Lillian Fossum

Lillian Marcella Fossum, 89, of Willmar, passed away Sunday, May 31st at Bethesda Club Suites in Willmar.  A private graveside service was held on June 4th at Fairview Cemetery in Willmar.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.  Cards and letters may be sent to Harvey Anderson Funeral Home, 1000 19th Ave. S.W. Willmar, MN 56201 or to Lillian's daughter, Linda Motes, 17431 153rd St, Little Falls, MN 56345.

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Lillian was born August 27, 1930, on the family farm in Renville County, rural Fairfax, MN, the daughter of Hilmer and Sigfrid (Slagdalen) Anderson. She attended Country School #124 and graduated from Franklin High School in 1948.  She continued her education at Macalester College.

Lillian met the love of her life, Clayton Fossum, while working at Hultgren Lodge in Spicer.  They were united in marriage on June 24, 1950, at Palmyra Lutheran Church in rural Hector.  Following their marriage, they made their home in Willmar where she worked for a short time as a bookkeeper for the Kandiyohi County Highway Department.  This union was blessed with four children; Bradley, Linda, Molly, and Carol.  Lillian and Clayton always put their family first.

She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith and was a member of Vinje Lutheran Church where she was active with Sunday school, Confirmation, Circle, Serving Committee, Altar Guild, and ALCW.  Her Lutheran faith was very important to her.

Lillian was also very active in her community where she played in the same bridge club for over sixty years, was a member of the Willmar Fire Department Auxiliary, served as a Cub Scout Den Mother, arranged drivers and delivered Meals on Wheels, and was a volunteer at the Rice Memorial Hospital Gift Shop. 

Lillian and Clayton treasured their grandchildren and loved the adage, “If we had known grandchildren were so much fun, we would have had them first!”  They loved babysitting their grandchildren, and the grandchildren all have wonderful memories of the fun they had while staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Throughout Lillian's life, she cherished all the friendships she made and how they endured for several decades. 

Lillian was a wonderful cook and her family always looked forward to being treated to her delicious hot dishes, salads, and desserts.  She gifted her children and grandchildren

with her homemade caramels every Christmas, one of their favorite Christmas traditions.   

She also enjoyed sewing, needlework, crafts, gardening, and reading.  Lillian and Clayton were very proud of their Norwegian heritage.  They took two trips to Norway and kept in close contact with their relatives there.  They also went on several bus tours, took a trip to Hawaii, and especially enjoyed their time at their cabin on Games Lake. 

Lillian and Clayton made every child from their neighborhood and beyond feel welcomed in their home and yard.  They lovingly supported the many creative ventures of their children and friends, including carnivals and ice-skating rinks in the backyard, theater productions and roller-skating rinks in the basement, lemonade and food stands, and sleepovers in homemade tents and forts.  They enjoyed watching their children and friends play. Their children believe they couldn't have asked for better parents.

Left to cherish Lillian's memory are her children: Bradley (and Laurie) Fossum of Pillager ; Linda (and Bruce) Motes of Little Falls ; Molly Mead of Willmar; and Carol (John) Dereck of Ramsey; seven grandchildren:  Leah, Joshua, Miranda, Shayna, Brennan, Alexa and Matthew;  fifteen great grandchildren:  Isaiah, Carter, Alex, Lainey, Stephanie, Gabbrielle, Evie, Logan, Mazie, Harper, Nolan, Rowan, Chloe, Ariel, and Lily Anna.  Also surviving are many nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Clayton, on August 16, 2012, infant son, Gary, son-in-law, Jeffrey Mead, sister, Ruby Hoffman, and brother-in-law, Denn Hoffman.  Also preceding her in death were many other beloved sisters and brothers-in- law, relatives and friends. 

Our mother loved reading Harlequin Romances and watching Hallmark movies “because they always have a happy ending.”  It means so much to us, Mom, that you now have your own happy ending – reunited with Dad, and all of your loved ones in Heaven. 

Goodbyes are not forever,

Goodbyes are not the end,

They simply mean we'll miss you,

Until we meet again.

Love, your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren

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