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Obituary for Martha Sesvold

Martha Anne (Tenneson) Sesvold, 90, of La Crosse, passed away Monday, May 6, 2024 at Sauer Health Care in Winona, MN, after a brief illness.

She was born June 1, 1933 in rural Ettrick to Thomas and Esther (Dopp) Tenneson. Martha grew up on a farm in rural Blair where she attended Valley View School and graduated from Blair High School. In her youth, she was busy with farm life, active in 4-H, played the church organ and sang in the choir, played clarinet in the school band, and wrote for the Blair Press. Martha graduated from Eau Claire State College in 1955 with a degree in education. She taught elementary school in La Crosse her entire career, retiring in 1995.

On August 6, 1955, she married Robert Sesvold and together they had four children: Karen, Ann, Mark, and David. They built their home and raised their family in Mormon Coulee. Martha was a member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. While working and raising a family, she was also a cub scout leader, Sunday school and Bible school teacher, 4-H club leader, and PTA officer. She led the Mormon Coulee 4-H club for 26 years.

Martha’s passions included growing flowers and raising and canning vegetables from the huge garden where the whole family worked. She also enjoyed sewing, quilting, needlework, and Norwegian Rosemaling. She sewed most of her family’s clothes as well as curtains, drapes, doll clothes, and clothes for others; she taught her daughters this life long skill. She also refinished and reupholstered furniture. For years, Martha entered the La Crosse County Fair and won many blue ribbons for her sewing and flowers. In later years, working on jigsaw puzzles was a favorite pastime.

Martha and Bob loved to travel. Their trips included visits to all 50 states, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Nova Scotia, and many European and Scandinavian countries. They also went on cruises and attended baseball games in most of the major league stadiums in the country. Martha and Bob celebrated 60 years of marriage just prior to his death in 2015. She was a devout Christian and stayed active at church until just a month ago. Her dearest companion was her Siamese cat, Riley.

Survivors include her two daughters, Karen (Mark) Godsey and Ann Weess both of Winona, MN; sons, Mark (Marianne) Sesvold of La Crosse, WI and David (Chris) Sesvold of Hartland, WI; six grandsons, Brad (Betsy) Walker, Bryan (Cassandra) Weess, Nathan (Rachael) Weess, Cameron (Lindsey) Weess, Shaun (Sarah) Sesvold, and Derek (Amira) Sesvold; eight great-grandchildren; sister, Ruth Strand; brother, John (Carla) Tenneson; brother-in-law, Ron (Lois) Johnson; and nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Martha was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; son-in-law, Pete Weess; and brother-in-law, Richard Strand.

“Dear Mom, thank you for teaching us to work hard, and enjoy the things we love.”

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, May 13, 2024 at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 612 Division Street, La Crosse, WI, 54601. Pastor Joanne S. Richmond will officiate. Following a time of fellowship, burial will be in Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church or La Crosse Area Retired Educators Association.

Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Woodruff Chapel, La Crosse, is in charge of arrangements.

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