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KITTLESON, Darlene H. (Bruggeman) 1926-2022


Posted By: Karen Feldt Robertson (email)
Date: 5/10/2024 at 10:54:34

Darlene H. (Bruggemann) Kittleson, 96, of Toerville, Iowa died February 26, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Care Center in St. Ansgar. She loved the sense of the original German family name with two 'n's because it was more distinquished.

She was born January 15, 1926 to Fred H. and Elsie (Geffert) Bruggemann above the family store (Bruggemann's Grocery) joining her half-brother, Fred H. and half-sister, Elvira learning and speaking only German until she entered Toeterville's one room schoolhouse. Baptized into Christ Jesus on February 15, 1926 in St. Peter Lutheran Church, Toeterville, she confirmed her life-long faith on April 2, 1939.

Darlene was the valedictorian of St. Ansgar High School in 1943 and attended one year at St. Olaf Business School in Minneapolis returning home to care for her mother who was dying of cancer.

After World War II, she caught the eye of a war veteran whom she wrote letters to while he was overseas, Galen, and married into the far less placid Kittleson family on April 27, 1947. To this marriage were born two sones, Bruce and Lance.

She wrote once "I thought I had married a farmer, but it turned out I had married a frustrated farmer who really wanted to be a soldier". In 1957, that frustrated farmer became a soldier again thus beginning a long, challenging, but rewarding life as an Army spouse and family. Living in Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, Aschaffenburg and Bad Toelz, Germany, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and Okinawa, Darlene proivided a stable and welcoming home for her family throughout Galen's adventurous career and combat deployments as a Green Beret. Despite initial fears, she would describe being a 'military family' as one of the best and most rewarding decisions of her and Galen's life together.

She was a faithful believer in Christ Jesus and was active in worship and in the Protestant Women of the Chapel wherever they were stationed and at various times Lutheran churches at First Lutheran, St. Ansgar, St. James, Fayetteville, NC and St. Peter, Toeterville.

Upon Galen's retirement from the Army in 1978, they returned to the Bruggeman ancestral home in Toeterville where they lived together until his death in 2006. She was active in the American Legion Auxiliary in St. Ansgar and Stitch and Chat Club. Her homemade bread and "kuchen" were desired by all the family and she even mastered the making of lefse for Galen's Norwegian-half bloodline. In her spare time, she knitted baby caps and blankets for Olive Branch International's Ukrainian Orphan project through the Toeterville Church and created many beautiful quilts over the years. She was a meticulous housekeeper serving for years as the church finacnial secretary as well as keeping track of Galen's cattle farm retirement hobby.

Having learned to be independent as an Army spouse, she was content to live her widowed years continuing to be active in her home church St. Peter, Toeterville while managing their farm north of St. Ansgar. She was a faithful supporter of her sons and spouses as well as the grand and great-grandchildren's in their athletic activities and life events traveling often and far and wide.

When life alone became problematic in her home, she entered Good Samaritan Home in St. Ansgar in 2019 receiving excellent and wonderful care from all the staff until her death.

Darlene was a kind, caring person who grew up in a time and household where you didn't say " I love you" much as you showed it in prayer and deed. She was a friend to many in the church, the community and many an Alamo Scout.

The family thanks the numerous friends and relatives who faithfully visited Dalene in the nursing home and particular her niece, Mary (John) Muller who was like a daughter to her. Mary's daily visits of support and encouragement in the last months in the nursing home were greatly greatly appreciated.

She is survived by her sons, Bruce (Judy) of Virginia Beach, Virginia and Lance (Gail) of St. Ansgar, Iowa; five grandchildren, Scott of Cottonville, NC. Katie Wold of St. Ansgar, Jon (Jenny) of Austin NN; Andy of Jackson Hole, WY and Emily of Virginia Beach, VA; and five great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in care of St. Peter Lutheran Church, Toeterville, Feed My Starving Children and Olive Branch International's Ukraine ministry.

Date of Birth January 15, 1926
Date of Death February 26, 2022
Funeral Services March 3, 2022 St. Peter Lutheran Church, Toeterville, Iowa
Burial First Lutheran Cemetery, St. Ansgar, Iowa


Mitchell Obituaries maintained by Sharyl Ferrall.
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