Judith "Judy" Evenson Tostrud, age 78, of River Falls went home to be with Jesus, her Lord and Savior on April 16th after a courageous, faith-filled battle with Parkinson's Disease.
Judy was born August 9, 1940 in St. Paul, Minnesota to Mary Jane Muckenhirn and Seraphin Crea. She grew up in Hudson, WI and graduated from Hudson High School in 1958, then attended UW-River Falls for one year. In 1960, she married James Tostrud of River Falls at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson, WI. In 1961, Jim enlisted in the Army Security Agency and was assigned to Asmara Ethiopia where they lived for 2 1/2 years. Their son, Jim, was born there, and when he was nine weeks old, the family moved back to the United States. They settled on the Tostrud farm outside River Falls, and in the following years, sons David and Eric were born.
Judy and Jim were excellent hosts and loved to entertain family and friends by the pool in the summer, hiking on the trails, and cooking dinner over a campfire "up on the hill." Judy's love of gardening was evident by the beautiful yard filled with numerous flower gardens. It was this passion that led her back to college to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from UW-River Falls at the age of fifty-six.
When the boys were young, Judy worked as the attendance secretary at River Falls High School and was an Avon Cosmetic Representative. Later, she had a hydroponic plant and flower business. She was a member of Ezekiel Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday School and was a Circle member for many years.
Judy, Jim and family spent many days traveling in the RV, visiting sights throughout the United States. After Jim retired, their love of travel took them to England, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and Norway.
During the mid 1980's, their big brick farmhouse became the Knollwood Bed & Breakfast where Judy and Jim hosted guests for sixteen years. All who stayed at the B&B felt very welcomed, and many became lifelong friends. The blueberry muffins, fresh raspberries from the garden, Belgium waffles and popovers were special breakfast treats lovingly prepared by Judy and Jim. After leaving the farm, Judy and Jim spent many happy summers on the shores of Lake Pepin in Lake City, MN where they made many good friends and memories.
It was her love for God and her family that filled Judy's heart. Her faith kept her strong as she lived with Parkinson's Disease. The closeness and love of family were truly felt as they cared for Judy and for each other. Judy was also blessed with many friends in Hudson, River Falls, and Lake City.
Judy is survived by her husband of 59 years and faithful caregiver, Jim; Sons, Jim (Maureen) of Monroe, WI, David of Hudson, WI and Eric (Sarah) of Hudson, WI; Grandchildren Noah, Jonah, Grace, Lexi, Jonathan and Alex Tostrud, Claire and Garrett Hockman; Sisters Mary Ann (Orin) Anderson, Karen (John) Turnbull; Brother Don Evenson; Sister-in-law Loueta Tostrud; and many nieces and nephews as well as treasured friends. Judy was preceded in death by her mother, Mary Jane who died 9 years earlier to the date; stepfathers Donald Evenson and Jim Sullivan; mother-in-law Ethel Tostrud, father-in-law Orville Tostrud, and step father-in-law Sievert Carlson.
The family would like to thank the staff of St. Croix Hospice, Wintergreen Senior Living in Hudson, Comforts of Home in River Falls and for their loving, compassionate care for Judy. To honor Judy, a Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, May 18th at 10:30 am at Ezekiel Lutheran Church in River Falls, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Judy's name can be made to Ezekiel Lutheran Church of River Falls or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Make donations payable to Peloton4Parkinsons. Mail to: Eric Tostrud, 1143 Sommers Street N., Hudson,WI 54016.