Elva Bergstedt (born Elva Eileen Ray) passed away comfortably in her sleep on Sunday, July 10 at Cottagewood Senior Community in Rochester, MN. She was born in 1921 and raised on a farm near Ashippun, WI, where she developed a love of nature’s beauty and mystery that stayed with her throughout her life. She attended high school in Oconomowoc, WI, where she met her future husband, Bill Bergstedt, and fell in love. They married just before Bill joined the Marines to serve in World War II as a first lieutenant in Okinawa and China. During the war, Elva gave birth to her eldest son, Bob. After the war, they settled in Rochester, MN, where they had two more children, Jim and Mary. As young parents, Bill and Elva loved going out dancing with their friends to the great music of the swing band of their time. Elva was also known for her amazing singing voice and delighted her children with her beautiful lullabies, classic jazz standards and popular show tunes. Neighbors who passed by often stopped to listen to the fabulous music that came from the house through the open windows. Like her children, Elva loved to ski. She had grown up skiing in Wisconsin and continued to ski in Minnesota. After a heavy snowfall, she was known for cross-country skiing the streets of Rochester until she was 80. Elva is survived by her children, Bob, Jim and Mary, as well as her four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Per Elva’s request, a memorial service is not scheduled. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Elva Bergstedt may be made to Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research.
Commemorations can be made online at:
https://philanthropy.mayoclinic.org/donateMC or mailed to the Development Department, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.