2223 N. Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61108
Born: Monday, February 12, 1917
Passed: Tuesday, February 7, 2017
2/10/2017 | 9:00 am - 10:45 am
First Evangelical Free Church
Add to Calendar 2/10/2017 2/10/2017 11 Johannes L. Oksnevad Visitation Johannes L. Oksnevad Visitation at First Evangelical Free Church First Evangelical Free Church Olson Funeral Homes email@example.com true DD/MM/YYYY
2/10/2017 | 11:00 am -
First Evangelical Free Church
Add to Calendar 2/10/2017 2/10/2017 11 Johannes L. Oksnevad Service Johannes L. Oksnevad Service at First Evangelical Free Church First Evangelical Free Church Olson Funeral Homes firstname.lastname@example.org true DD/MM/YYYY
Johannes Ã˜ksnevad (aka--Dad, Far, Grandpa,FarFar, MorFar, & OldaFar) was born to Hans and Olette-Gustava (TjÃ¸tta) Ã˜ksnevad on February 12, 1917 in Reskell, Norway. He was the eighth child of ten, the youngest boy. He grew up during a difficult time for the family because of a major financial loss. Although his father was able to buy a 6 acre farm, it wasn't enough to sustain the family. Johannes' oldest brothers left for America, so the two younger boys were left to work the farm, only to discover that just under the surface was nothing but rocks. They were one of the poorest families in the region, which left an indelible mark on Dad's life. He never completed the 8th grade, but became a hired hand to area farmers. This tough life instilled in him a work ethic that he would carry with him throughout his life.
His spiritual legacy began with his parents, as he remembered them reading the Bible by the light of kerosene lamps. Johannes accepted Christ into his heart in early childhood; at Revival Meetings when he was 15, he made a public profession to dedicate his life to Jesus. In his youth he joined the Salvation Army, taught Sunday school, and was in charge of the youth league. His faith directed decisions he made throughout his life.
Dad lived through the German occupation of Norway during World War II. He had a secret radio to keep informed of the war by listening to the BBC, which could have cost him his life.
He became a cabinet maker, then left to attend Diakonhjemmet (Deacon Home School) in Oslo in 1943, where he received a degree in Nursing and Administration. He met Gunlaug NjÃ¸lstad (our Mom), a nurse in the hospital in Oslo, and they married in 1948. He was a nurse on a seven-month whaling expedition to Antarctica, where he had many adventures. He was glad to return to Norway and his bride! In 1951, Mom and Dad and daughter Grete traveled to the United States where he was an assistant Pastor at the Norwegian Seamen's Church in Philadelphia. After two years, they moved to Rockford, where two of his brothers lived. He was a nurse at Rockford Memorial Hospital, and later bought a home to start his first Nursing Home at 611 N. Court St., "Deacon Home", named after the school in Norway. He opened his second nursing home, Medina Nursing Center in Durand, in 1965. His third nursing home, Alpine Fireside Health Center, opened in 1972, where he lived for the past 8 years. We are very thankful for the wonderful care he received from the staff.
Johannes and Gunlaug had five more children. All five of us have followed in our parents' footsteps--Holgeir and Gordon became Directors of the two nursing homes, Erik and Ellen are in the medical profession, and Roy is a missionary pastor.
Back in 1968, Dad purchased a farm in the Bad Axe valley near Viroqua, WI, which reminded him of Norway, affectionately called, "Farmen", or "The Farm". Our family has had many memorable times and adventures there over the years. In their retirement, Mom and Dad spent a lot of time at the beloved vacation farm, and traveling internationally, back to Norway and to visit mission fields. Dad's life's passion was missions work. Hundreds of missionaries ate at their table over the years. One of his crowning achievements was on the occasion of his 80th birthday when he brought together several denominations and mission organizations in Norway to raise money for missionary work.
Dad was known for his humor, especially having fun and goofing off with his grandchildren, and for resembling the actor/comedian Danny Kaye. He is preceded in death by his brothers and sisters, his daughter Grete and wife, Gunlaug. He is survived by his four sons, Holgeir (Karen), Roy (Darla), Gordon (Eileen), and Erik (Lou-Ann), and his daughter Ellen Storm, and 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He has left a wonderful example and legacy for all of us to follow. Special thanks to the staff at Alpine Fireside for their care.
Funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017, in First Evangelical Free Church, 2223 N. Mulford Rd. Rockford with Rev. Roy Oksnevad officiating. Burial in Bad Axe Lutheran Cemetery, Purdy, Wisconsin. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. prior to the service in the church. Memorials to Faith Learning International, 209 E. Liberty, Wheaton, IL 60187 (Please write "comma" in the memo of the check) or donate at www.commanetwork.com.