Skip to content


Edith M. Flaten died peacefully at home in the early hours of Wednesday, February 20, 2013.

Edith Marcella Sevalson was born in Benson, Minnesota on July 3, 1927, the second child of Edwin Sevalson and Myrtle Ordahl Sevalson. She was confirmed at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Benson, MN on June 1, 1941, and her deep Christian faith was the hallmark of her entire life.

Edith attended public school at Swift County’s District #64, a ‘classic’ rural one-room schoolhouse with one teacher and thirteen students of varying ages. She later attended high school in Benson, graduating in 1946. An excellent and devoted student, she attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in three years, in 1949. Following graduation, she worked at the Beresford Children’s Home, Beresford, SD, taught school for one year at Hackensack in northern Minnesota, and during that year, became engaged to Irwin A. Flaten of rural Swift Falls.

Edith and Irwin were married at Swift Falls Lutheran Church (now Shepherd of the Hills) on June 7, 1950. Following a brief honeymoon, they resided in St. Paul while Irwin attended Luther Theological Seminary. Following his ordination in 1954, Edith and Irwin resided in Superior, WI where Irwin served Bethel Borea Lutheran Church (1954-56) and Christ Lutheran Church in Washburn, WI (1956-1965). In 1965 they moved to Colfax as Irwin served as pastor of Colfax Lutheran Church until 1978, and later, they resided in Augusta while he served the Augusta-Foster Lutheran Church (1984-1989). Edith was known throughout her life as an exemplary minister’s wife, loyally supporting her church, her family, and the many communities she called home. She was known to all for her even-temperedness, her ready hospitality, and graciousness.

Edith returned to the teaching profession first as a substitute teacher in Washburn. While living in Colfax, she taught high school physical education and later, middle school science, retiring in 1981.

While living in Augusta, she worked for several years as a health care assistant at Grace Edgewood in Altoona.

Edith had an abiding love of the natural world that gave her insights into all the sciences. She loved her large vegetable garden and the flowers that graced her patio. She enjoyed sewing, making special quilts and teddy bears for each of her grandchildren. Edith was very proud of her Scandinavian heritage, and was well known for her holiday baking, particularly lefse and kringla. A high-light in recent years was a 2007 trip with son Mark to Norway and Sweden to visit relatives. She travelled extensively with Irwin throughout the United States, the lake shore and light houses of Lake Superior being a particularly favorite destination.

Edith is survived by Irwin A. Flaten, her husband of sixty-two year; five sons: Paul and wife Connie, Swift Falls, MN, and children Michael and Chad Rosen; Daniel and wife Yvette, Eau Claire, and their children Matthew Flaten and wife Laura Dean, Kharkiv, Ukraine, and Avril Flaten, Eau Claire; Timothy and wife Sara, Richland, WA and their children Joanna Flaten, St Paul, MN, David Flaten, Juneau, AK, and Erik Flaten, Beaverton, OR; Mark Flaten and wife Lisa Novotny, Golden Valley, MN and their children Nicholas Flaten, Rifle, CO, Natalya Flaten, Minneapolis, MN, Kyla Flaten, Ely, MN; James and wife Barbara Flaten, Eau Claire and their children Carl and wife Jessica Flaten, Elk Mound, WI and Kayla and husband Rodney Shafer, Altoona, WI. Edith is also survived by an elder sister, Anna C. Offerdahl, Benson, MN, younger brother, Milton A. Skarsten, Swift Falls, MN, sister-in-law, Betty Flaten, Swift Falls, MN, and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives.

Funeral services for Edith were held at Grace Lutheran Church, Eau Claire, on Monday, February 25, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. Interment followed at Evergreen Cemetery, Colfax, WI at 2:30 p.m.