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Jytte Panduro Preston

April 16, 1936 ~ April 8, 2019 (age 82)

Jytte Panduro Blom Preston, age 82, passed away 2pm on April 8th 2019 at St. Anthony Hospital due to sepsis and pneumonia.  She was born April 16th, 1936 in Denmark, and grew up during the Nazi occupation.  She completed secondary schooling and went to trade school in Sweden to be a shoe maker.  Returning to Denmark she met Gordon E. R. Preston, an American Army soldier on leave in Copenhagen, and accepted his proposal for marriage.

They were married and she came to the United States and started her new life in Minnesota.  Jytte was pregnant when Gordon was laid off from his factory job.  Unable to find another job, he reenlisted in the Army and was sent to Korea, leaving Jytte in a foreign land.  She gave birth to her first son in at the hospital in Glenwood Minnesota, then, with the help of her parents, returned to Denmark with her son to live with them while waiting for Gordon to return.

After Gordon’s tour in Korea was over he was stationed in Washington DC for a short time and reunited with his wife.   Later,  both were moved to Augsburg Germany, which would always be remembered as their most happy of times with Jytte’s family available and Gordon’s promotion to the rank of Chief Warrant Officer providing the funds to travel Europe.   Another son was born November 1959 in Augsburg, and in 1963 the last son was born in Ft. Smith Arkansas completing the family.  The army life would keep her moving every few years, and Gordon’s two tours of duty in Vietnam placed the burden of raising three boys firmly on her shoulders; but raising her boys was her pride and joy.  There was also two more moves to Germany that allowed her to be with her Danish Family.

Aside from raising her family, Jytte was known for her hospitality and charity to others.  Whenever friends and guests would come she would create a magnificent table of food, deserts and coffee that people would love to gather round for hours of conversation.  Should any news of sickness, birthdays or anniversaries of her friends or acquaintances come to her attention she would immediately reach out to them.  This was a pattern that lasted even in her last fifteen months in Colorado during some great adversity.

While in Colorado, living in a nursing home, she lost her husband, her dog, her freedom due to nursing needs, her car, the ability to walk and then her right leg due to diabetes.  Her faith and hope in Jesus Christ helped her to endure and persevere, always optimistic about what God might do.  During these months, her two sons visited at least twice weekly, with the purpose to help her in her mission for caring for the residents and helping her through the tough times that were upon her.  Trips to Walmart for seasonal gift bags, for treats that the residents requested, and to look at handbags, were done on a weekly basis. Christmas, Valentine, Easter and birthday lists for others abounded along with cards hand written to residents, nurses and aids.   She had a servant’s heart, and went out of her way to make sure that others felt noticed and cared for.   Faith and Hope in Jesus Christ created her servant’s heart.

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