Selma Rigstad


        Selma Geneva (Diesen) Rigstad, age 90, passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Monday Sept. 30, 2013 at the Camilia Rose Care Center in Coon Rapids, MN. 


      Heaven was blessed with a beautiful angelic wife, mother, grandmother and true servant.  Selma was welcomed into the embrace of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.


      Selma was born in Minnewaukan, ND on Oct. 23rd 1922 to the late Bertha and Gustav Diesen.  She moved to Skime, MN as a young girl and one day met a wonderful man that she would marry.  Selma and Linn Rigstad were married in Skime on Nov. 18, 1945. They settled in Greenbush in 1946 to start a family and they spent over 57 wonderful years together in the same home.  Following Linn’s death in 2003, Selma continued to live in Greenbush for several years before moving to an assisted living facility in Roseau and then to the Twin Cities area. Selma began work at the Greenbush Community Hospital and Nursing Home as a Nurse’s Aide in 1962; however, she found her true calling in 1972 when she became the Activity Director of the Greenbush Nursing Home.  She truly loved working with the residents and became part of their families as well.  She retired in 1985, to spend more time with Linn, her children and grandchildren.  She especially enjoyed sewing, and made both her daughters’ wedding dresses.  Gardening also became a passion and in the summer her yard produced the most beautiful flowers.


      Selma was known to be quite the cook.  None of us ever went hungry when we spent time at Grandma’s.  She was famous to all of us for her sticky buns, apple pies, cookies and especially her lefse. When you visited you always knew you would get good coffee, cookies and great conversation.  Her kitchen table was a gathering place for family and friends, any time of day. 


      Selma also loved to travel, mostly to visit her kids and grandkids in MN and WI.  Selma was able to visit many states where she always found new friends and sights to enjoy. Her most dreamed about and anticipated trip was in 2007 when she traveled to Norway and was able to visit the family farm where her mother lived as a young girl. She was happiest when her kids came home for a visit with all the grandbabies in tow.  She loved all of them equally and they all loved the special times they spent with her.  Mom instilled in all of us a strong sense of faith, a commitment to the church and community, and a fierce love and devotion to family. 


      Not afraid to get her hands dirty, she also taught us the value of a good hard day’s work.  Her dedication to Bethel Lutheran Church, the former Greenbush Nursing Home, the parks in Greenbush, and many more local events made her a blessing to her community.  She was a devoted fan to all the Greenbush High School sports teams and truly enjoyed every music concert she could attend.  It was always extra special when she could attend an event of one of her beloved grandchildren.   She will be missed by many people, whose lives she has touched over the years.


          Selma will be lovingly remembered by her children:  2 Daughters--Susan (Albert) Brag of New Brighton, MN and Laurie (Paul) Breitenfeldt of Mosinee, WI.  4 Sons--Steve Rigstad  of Albuquerque, NM,  Jeffrey (Linda) Rigstad of Roseau, MN,  Les (Shari) Rigstad of Coon Rapids, MN and Dr. Gene (Tracey) Rigstad of  Appleton, WI .    16 Grandchildren, Tom, Christine, Anna, Shawn, Karl, Mike, Katie, Elizabeth, Evan, Kylie, Emma, Beau, Marta, Ben, Heidi, and Clara, and 9 Great-grandchildren.


      She is also survived by 3 brothers--Walter Diesen of Skime, MN, Roger (Judy) Diesen of Sartell, MN and Donald (Nancy) Diesen of Skime, MN and 2 Sisters-in law--Violet Diesen of Roseau, MN and Sylvia Diesen of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She will also be dearly missed by numerous nieces and nephews and many special friends.


          Selma was preceded in death by her beloved husband Linn Rigstad.  Parents-Bertha and Gustav Diesen, Sister Georgia Lund; and brothers, Allan, Orville, and Gordon Diesen.


        A celebration of Selma’s wonderful life was held on Monday, October 7, 2013 in Bethel Lutheran Church of Greenbush with Pastor Mark Mathews, officiating. Special music was provided by Katie & Micah Carpenter, Elizabeth Rigstad & Shelly Aubey.  Linda Sovde was at the organ.  Casket Bearers were Tom Brag, Ben Breitenfeldt, Evan Rigstad, David Tinjuim, Orlin & Derek Diesen.  Honorary Pallbearers were Selma’s Grandchildren, Great-Grandchildren & Nieces & Nephews.


      Burial was in the Bethesda Lutheran Cemetery at Skime, MN with Gieseke Funeral Chapel of Greenbush in charge of arrangements.


      “In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.  I am going there to prepare a place for you.”  John 14:2