Marjorie "Ted" Arlene Gustafson, age 93, was born August 11, 1914 to Orval William and Minnie Agnes (Smith) Langford in Walnut, Illinois. Marjorie passed away February 6, 2008 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Ted" as she had been known by many people, since an infant, lived in the house that she was born in at 199 Rodney Avenue until May 2005, at which time she resided at Greenfield Retirement Home, Princeton, Illinois, until January 2006, when ill health dictated her move to her daughter and son-in-law's home in Windsor Heights, Des Moines, Iowa. Mostly recently "Ted" resided at Woodlands Creek Senior Living Community, Independence Creek Apartments, Clive, Iowa, with her caregiver, Ruth E. Luecht.

The nickname of "Teddy" or "Ted" that stuck for life was given to her by her older brother, Donald, as he thought as an infant, she resembled his Teddy Bear. Ted also had the nickname as a child of "Teeny Weenie Products." In Walnut High School each girl had a flower name. "Ted's" was Baby Rambler. As the valedictorian of her 1932 Walnut High School graduation class, "Ted" was the last surviving girl from that 1932 high school graduating class. In the days of the Walnut Theater, "Ted" was one of the ticket sellers. "Ted" was proud of the fact that her great-great-grandfather, Richard Brewer was the founder of Brewersville, that later became Walnut.

February 26, 1936, "Ted" married Floyd D. Gustafson in Wheaton. Floyd preceded her in death December 29, 1999. They enjoyed travel and "Ted" had visited all but Hawaii of the 50 United States. She and her husband enjoyed a trip to Germany in 1991 with her granddaughter, Charlotte.

Beginning in 1938 "Ted" and her husband owned and operated Floyd Gustafson Trucking and later Walnut Redi Mix in Walnut until 1989. Floyd and "Ted" were both always community minded. When the Walnut Chamber of Commerce began in 1972, Floyd and "Ted" became members and "Ted" remained a member at the time of her passing. Floyd was one of the recipients to be recognized by the Chamber's Hall of Fame in 1997. They were also long time members of the Bureau County Farm Bureau and "Ted" remained a member.

Surviving are two children, Nancy Jo (James W.) Hopkins, Des Moines, Iowa; Donald Lee (Marilyn) Gustafson, Reno, Nevada; four grandchildren, William Bruce Hopkins and his wife Kerri L. B. Grace, of Seattle, Washington; Charlotte Jean Hopkins Shandley and her husband, Michael Rosenberg of the Bronx, New York; Dawn Marie Gustafson Welsh and her husband Cary Welso of Reno, Nevada, and Kimberly Kay Gustafson of Larkspur, California. "Mimi" adored her four great grandchildren, Connor Kevin Welsh, Amber Marie Welsh, Theodore August Rosenberg and Avery Weaver Grace. She will be greatly missed by all of them. Three first cousins survive, Elvin "Pud" Fordham, Walnut, Illinois, Jay Langford, Sheffield, Illinois, Rita Ann Langford Hopkins, Sacramento, California; and several other cousins. All were very supportive of Marjoire during her illness, as were her many friends.

Preceding Marjorie in death were her parents (1993 and 1972), her brother, Ivan Donald Langford (1974) and her husband (1999).

Funeral services will be conducted on Tuesday, February 12 from the Garland Funeral Home Walnut, with the Rev. Brian Moore, pastor of First Christian Church of Walnut officiating. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the funeral service to follow. Burial will be in the Walnut Cemetery, with a luncheon following at the Walnut Christian Church.

In lieu of floral remembrances the family requests memorials be directed to the Walnut Community Food Pantry in care of Walnut Christian Church or in care of Walnut United Methodist Church, Walnut.

(Unknown newspaper, Sterling-Rock Falls, Illinois, July 12, 1968, submitted by Melva L. Taylor) 




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