LindaKaye (Linda) Selma Gigstead of Appleton, WI, peacefully departed her earthly body on the morning of Sunday, October 24, 2021. Displaying strength and faith in the face of adversity, she succumbed to the devastating effects of multiple sclerosis, following a hard-fought battle of twenty-five years.
Linda was born on August 16, 1948, to Albert and Evelyn Petersen of Essig, MN. The youngest of three daughters, she was baptized in Christ at Zion Lutheran Church on September 5, 1948. She attended elementary school and was confirmed in the Christian faith at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, MN, on April 15, 1962. After graduation from Luther High School in Onalaska, WI, she went on to train in secretarial skills in Minneapolis, MN.
While in Minneapolis, Linda became engaged to the love of her life, Daniel Coleman Gigstead of Hilbert, WI. They were married on November 28, 1970, at St John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sleepy Eye, MN. Always a loving and supportive wife, Linda accompanied Dan on his various military postings in Alabama, Korea, and Washington.
After Dan’s discharge from the Army, they joined Bethany Lutheran Church in 1975. They were blessed with two sons, Daniel Elman and Benjamin Paul. Linda was an amazing mom to her boys, creating an incredibly love-filled home. It was this love that inspired Linda and Dan Sr. to open their home to ten different teenagers from all over Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. This gave them the opportunity to attend Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, WI. Linda always gave of herself, whether by teaching Sunday school, coaching basketball when no other parent volunteered, or by answering the phone at all hours of the night to provide a safe ride or place to anyone in need. Linda never failed in her generous and charitable spirit.
Professionally, Linda began her career as a medical secretary at Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis, MN. After moving to Appleton, she worked in the offices at Fox Tractor Company before joining AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) as an administrative assistant. It was at AAL (now Thrivent Financial) where she would eventually retire after twenty years. Always tireless in wanting to provide more for her family, Linda worked retail at Younkers, Herbergers, and Kohl’s department stores in addition to her full-time job at AAL.
Linda gave of her heart and time in so many ways for all of God’s creatures. She and Dan Sr. cared for several animals: Huey, Mac, Tiffany (Tiffy), Duke, Hannah, Maggie the Cat, and George. Linda treated them as family and they loved her unconditionally in return. Linda was so grateful for her many friendships. This included playing cards with her sisters and many cousins, enjoying warm evenings outside with neighbors, camping with family, taking trips in the RV, participating in the Gold Wing club, volunteering in her church community, crafting and hosting garage sales, scrapbooking with dear friends, and sharing that talent with her grandchildren. They will always remember how much NaNa loved them. Linda fondly carried these memories and her family and friends will continue to treasure their own memories of Linda.
Although God’s plan included many challenges, Linda’s faith in the Lord was unwavering. It is this faith that sustained her through her darkest hours, and allowed her to become a true inspiration to so many. Her courage, conviction, humility, and compassion, even in times of hardship, served as a guiding light to her loved ones. We are saddened by Linda’s passing but so blessed by the example she set and will strive to carry her legacy forward.
Linda is survived by her son Daniel (Ann) Gigstead and their daughter Kate of Prior Lake, MN, Benjamin (Mel) Gigstead and their children Landon and Evelyn of Appleton, WI, her sister LaDonna Schwecke of Fond du Lac, WI, her sister Marion Grams of Appleton, WI, her mother-in-law Althea Gigstead of Appleton, three sisters-in-law Pamela (Keith) Jeske of Kaukauna, WI, Jeanne Gigstead of Appleton, WI, Connie (Lyle) Haltinner of Appleton, WI, as well as many other beloved friends and family.
This past June, Linda said goodbye to her devoted husband of nearly fifty-one years. Dan Sr. was her constant companion and champion until the very end of his life. She was further preceded in death by her parents Albert and Evelyn Petersen, her brothers-in-law Herbert Grams and Floyd Schwecke, and her father-in-law Elman Gigstead.
We are humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support during this difficult time. The support Linda inspired is a testament to her own loving life. Linda’s family would like to thank Pastor Brown for his spiritual guidance, Dr. Matteo of Neuroscience Group for his dedication, time, and invaluable advocacy. We also thank the various staff and friends at Edenbrook/Bridges, who cared for Linda for many years, especially her friends Michael Keller and Nurse Eric, and Ann L., Wendy W, and Judy G., who both made it possible for Linda’s grandkids to enjoy the many scrapbooks they gave of their time to provide. We also offer many thanks to the friends and family who visited Linda, brought her treats, and buoyed her spirits. Your love gave Linda her strength. We are grateful beyond measure to each of you for every day she found the courage to soldier on.
I, Linda Gigstead. want all who read this to know that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that upon my death I will enter Heaven not by my own worthiness, but only through the merits of Jesus Christ my Savior, who paid the price for my soul’s redemption through His death on the cross. For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Secondly, I commend my loved ones into the hand of the Lord and encourage them to place their faith and trust in Him alone for their salvation and I ask my children, whom I love, never to forget the instructions Christ has given us “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every nation.” Share God’s word with everyone at home and abroad. May God grant you peace, love and strength as He guides you through this life. Then at the end of time, we will be reunited in heaven as a happy family.
A funeral service for Linda will be held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 6, 2021 at Bethany Ev. Lutheran Church, 530 W Parkway Blvd., Appleton. Friends and family may gather at the church from 11:00 AM until the hour of service. Burial will take place in New Ulm, MN.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that you consider donating to one of the following charities in Linda’s name. Bethany Lutheran Church, 530 W Parkway Blvd, Appleton WI 54911; Time of Grace Ministries PO Box 301, Milwaukee, WI 53201 or St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital 800.805.5856.