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Cleone Brustuen

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Funeral services for Cleone Brustuen of Appleton will be held on Monday, April 5 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Appleton. Reverend Tim Renstrom will be officiating. Visitation will be held Sunday from 4-8 p.m., with a prayer service beginning at 7 p.m. at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris and for one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. Interment will take place at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, rural Appleton.

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Cleone Verree Brustuen was born Oct. 23, 1921 to Fred and LC May (Whaley) Rau at their farm on the shores of Boedigheimer Lake near Perham. She was baptized at home by Pastor Agathor. During the Great Depression, her family moved to several different farms in Western Minnesota. She was confirmed at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock by Pastor E.A. Hempeck.

Cleone spent two years living with her childless aunt and uncle in California, graduating from George Washington High School in Los Angeles. Minnesota college entrance requirements compelled her to attend "depression college" at Appleton High School, where she achieved a second high school diploma in 1942.

She was married to Nils Karl Brustuen at Immanuel Lutheran Church in rural Appleton on June 14, 1942. Nils and Cleone began married life sharing a house with Nils's parents on the Brustuen family homestead before moving into their first home, Ole Brustuen's original claim shanty. Nils and Cleone moved in 1947 to their farm in rural Alberta, where she resided until her death. She is survived by her children: Barbara (Robert) Beck, St. Louis, Mo., Eldon (Sharon) Brustuen, Roseville, Kathryn (John) Berres, Alberta, Melody (Rodger) Veenendaal, Morris, Kevin Brustuen, Bozeman, Mont., Emilie Brustuen, Alberta, Keith (Sheila) Brustuen, Waverly, Iowa; twenty-four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Also by her siblings: Naomi Miller, Morris, Merlin Rau and Betty Blaskowski, Kensington, Donald (Alois) Rau, Kensington, Ruth (Warren) Hickey, Minneapolis, and numerous nieces and nephews. Also survived by Uncle Erwin Rau, Willmar, and Aunts Geneva Webster, Spring Lake Park, Verree Fox, Morris.

She was preceded in death by husband Nils Brustuen, parents Fred and LC May (Whaley) Rau, sister Geraldine Maanum, infant sister Elsie Carol Rau, and numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Cleone's post-high school education included one term at West Central School of Agriculture, two years at the University of Minnesota, Morris and numerous correspondence courses. She fed a lively curiosity about the world around her with extensive reading and study.

She utilized her gifts at her congregations, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, rural Appleton, and Trinity Lutheran in Appleton, by directing the junior choir, teaching Sunday School, singing in the Senior Choir, serving on the Church Council, and as church organist.

Music has always been an important part of Cleone's life. She was a founding member of Music Club in Appleton and a vocal quartet that performed in the area, as well as singing with various community choirs, including Minnewaska Showstoppers.

Cleone traveled throughout the US, in Europe and Asia, often with or to see her children and grandchildren. She enriched her life with concerts, theatre and other performances by professionals, but more deeply enjoyed her grandchildren's sporting events, theatre, concerts, and other accomplishments.

Cleone died after a short illness on Sunday, March 28, at the home of her daughter in Morris. As Cleone anticipated her death, she requested that the following quote be included in her obituary: "Surely goodness and mercy [have] followed me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." - Psalm 23.

In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to: Lakeland Hospice and Home Care, Autism Speaks, Trinity Lutheran Church, Appleton, St. Paul Lutheran Church-LCMS, Waverly, Iowa.

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