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Snell, Kjersten Ann (Hanson) 1979-2010


Posted By: Joy Moore (email)
Date: 12/3/2012 at 16:50:06

Kjersten A. (Hanson) Snell, age 30, of Houston, MN and formerly of Decorah, IA, died Wednesday morning, July 14, 2010 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI.

A Celebration of Life Service will honor her life and memory on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 1:00 P.M. at the Center for Faith and Life on the Luther College Campus in Decorah. Rev. Gary F. Krapfl and Rev. Marion Pruitt-Jefferson are officiating. Burial will be in St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery at Plymouth Rock in rural Cresco, Iowa.

Visitation will be from 3:30 - 9:00 P.M. Sunday, July 18 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah and on Monday after 12:00 Noon at the Center for Faith and Life at Luther. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family.

Kjersten Ann Hanson Snell took her last earthly breath cradled in the loving arms of her husband Travis, and surrounded by her family, at 4:20 A.M. on July 14, 2010 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Kjersten was born on August 30, 1979, in Decorah, Iowa to Bruce and Melinda (Gunderson) Hanson, as the youngest of three children.

Kjersten spent her youth in Decorah, and graduated from Decorah Senior High School in 1998. She earned her nursing degree when she graduated from Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar, Iowa. She began her professional career as a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Gundersen Lutheran, and worked there for five years. In 2007, she began working for Dr. John-Peter Temple as the pediatric neurology nurse. She was a compassionate and gifted nurse, whose kind, “spunky” and knowledgeable care touched many, many lives.

Kjersten married Travis Snell on September 30, 2003 at First Lutheran Church in Decorah, and they made their home in Houston, Minnesota.

Kjersten was an enormously kind and creative spirit, with a curiosity for life. She lived life to the fullest and was a friend to many. She delighted in her dogs, treated them like her children, and bred Samoyeds to bring the joy of pets to families across the nation. She loved people, made her family a priority, found great joy in country music, was always ready to travel to warm and sunny climates, and shared her creative talents with countless others through her scrapbooking and photography talents.

In July of 2005 Kjersten was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and battled this disease with strength, faith, grace and dignity for nearly five years. She served as the 2008 Honorary Chairperson of the Houston County Relay for Life and worked tirelessly to raise money for, and awareness of, esophageal cancer.

Kjersten is survived by her husband, Travis Snell of Houston, MN; her parents, Bruce and Melinda (Gunderson) Hanson, Decorah; her mother-in-law, Patti Snell, Canton, MN; a sister, Kaija (Thad) Baldock of Tonganoxie, Kansas; a brother, Aaron (Robyn) Hanson, a sister-in-law, Tammy (John) Brink, and a brother-in-law, Todd (Paula) Snell, all of Decorah, Iowa; and her grandfather, Arthur Gunderson of Pleasantville, WI. She was the beloved “auntie” to Hattie, Remi, Kasia & Kalea Baldock, Tonganoxie, KS; Brody, Bryannah, & Brylee Hanson, Decorah; Tricia (Jason) Quandahl and their children Miaja and Landyn, Decorah; Molly Jo Brink, Cedar Falls; Emily Brink, Cedar Falls; and Hannah, Austin, and Riley Snell of Decorah. Kjersten was also blessed in her life on earth to be loved by many aunts, uncles, cousins, and a multitude of extended family and friends. Kjersten is further survived by her precious dogs, Kianna, Diesel, Kiafus and Kjerah. We take comfort that she has joined the Saints above and will see her father-in-law George Snell, her grandmother Adeline Gunderson, and her grandparents Harry & Esther Hanson.

Cancer did not define Kjersten’s life, but battling the disease became her work in the last 5 years. She inspired and touched countless lives, and in turn, allowed those who loved her to be an intimate part of hers. The sheer number of the more than 180,864 entries on her Caringbridge Website (www.caringbridge.org) speaks to the depth, breadth and impact of Kjersten’s life journey.

The family expresses a tender and heartfelt thank you to the caregivers at Gundersen Lutheran, especially to Dr. Leah Dietrich, Physicians Assistant Eileen Williams, and the staff of the Oncology Unit. Not only did you honor Kjersten with your medical knowledge and continued search for a cure for her disease, you honored her with your kindness, your sense of humor, your continued friendship and your unending compassion. Kjersten was particularly thankful to be served by a medical staff that did so with the perspective of learning how to live with her disease, rather than how to die from it.

There are no words to express the loss we feel, and Kjersten will be deeply missed. We take heart that she has spread her angel wings and we will keep watch for her spirit in our everyday lives. God bless her memory.

Source: Fjelstul Funeral Home database

St. Agnes Catholic Cemetery

Winneshiek Obituaries maintained by Bruce Kuennen.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

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