Elaine M. Lundberg

1922 — 2013

by Mark Safstrom

Elaine Marilyn Pearson was born in Swedeburg, Nebraska, to Victor and Esther Pearson, and grew up on the family corn farm along with two sisters and two brothers. During the Depression, the Pearsons packed up the truck and moved to a new farm in Selah, Washington. Elaine graduated from Selah High School in 1939 and Yakima Valley Junior College in 1941.

It was at Selah Covenant Church that Elaine met Richard Lundberg, when they were assigned to “count pennies” (the Sunday School offering). Their wedding was all set for the summer of 1943, but was postponed by WWII. On July 8th 1944, there was finally time for a wedding while Dick was on leave from the Navy. Their early married life was spent in Boston, but when Dick was transferred to Pearl Harbor, Elaine returned home, finding work as a bookkeeper in Yakima. After the war, they relocated to Seattle.

Elaine was a wonderful mother, sewing clothes, canning fruit and vegetables, and volunteering for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. She regularly entertained friends and family, setting a beautiful table, and cooking wonderful food. Her recipes passed on to others are often considered “favorites.” The Lundbergs attended the Interbay Covenant Church in Ballard, and joined Highland Covenant after moving to Bellevue in the 1950s.

Elaine loved music, and especially good worship. Childhood piano lessons blossomed into a ministry as a church organist. Elaine believed that worship should be beautiful and joyful, something that she made sure happened at Highland for years. She was active with the Covenant Women’s group and a faithful supporter of missionaries, whom she often hosted in her home. She continued to “roll bandages” to be sent to Covenant medical missions in Congo until about a year ago. Elaine was not one for attention, preferring to keep busy at the organ console and organizing church dinners and events.

After her children were grown, Elaine worked as a bookkeeper for the Presbyterian denominational offices in Seattle, and then for Covenant Shores Retirement Community in its early days. Highlights of Elaine and Dick’s retirement included crisscrossing North America in their motorhome and making the trip of a lifetime to Sweden, reconnecting with their heritage and relatives. Central in the Lundberg family calendar was time at the “summer place,” first a little cabin at Covenant Beach Bible Camp, and then later on, Vaughn Bay. The guiding principle was that family should spend lots of quality time together.

Elaine was preceded in death by her son Keith. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her son, David Lundberg and wife Carolyn; her daughter Jan Safstrom and husband Don; her daughter Julie Day and husband Dick; daughter-in-law Sally Lundberg; and seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Elaine will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered, until we meet again.

— Gathered by Sally Lundberg and Mark Safstrom

[Memorials are directed to Covenant World Mission.]

Mark Safstrom is Chief Editor of Pietisten, and teaches Swedish language and Scandinavian literature at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

See all articles by Mark Safstrom