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Barbara Lunde, 78, of Rockford, passed away on October 26, 2018. Born on November 29, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan, the daughter of Otto Wilhelm and Ady Selma (Haroldsson) Benson. Barbara graduated from Melvindale High School and Augustana College. She married Richard Lunde on October 13, 1962 in Detroit, Michigan. Barbara's primary passion was her family and friends. She was her grandchildren's biggest fan no matter what activity they were involved in. Next to her family was promoting Swedish heritage and the city of Rockford. Her drive for connecting Sweden and Rockford included being an active board member of the Swedish Historical Society, serving as an International Representative for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, facilitating a sister city relationship with Borgholm, assisting in the development of the Nordic Cultural Center, and earning the Swedish Council of America's Merit Award. Her advocacy for Rockford was reflected in being a founding member of the Klehm Arboretum Board, a Women's Art Board member, and involvement in the Rockford Council of Women's Garden Club among numerous other activities. As a former Girl Scout leader she was extremely proud of her five Eagle Scout grandsons.
Survived by her husband, Richard; children, Michael (Pam) Lunde, Christine Smith; and John Lunde; grandchildren, Eric, Matthew, Alex, Stephen, and David Lunde, and Allison and Abigail Smith; brother, Harold (Maj) Benson; nieces Karen and Laura; daughter-in-law, Christina; and son-in-law, Mike. Predeceased by her parents.
Services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018 in Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 920 Third Ave., Rockford, with Reverend Dr. Michael Thomas officiating. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2, 2018 in Fred C. Olson Chapel, 1001 Second Ave. and from 10:00 to 10:45 prior to the service on Saturday in the church. Burial in Scandinavian Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the Swedish Historical Society, 404 S. 3rd, Rockford, IL 61104.

Condolences & Shared Memories (20)

  1. Jim Chapo

    A beautiful person who will be greatly missed. Many wonderful memories. God bless

  2. Jerry Wagatha

    She was a wonderful person, just full of life. May her family feel her life was full of joy. God Bless and we'll see her again.

  3. Carol Caler

    Barbara is such a great loss for the Swedish Community. I remember going down 51 in an 18 Wheeler, with her son driving, Barbara, Zaida and myself, to celebrate Zaida Ladd Brown's 80th Birthday. I drove up to the park with Zaida in a little 2 seater and we pushed Zaida into the 18 wheeler. Barb had a very fun side to her. I can always remember her smile, doing something like that, to make someone else's day. She will be missed.

  4. Dean Liskum

    Sorry for your loss. Remember to enjoy Barbara's wonderful qualities as they live on in the generations of your family.

  5. Kristin and Mats Bertilius

    So sad for your loss. Barbara was such a curious person eager to learn new things and getting to know new people. We were two of them. Thank you Barbara for everything you stood for and accomplished. You will be missed and fondly remembered. Always.

  6. Irene Oldson

    Dear Richard and Family, Heartfelt Sympathy, thinking of you in this time of sorrow. Thank You Barbro for the many beautiful memories. Vila i Frid min Vän.

  7. Ted and Debbie Krumland

    We were very saddened to hear about Barbara's passing. Peace to her memory. She was a lovely lady that was very welcoming to us when we visited Rockford. She will be missed!!! Ted and Debbie Krumland, Olympia, WA

  8. Melody Pobjecky

    Such a dear friend and great lady! She will be missed near and far. I am sure she and John Anderson are up figuring out how to make Heaven the best it can be, Love you Barb and thank you!

  9. Tina Fewell

    Lunde Family, What a tremendous loss for all of you and the Rockford Community. Grateful that my path crossed with Barbara's through the Swedish Historical Society. She will be missed by many.

  10. Marianne and Sven Bengtsson

    We will miss your smile, your big kindness and hospitality every time we met. Rockford will not be the same without you. Big hug to you Barbara!

  11. Picke Johansson

    Barbara was the first person i met at my first visit to USA and i will allways remember that. Since that time it has been a lot more meatings thru the years with bouth her and her lovely family! Every time with a warm smile on her face. She has allways taking care of us swedes when we been over there. She was like a mother to all of us bouth teachers and students when we been there and for me she was the ”queen of Rockford”! Allways remembered in brightness. Big hug to you Barbara!

  12. Melinda Peterson-Fluaitt

    You always encouraged me in my Swedish bread baking, you were my best customer, I will miss you at Lucia, Jul Market, Midsommar and so many more events. Enjoy being among the angels.

  13. Patrick A Bautz

    When i was in high school my path made it to Mike Lunde. thru are many experiences and adventures often involved traveling with Christine, John and "mom n Dad" Lunde. from the moment i met Mrs lunde i knew i was in the company of someone truly special.her kindness, generosity and most of all her gentle way. i will never forget the person she was. Barb, thank you for always making me feel part of your most special family....

  14. Rick and Mary Powell

    Richard and family, we were sorry to hear of Barbara's passing. She was such a joyful person and will be missed by all who's knew her . Her beautiful smile was always apparent when we saw her. Our prayers go out to all of you.

  15. Anne Robek Patrick Barrett

    We are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our deepest sympathiesz

  16. Harald Erici

    Barbara Lunde was such a delightful and warm person, a true ambassador of Rockford and also Borgholm, Sweden through the cities sister program. I had the pleasure to get to know Barbara in Öland, Sweden and later during Trio Erici´s visit in Rockford 2015 at the 75th anniversary of Rockford Swedish Historical Society. Barbara and John Nelson took very good care of us during our stay in Rockford and we kept in touch after our return to Sweden. Barbara was curious and interested in our lives. It is hard to understand the she is no longer with us. My deepest condolences goes to her family. I am thankful that I got to know Barbara and will keep her and her beautiful work in mind for many years to come.

  17. Valeri DeCastris

    Oh goodness! I was hoping this was a different person when I first saw it in the paper. What a terrible loss! I loved Barb and she loved me. NO ONE was more supportive of my initiating an Italian Sister City (Ferentino) with Rockford than Barb. She had me speak at Swedish events, gave me lots of John AND Barb are gone. They were the HEART of the Swedish community in Rockford. I can't tell you how upset I am. What a loss to me and to Rockford. I am sure that they are mourning her in Sweden too. So so very sorry and so many condolences to her husband, son and family of whom she was very proud....I hope someone takes her place on the Rockford Sister Cities Advisory Commission, whose meetings I used to attend from the beginning and whose by-laws I helped to create. I can't imagine it without her. So sad! Not a good week for my friends one was a bigger booster and better representative of Rockford's Swedish ancestry than Barb Lunde. RIP honey!

  18. Greg Dent

    Mike and family, I am so sorry to read of your mom's passing. I can say I was proud to know her. May she Rest In Paradise.

  19. Carl & Julie Willy

    We are shocked & so very sorry hearing of the loss of Barb. She was a lovely neighbor & friend.

  20. Rick Varga

    Prayers and Sympathy for your loss.

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