Lester B. Gjestvang


Lester Bernard Gjestvang, 93, passed away peacefully, February 22, 2022.

Lester was born June 28, 1928, to Bertha (Skunberg) and Leonard Gjestvang in Whitehall. On September 15, 1950, he married the love of his life, Hilma Johnson, at Elk Creek Lutheran Church and they settled on the family farm in the Pleasantville area. In addition to dairy farming, he also raised beef and pigs, worked at the feed mill and drove school bus.

Lester was a man of integrity who dedicated his life to his faith, family, and community. He was active in his life-long church, Grace Lutheran of Pleasantville, where he was baptized, confirmed, held multiple offices and served on many committees. He also served his community as a long-time member of many organizations. He was a charter member of the Pleasantville Fire Department and Lions Club, a long-time leader of the Pike Pep-Ups 4-H Club, and member of the Trempealeau County Pork Producers, from which he received ‘Man of the Year’ in 1991. Lester served on many boards including the Tri-County Telephone Board of Directors, Trempealeau County Housing Authority and Citizen Advisory Board for Tri-County Nursing Home, where he enjoyed the men’s coffee time. In 1998, he and his wife received the “Pleasantville Citizens of the Year” award.

What Lester was most proud of, however, was his family. He lived his life with a quiet dignity and graciousness that he offered to all around him. He loved nothing more than a gathering with family and friends for coffee and conversation. He enjoyed fishing and woodworking when he retired and, together with his wife of 71 years, they created many pieces of art that they gifted to family and sold at area craft shows.

He is survived by his wife, Hilma; his children: Jeanine Thomley of Whitehall, Leona Torpen of Osseo, Rollin (Sally) Gjestvang of Pleasantville, Kaylin (John) Wiemer of Arcadia and Roselie (Andrew) Vaughan of Bloomington, MN; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Ernest Johnson; and many nieces and nephews.

Lester was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Esther Berg; brothers-in-law: Clarence Herman and Lester Berg; sister-in-law, Donna Johnson; sons-in-law: Loren Thomley and Richard Torpen; and nephews: John Herman and Harvey Johnson.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 2:00 p.m., at Grace Lutheran Church, Pleasantville, with visitation from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pastor Peter Jonas will officiate. The family respectfully requests attendees to wear masks. There will be a private, family-only gathering following the service and burial will take place at future date.

Lester’s family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Pigeon Falls Nursing Home and to the St. Croix Hospice staff who provided love and comfort in his final days.

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