Anna Gertrude (Gertie) Awsumb Brandt, age 100, died peacefully surrounded by much of her family on Monday, August 23, 2021, in the Glacial Ridge Hospital in Glenwood. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM on Saturday, August 28th, at Glenwood Lutheran Church. Visitation will be Friday, from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the funeral home in Glenwood and will continue on Saturday morning at the church, one hour prior to the service. Interment will be in Kongsvinger Lutheran Cemetery, rural Donnelly, following the service. Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Gertie was born on Feb. 25, 1921, to Peter and Marie (Larson) Awsumb in Donnelly Twp., Stevens Co., MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Kongsvinger Lutheran Church in Donnelly. The eldest of five children, she attended country school in rural Donnelly and then high school in nearby Alberta, graduating in 1939. On October 11, 1940, Gertie wed Paul G. Brandt at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Morris. This union was blessed with nine children. After moving mostly around rural Donnelly through the births of their first four children, the family settled in Morris, where they welcomed the births of their other five children.
In June of 1964, the Brandts moved to Glenwood, having purchased a home in the Village of Long Beach. It was at that time that Gertie began her career with food. She first cooked at Werner’s Drive-In in Long Beach and then the Minnewaska House, also in Long Beach, before landing at the Glenwood Retirement Village where her initial position as a cook evolved into a nearly 20 year career as their dietitian. Following her retirement in 1990, Gertie spent several years volunteering weekly at GRV, assisting the ladies with crafts; primarily cutting and preparing denim and fabric for woven rugs which were sold as a fundraiser.
Throughout her life in Glenwood, Gertie attended and was active in the Glenwood Lutheran Church. She participated in the Esther Circle, Glenwood Women of the ELCA, Do-Days quilting, and always the church kitchen. She was a well-known and respected figure and leader in the kitchen, serving funerals, WELCA meetings, Spring gatherings, potlucks, and, of course, the Meatball Supper. It is her recipe from her home church in Donnelly that is used each year. She was also instrumental in the success of the Lutefisk and Meatball Supper put on first by GRV for a few years and then the Glacial Ridge Hospital for several years. She will be remembered throughout the community for her skills in the kitchen, cooking meals, making lefse, flat bread, doughnuts and most anything one can imagine. She instilled her sense of service and giving in all of her children.
Gertie enjoyed traveling and did a lot of camping with the family when the children were young and also with her husband after the children were grown. Her sense of adventure led her to Norway for her 80th birthday, Walt Disney World for her 90th birthday, and two trips to the beautiful paradise of Maui. Gertie also enjoyed sewing and used her talent to show love to her family by making and gifting many, many handmade quilts throughout the generations, as well as embroidered dish towels. Her other hobbies included Cryptoquip puzzles, adult coloring books, word search puzzles, and genealogy. Gertie was the family historian, filling books with family trees, names, dates, pictures, and clippings. Mostly, Gertie just loved being with all of her family at every opportunity. She felt blessed to live in her home in Long Beach right up to her death. She leaves a legacy of love and service that will go on forever.
Gertie is survived by her nine children, Paul Jr (Pat) of Bloomington, IL, Diane (Joel) Hanse of Cyrus, Annette Brandt of Glenwood, Rodney (Candace) Brandt of Indianapolis, IN, Lois (Gary) Swanson of Glenwood, DuWayne (Ann) Brandt of Eden Prairie, Peter (Deb) Brandt of Prior Lake, Laurel (Kim) Brandt of Alexandria, and Marci Henke of Glenwood; 20 grandchildren, Jeff, Lori, and Barry Brandt, Deborah, Eric and Kristin Hanse, Jenaffer, Nathaniel, Jilliane, Stephanie, and Edward Brandt, Kimberlie, Jeramie, Michael, and Jared Swanson, Andrew Brandt, Sarah and Jana Brandt, and Ben and Caitlin Henke; 36 great grandchildren; and five great-great grandchildren; as well as her sister Donna (Ted) Yochim of Sisseton, SD, and several nieces and nephews.
Gertie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Paul in 1995; her sister and brother-in-law, Vivian and Bill Fahey; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Henning and Darlene Awsumb, and Torgney and Lorraine Awsumb; and one great-great grandson Joshua Brandt.
Memorials may be directed to the American Lung Association or Kongsvinger Lutheran Cemetery, 11970 Co Rd 9, Donnelly, MN 56235.