MOHALL Lila Mae (Rice) Lunde, 89, Mohall, passed away on March 10, 2010, at the Good Samaritan Center, Mohall.
Lila was born on May 10, 1920, to Peder and Ellen Caroline (Asheim) Rice, who farmed nine miles east of Mohall. She was the second-youngest child with seven brothers and three sisters. Lila attended grade school at the Renville Township School in Bottineau County and graduated from Mohall High School, at the age of 16 years, in 1936. Many times she was called upon to play for assemblies or sports events. After high school graduation, Lila was accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City, but declined the acceptance to be at home assisting in the care of her mother.
She was united in marriage December 3, 1939, to Arthur J. Lunde, of Brinsmade, on the Rice home place. They continued to live in Mohall as active participants in their six children and grandchildren's activities until their deaths.
Lila began her musical training at an early age with her sister Mabel's inspiration, Dorothy Hanson's piano skills and from listening to songs on the radio. This helped her to develop the skill of transposing music for soloists she accompanied. Learning new songs seemed to be never-ending as all of her seven brothers had favorite hymns for her to accompany them. Her parents had church services at their home on the farm for all the neighbors to partake in. This would then give Lila the opportunity to share her musical talent by playing the hymns on the piano. At one time, Lila, sister Edith, and brothers John and Ernest, performed as a quartet on KLPM Radio.
She became the organist at Zion Lutheran Church in 1931, a position she held for 78 years until September 2009. Lila was a piano teacher to over 130 young people and encouraged them to perform at different musical events. Lila played for over 4,125 musical functions (church services, weddings, funerals, musicals) in her years of being the organist for Zion Lutheran. She was also called upon to play at the other churches when needed.
When not entertaining, she was an excellent listener and source of encouragement to the many relatives and friends that would gather at her kitchen table for a cookie and cup of coffee to talk. Some of the greatest times of fellowship occurred on some Sundays when 50-60 relatives and friends would gather at Lila and Arthur's home for Sunday meal. That gave all a chance to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Rice who were living with them at the time. Once the meal was finished, Lila would settle in on the piano bench, begin to play a song, and call out to all, "Come and sing now." What a joyful time!
Lila was very active in many Renville and Bottineau County, City of Mohall and the Zion Lutheran Church organizations. She was recognized for her Service to Humanity with her selection as one of the top ten women in Renville County for the first half century. Lila served as church organist, Lutheran Daughters of Reformation (LDR) - a single women's Bible study and activity group, president of the Women Missionary Federation, president for three terms of the American Lutheran Church Women (ALCW), ALC District conventions pianist, Western Prairie pastoral conference meeting pianist, director of the Zion Lutheran Children's Choir, Sunday School teacher, Bible study leader and pianist for the Good Samaritan Nursing Home church services.
Lila also participated and/or held an office in many community organizations namely: Mohall Woman's Club, a charter member of the Renville Homemakers Club, a 63-year member of the Mohall American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion District/State Convention pianist, charter member and past president of Renville Bottineau Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, charter member of the Good Samaritan Auxiliary, Mohall Ambulance Auxiliary, Election Board; County Chairperson Sister Kenny, ND Music Teachers Association, Organist Guild Minot Chapter, chairperson for Renville County and City of Mohall American Cancer Society, Mohall Country Club, Mohall PTA Association and Mohall Music Boosters.
Family: Lila is survived by three daughters, Arlene (Lowell "Pete") McLean, Mesa, Ariz., Dr. Marcia E.R. Lunde, Minot, Anita (Tim) Newgard, Battle Mountain, Nev.; three sons, Gary (Barbara) Lunde, Chillicothe, Ohio, Monte (Bonnie) Lunde, Pahrump, Nev., Lee (Ann) Lunde, Bismarck; 13 grandchildren, six stepgrandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren, 13 stepgreat-grandchildren; sister, Edith (Churness) Verdorn, Big Lake, Minn. and Mesa, Ariz.; and sisters-in-law, Bernice Lunde, Mason City, Iowa, Gertrude Lunde, Sally Lunde and Ruth Lunde, all of Leeds; and brother-in-law, Dr. Samuel Leishear, Salisbury, Md.; and many nieces and nephews.
Lila was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Arthur J., in August 2000, granddaughter Cynthia Lunde, parents Peder and Ellen Caroline, sisters Mabel (Kirby) Groninger, Edith Myrtle, and brothers, Palmer, Milton, Ole, John, Joseph, Ernest and Verdine Rice.
Celebration of Life service: Saturday, March 27, 2010, at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Mohall
Burial: Renville Township Cemetery, rural Mohall
Friends may sign the online guestbook at (www.brosefuneralhome.com) or at
(facebook.com/Brose Funeral Home). (Brose Funeral Home, Mohall)