Alvina Wonnenberg


Alvina Frieda (Lindwurm) Wonnenberg was born to William J. and Lena (Kahler) Lindwurm near Carlock, South Dakota on December 30, 1923. She died in Gregory, South Dakota on September 19, 2020, succumbing to Covid 19. She had been the last surviving member of her parental family of eleven. On the farm, they pitched together and despite hard times enjoyed many good times. Amid grasshopper plagues and the Dirty Thirties, they learned early in life to work hard and trust in the Lord.

As little girls, Alvina and younger sister Esther had a special chore. They were sent into the pasture, carrying a pail and a hoe. The hoe was not just to help pick up cow chips for fuel, but to clobber a rattlesnake if need be. Once, they were curious and neared a big fuzzy baby bird. A mama hawk swooped down and squawked. They screamed and made tracks!

Following eight years of study in a country school, Alvina often hired out as a live-in maid. She fought homesickness by studying her catechism. On the first page is written, “Jesus became a man because He had to become our substitute,” followed by, “My Confirmation Book. I memorized many Bible passages in this Book, finished in Oct. 1936.” Many Bible passages!--her sons know!

Alvina married William (Bill) Wonnenberg at Carlock Peace Lutheran Church on September 12, 1943. After honeymooning in Yankton, they settled down to farm near Paxton, South Dakota. They’d raise their five sons and together enjoy farm activity, milking cows, raising livestock and poultry.

Alvina was committed to her Lord Jesus in all she did, as farm wife and homemaker, mother and Sunday School teacher. She enjoyed her flowers and reading books. She recited charming poems by heart. Her family was made happy when KWYR Radio read over the air her prize-winning essay, “Why I am Thankful” and won a turkey! Alvina sang a lot, while washing dishes or scrubbing floors, during good and not-so-good times--“better than complaining,” she’d quip. She had a knack for organizing events and parties. She had a reputation as good cook and hostess, and Sunday School students especially knew her as a lady who “knows her Bible.” She was a fervent prayer intercessor. In the 1970s she helped start a neighborhood Bible study; when a drought came a fast was called, soon followed by downpours of rain!

In 1995 Bill and Alvina moved off the farm to Gregory, South Dakota. Alvina was active in the American Legion Auxiliary. She joined the choir of Union Congregational Church where she and Bill loved to worship. They enjoyed their grandchildren and “taking it easy.”

Alvina leaves behind five sons: David (Quyen) Wonnenberg, Gregory; Kenneth Wonnenberg, Tea; Charles (Diane) Wonnenberg, Wakonda; Steve (Joan) Wonnenberg, Dallas; Roger (Jacqueline) Wonnenberg, Winner; 16 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.

Loved ones preceding Alvina in death include her husband Bill; parents William J. and Lena Lindwurm; all siblings: sisters Christina Neuharth, Elsie Fode, Ella Hanson, Rose Sengelmann, Esther Braun; brothers William Lindwurm, John Lindwurm, Philip Lindwurm; daughter-in-law Diane (Ken’s late wife) Wonnenberg; and two grandchildren: Edward Wonnenberg and Joseph Wonnenberg.

A memorial service is pending due to current virus concerns.

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