Evangeline Esther "Tootie" Mortvedt, age 87 and a longtime resident of the Blue Earth area, died on Tuesday, February 25, 2020, at The Pillars Assisted Living in Mankato. Memorial services will be 11 a.m. on Friday, March 6, 2020, at Shiloh Lutheran Church in Elmore, with Rev. Robert Roettger officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to services at the church Friday morning. Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in Elmore at a later date.
Tootie was born on August 11, 1932, to William and Bessie (Schaumburg) Halverson in Elmore. She was the youngest of four girls. Tootie attended Blue Earth Public School, where she participated in Mixed Chorus, Girls' Glee club, GAA, Girls Club, Annual Staff, Mah-Ko-Tah and in the class play, "I Remember Mama." She was especially proud of her four-year role as a majorette and could "twirl" with the best of them.
Another of Tootie's major high school extracurricular activities was dating a guy from rural Frost nicknamed "Mort." They hit it off, and Tootie married Oris "Mort" Mortvedt at Blue Earth's Trinity Lutheran Church on September 14, 1952. Tootie started her marriage in a unique way — at the hospital in a body cast, thanks to a car accident on the second day of their honeymoon. She made a full recovery, and soon Tootie and the love of her life settled on the Mortvedt family farm, where they built a life together that lasted nearly 60 years, until Mort's death in 2012.
The couple was blessed with three children, and motherhood became Tootie's calling. She made sure each child received a well-rounded education of mind, body, and spirit while attending Frost Public School and Shiloh Lutheran Church. Tootie spent countless hours on the road, driving her kids to and from Cub Scouts, Brownies, piano lessons, dance lessons, Bible School, Sunday School, church services, sports events, music concerts, and more. She put her heart and soul into caring for her children long after they left home, and she spent much time nurturing her grandson and great-granddaughters as well.
Tootie had many interests throughout her life. She enjoyed "girls trips" with her best friends, antiquing and participating in countless church activities. She was a gifted sewer, crafter, baker, and cook — a pioneer "DIY'er." When a craft caught Tootie's attention, she jumped in with both feet and worked to master it. She revealed her artistic talents through painting ceramics; tying macrame; decorating cakes; sewing clothing and some of the cutest stuffed critters on the planet; baking cookies by the dozens; and making to-die-for fried chicken, fudge, and garlic toast. Always kind and generous, Tootie repeatedly gifted many people in her life with these handcrafted treasures. She could also bait a hook and finagle winning bids in card games, as she proved year after year during weeklong family vacations "Up North." Time spent with Tootie and Mort in the boat fishing or around the table playing cards provided many happy memories for family members and were the highlight of nearly every summer.
Tootie lived a wonderfully full life surrounded by caring friends and loving family. She is survived by her three children: Jason Mortvedt of Blue Earth, Roxy Mortvedt and her husband Chuck Lewis of Mankato; and Linda Mortvedt and her special friend Mark Conrad of Hudson, Massachusetts; grandson Dennis Anderson, his wife Tammy and their daughters Alecea, Kia, and Maila of North Mankato; as well as many loving nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mort; her parents; her siblings and their spouses, Joyce (Jay) Schulenburg, Betty Oliver and Mildred (James) Wakefield; and her niece, Julaine Larson.