Linda Elwanda Ehlers Baum was born on January 21, 1923 at the family farm south of Lytton, Iowa to Henry and Anna (Heeckt) Ehlers and was the oldest of four children. She passed peacefully to her heavenly reward at the age of 96 years 4 months and 2 days on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at Park View Rehabilitation Center in Sac City, IA.
Linda was baptized on March 4, 1923, by Rev. Dahlke at her home and confirmed in 1936 at Emanuel-St. John Lutheran Church in Lytton by Rev. H.C. Gold. She graduated from Lytton High School in 1940.
After graduation, she continued to help her parents on the farm. It was during this time she had her first date with Orval Baum. They were the best man and maid of honor at his sister’s wedding in 1938 and continued their courtship until Orval returned home from his WW II service. Orval and Linda were married on December 7, 1945 at the church in Lytton. They enjoyed a marriage for 46 years until Orval’s passing in 1991.
Linda and Orval farmed in the Lytton area and were blessed with three children: Rita, Diane and Dean. Linda was a partner on the farm helping with many farm activities as well as gardening, baking, sewing and homemaking.
Linda was a member of Emanuel-St. John Lutheran Church and had a heart that loved to serve. As an active volunteer in her church, she taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, was a charter member of the Ruth Circle, served on the church council and other church committees. Linda was also a 4-H leader and a supporter of her children’s school, music and sports activities.
Linda’s passion for the past 25 years has been making quilts for others. Besides participating in Do Days at the church, she quilted in her home and invited others to join her in her mission by keeping her supplied with materials or joining her in her basement to assemble quilts. Her weekly routine found her attending Sunday school and church, gardening, enjoying her coffee groups, quilting with her sewing friends, helping with bingo at Park View and spending all day with her homebound sister. She also loved to read and do the cryptoquip and crossword puzzles.
Linda relied on her Faithful Lord to give her strength and trusted in Him throughout her life. She cherished her daily devotion time and lifted her friends and family up to her loving God in fervent prayer. She was so thankful to remain in her home for so long with the assistance of loving caregivers, friends and family.
Linda was preceded in death by both her husband Orval and daughter Rita in 1991; her youngest sister Adrience Bruns; her parents; and infant brother Eldean.
Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter Diane (Gaylord) Thormodsgard, Estero, FL; son Dean (Barbara) Baum, San Tan Valley, AZ; and son-in-law Stan (Jude) Ragnes, Plymouth, MN; five grandchildren: Dr. Timothy (Katie) Thormodsgard, Joshua Ragnes, Amy (Gregory) Floyd, Ryan (Amy) Baum and Bradley (Erin) Baum; seven great-grandchildren: Jacob and Elijah Thormodsgard, Adriana and Madison Floyd, Ellie Baum and Devin and Luke Baum; sister Veda Landgraf, Albert City, IA; longtime family friend Rev. Patricia L. Holman; nieces, nephews, extended family members, caregivers and friends.
Linda shared her faith and witnessed to many throughout her life and journey on earth. She gave this devotional to her daughter many years ago to share at her funeral (author unknown):
“I want no rites in a gloom-filled room when my sun sets. Miss me a little, not with head bowed. Remember the Love we once shared, but let me go. This journey we all must take – alone. It’s the Master’s plan, a stop on the road home. When lonely and sick at heart, go to the friends you know. Bury your sorrows by doing good deeds for them and the Lord. Miss me, but let me go.”
In Lieu of flowers please send memorials to the Youth Ministries at the Emanuel-St. John Lutheran Church
in Lytton, Iowa.