Geneva Anna Marie Nygren
June 08 1923 - March 08 2017 - Age 93

Geneva Anna Marie Nygren Anderson passed away peacefully on March 8, 2017 at Bonaventure Senior Living in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was a resident of Colorado Springs for 18 years having moved from Minneapolis to the Lutheran Village Townhomes in 1999.

She was born June 8, 1923 on the family farm in Dixon County, Nebraska, daughter of Albert and Anna Erickson Nygren. Her older brother Burdette Ernest preceded her in death in 2001. Her sister Doris Ruth died in childhood.

Geneva married Alvin G. Anderson August 2, 1958, in Hopkins, Minnesota, becoming a second mother to three daughters, Shirley, Judith, and Gail. She was a loving successor to their mother Dorothy and never failed to support her memory.

Geneva attended the local country school and graduated from Concord High School in 1941. After attending Wayne State Teachers’ College, she taught all grades in area schools. She finished her baccalaureate degree in Parish Work at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota in 1948. She worked as a church professional in Lutheran Churches in St. Paul and Hopkins, Minnesota, and New York City. Her teaching career took her from those first rural Nebraska schools to city schools in Wayne, Nebraska; Denver, and Minneapolis. After her husband’s death in 1975, she completed her Master’s Degree in Reading with certification in Special Needs Education. Her Master’s research was a study of school systems in Sweden, England, and the United States. She continued teaching until her retirement in 1988.

Geneva’s interest in family stories, Swedish heritage, and genealogy started with her childhood question, “But where did we come from?” She listened carefully to her community’s Swedish immigrant history and began to explore her family line as a young adult. When she traveled with Alvin to his professional meetings, they often added Sweden to their itinerary where she continued her search in dusty church records and town hall micro-fiche collections. Geneva made many trips across Sweden with family and friends. She shared her interest in genealogy with enthusiasm and thoroughly enjoyed the new technologies that allowed others to continue her work.

Geneva’s faith was nurtured in the Swedish Lutheran tradition beginning with her baptism and confirmation in the Concordia Evangelical Lutheran Church, Concord, Nebraska. She was an active participant and leader in each faith community she joined from the Gustavus choir in college to Sunday School Christmas programs in multiple parishes. Her organizational skills and enthusiasm impacted many lives as she lived her faith in every setting.

Geneva is survived by her daughters: Shirley Mills (Donald) of Syracuse, New York; Judith Spielbauer (Ronald) of Oxford, Ohio; Gail Bagenstos (Craig) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; six grandchildren: Heather, Stephen, and Ben (Samantha), Kristen, Bethany (Todd), Jill (Nathan); and six greatgrandchildren: Kiernan, Piper, Robert, William, Geneva, and Miles; as well as her brother Burdette’s children: Burdette “Butch” Nygren (Elizabeth “Libby”) and Vicki Nygren Armstrong (David) and their families in Mississippi.

A celebration of life will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church, (2505 North Circle Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909) on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Reception to follow. Memorial services will also be held in Concord, Nebraska, and Minneapolis, Minnesota at later dates with inurnment in Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis.

We thank Capadonna Funeral Home of Colorado Springs ( for handling arrangements.

Members of her extended family both here and abroad will mourn her passing. We all treasure the rich legacy of family, faith, and love bequeathed to us by Geneva and Alvin.

Colorado Springs, CO (current)
Dixon, NE (birthplace)

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