Cover photo for Lyla Gilbertson's Obituary
1931 Lyla 2023

Lyla Gilbertson

November 4, 1931 — July 9, 2023

Lyla Gwendolyn (Melting) Gilbertson, age 91, of Wahpeton, ND, started her final walk down the gravel road to her home in “Little Chicago” on July 9th 2023.  She passed away peacefully at St. Catherine's Living Center in Wahpeton, ND.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home, Breckenridge, MN.

There will be a private family service on a later date.

Lyla was born on November 4th, 1931, to her parents John and Nora (Tvedt) Melting.  She was the 2nd of six children.  Lyla grew up in rural Halstad, MN, in an area locally known as Little Chicago.  As a junior in high school, she became an “A” Team Cheerleader and was a Majorette in the band.  Lyla graduated from Halstad Public High School in 1950.  Post-graduation, she was employed part-time with Sulerud Hardware and Halstad Bakery.    

On February 17th, 1951, Lyla married Henry O. Gilbertson also of Halstad, MN.  Henry enlisted in the Navy in February 1953.  The couple moved to Port Hueneme, California which was the Naval Construction Battalion Base on the West Coast.  After Henry’s discharge in February 1957, they relocated back to Halstad, purchasing a 5-acre parcel with a house and barn on the SE end of Little Chicago.  This place at one time was called “The Stumble Inn.”

In 1958, Lyla and Henry welcomed their son, Nathan Scott.  During her younger years she was primarily a homemaker.  She learned calligraphy and created signage for local businesses.  Lyla took various jobs cleaning the local clinic, funeral home, Lazy U Hotel, and Red River State Bank.  Later, Lyla was employed as a cook for Halstad Public Schools alongside her mother and sister-in-law.  After 40 years of marriage, Lyla and Henry decided upon an amicable divorce and went their separate ways.  Lyla was a member of the Sons of Norway and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Lyla's hobbies and pastimes included reading, watching Twins baseball and Timberwolves basketball, jigsaw puzzles, Bingo, and trips to the casino.  One of greatest accomplishments was her contributions to the creation of the Halstad Centennial book.  She spent countless hours assembling the personal biographies of the families of Halstad all the way back to the 1870s.  She enjoyed spending time with her granddaughters, grand dogs, and great-grandson.          

Lyla "Granny" is survived by her son, Nathan Gilbertson; daughter-in-law, Shawn Gilbertson; granddaughters, Shanae (Samuel) Stafki and Janna Gilbertson; great-grandson, Eoin Stafki; and close friend Nancy Ziegelmann.  Lyla was preceded in death by her parents, John and Nora Melting; husband, Henry Gilbertson; brothers, John (Janice) Melting, David (Jean) Melting and Carlton (Ruth) Melting; and sisters, Marlene (Richard) Bennett and Loretta (Archie) Solberg.

Obituary submitted by Lyla's loving family.



Gilbertson, Lyla Folder.pdf


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