Imogene Sunderland, 70, of rural Montevideo, died Thursday morning, Sept. 15, 2016 at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale. Memorial Services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Church of Christ in Granite Falls. Interment will be in the Granite Falls City Cemetery. Visitation with the family will take place on Friday, September 23 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at the Wing-Bain Funeral Home in Granite Falls and continue one hour prior to services on Saturday morning at the church.
Imogene Carol Sunderland was born on August 29, 1946 in Granite Falls, the daughter of Wallace and Mildred (Day) Odegard. She was baptized and confirmed in the United Church of Christ in Granite Falls and graduated from Granite Falls High School in 1964. She married Orlen Torke in 1964, and three daughters were born to this union- Karla, Brenda and Alita. One son, David, was also born who died in infancy. On August 28, 1993, Imogene was united in marriage to Kent Sunderland and made their home on a farm northeast of Montevideo.
Having grown up on a farm, Imogene so enjoyed the peacefulness of life in the country. As a teenager, Imogene worked at the Falls Café and was active in church choir and the youth fellowship group. She was also active in numerous high school activities, including choir were she loved sharing her singing talents in solos and the girls’ trio. She received a guitar for Christmas one year and sang with her sister at many high school and local events. Imogene loved music and singing from the young age of 3 ½ when she sang ‘You Are My Sunshine’ at the family reunion. She also loved to dance and especially loved the old time country music in which the lyrics were easy to understand.
Imogene worked for KDMA Radio as a receptionist, managed Riverview Apartments and her proudest achievement was being named Executive Director of the Southwest Region of Minnesota Emergency Medical Services for 33 years. She was responsible for 18 southwestern Minnesota counties and oversaw the scheduling of education and training. She provided liaison support with the Minn. Dept. of Health for all law enforcement, ambulances, first responders and fire departments in the region. This was a true passion for Imogene as the work made a positive impact in the lives within the communities she served.
Imogene was a humble, kind and caring person with a soft heart, always taking time for others. She crocheted doilies, bedspreads, afghans and Christmas stockings for her family and friends. She was also a great baker and cook. She made doughnuts, banana bread, handmade mints and her grandchildren’s favorite- large batches of puppy chow snack. She loved to assist Kent in the day-to-day upkeep at the farm and was meticulous in how she mowed the lawn, maintaining it like one big soft, green carpet. She played ladies’ pool league for years and also liked to read, play cards, and spend time with family and friends, especially her grandchildren and great grandsons.
She is survived by her father Wallace Odegard of Granite Falls; husband Kent of Montevideo; her daughters Karla Torke of Sarasota, FL; Brenda Karston of Belle Plaine, and Alita Torke of New Brighton; grandchildren Jesi (Nick) Rau of Herzogenaurach, Germany, Krystal (Patrick) O’Shea of Eagan, and Jayde Karston of Belle Plaine; great grandchildren Drake Rau and Kieran O’Shea; siblings Sharon (Ray) Olson of Walker, Lynnae (Darrell) Zieske of Alexandria, Dallas (Coleen) Odegard of Sacred Heart, Denise (Rick) Growe of Shakopee, Lori Odegard of Sacred Heart, Loren Odegard of Sacred Heart, Brad (Dawn) Odegard of Clarkfield; father-in-law Dale Sunderland of Montevideo; brother-in-law Steven (Lynell) Sunderland of Montevideo, Bradley (Mary) Sunderland of Maynard, Russell ( Cheryl) Sunderland of Jamestown, ND; sister-in-law LuAnn (Lonnie) Hansen of Maynard, LaNae Sunderland (John Bendickson) of Sunberg, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her mother Mildred; a son in infancy (David Torke); brother-in-law Douglas Chapman; sister-in-law Jennifer Odegard and her mother-in-law Katherine Sunderland.