols had to be the closest we ever came to dancing. Traditions are treasures. Your great cooking abilities have won you wide respect, inspired and helped so many to use this means as ministry. You saved my day and reputation at the tender age of 13 with your lessons on how to make gravy for Mrs. Crekke [sp?] and even over the phone, how to carve those whole body chickens for the Staff children! Your gift of hospitality is unequaled in my experience and only God knows all the souls rescued because of your sacrificial sharing.

Trips to our Grandparents' farms were favorite vacations. I'll never forget you and dad trying to out-sing the other with your state songs. The trips to Lake Geneva Bible Camp were highlights of the year for me. How did you manage it 16 years in a row! As I think of the minimal salaries that were your lot, it is amazing for me to recall some of my favorite gifts--the white zipper Bible in Eau Claire days, the "brand new" blue bicycle in Colfax, the flute in Fargo, the red Bible in Moorhead, and the Samsonite luggage for graduation. Remember the pink lace dress we created for a wedding! And the rust coat! I recall with fondness those shopping trips with you. God certainly did provide, right?!

Sixty years this October you have been by Dad's side as the best "helper" a man, especially a pastor, could ever desire. Your talents, strength, support, optimism and encouragement have been admired by all who've been privileged to see you in action. Mom, you've brought honor to God and to Dad as you've given of yourself in love. Thanks for showing me that two can be one. I have many memories of you working on banners, cantatas, all manner of musical groups, and programs, also adding the extra touch to make it the best for God. Is it even possible to count the times we've worked on a musical number together? Or the songs that you've sung, directed or practiced! I loved when you belted out, "The Lord is My Light." No lack of spirit or power in those outbursts!

Thank you for being my greatest encourager. That has helped me be confident in the tasks faced in life. Fear was never a part of the formula when on your team. Your words still ring, "You can do it!"

Your night nursing jobs to make possible the gift of a Christian education for all your children means more to me than words can express. I never heard a word of complaint, only rejoicing that we could have the same opportunity as you had known. One of my greatest life treasures is the Hillcrest experience. Thanks, Mom! Also, it has meant alot that you never pressured me to leave the nest, but allowed me to stay home while getting my college education. Your sacrifice, especially financially, must have been a tremendous load. I only felt your love and respect.

Thank you for teaching me godly values and loving the Lord, your God, with all your heart, soul, and being. I am proud to have a mother, a friend and mentor like you and I pray that I have passed on to my daughters what you have given me. I love you, Mom, and indeed call you "blessed."

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