Nancy Nylen Kalweit

Nancy Kalweit

MARQUETTE, MI – Nancy Marilind Nylen Kalweit, age 89, of Marquette, entered eternal life Tuesday, March 5, 2019, at the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans.

Born November 23, 1929, in Stoughton, Massachusetts, Nancy was a daughter of Swedish immigrants, Oscar Gunnar Nylen and Maria Albertina Lind Nylen and Nancy’s first language was Swedish. She and her family moved all over the country every 18 months or so, as Oscar was a machinist building power plants for Stone and Webster.

Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in Parish Work with a minor in Swedish at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois. Shortly after graduating, she was called to Salem Lutheran Church in the south side of Chicago as a Parish Worker where she was active in the church’s transition to becoming an integrated welcoming church in the early 1950s. Nancy capable, exuberant and friendly personality made a difference to the parish and some of her experiences are written about in the book, “Call Me Neighbor, Call me Friend” written and published in 1965, by the pastor of Salem, Rev. Philip A. Johnson. At this same time, D.C. “Kal” Kalweit, Nancy’s future husband was doing his pastoral internship at a Lutheran church in Chicago. Kal and Nancy were introduced to each other by mutual friends in Chicago, they had a whirlwind romance, and fell head over heels in love with each other. The rest is history!

The couple was married October 24, 1953 in the Augustana Seminary Chapel, in Rock Island, Illinois. Kal obtained his Master of Divinity from Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois, and was ordained in 1954. Nancy, now the wife of a pastor, moved with Kal to his first pastorate in Rockford, Illinois, where the couple lived for more than three years. During that time Karin and Linda were born and kept Nancy busy being a new mom. Then Kal was called to Racine, Wisconsin to Messiah Lutheran Church where Lisa their third daughter was added to the Kalweit family. The Kalweits lived in Racine until 1965 when Kal was called to became pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in Marquette, Michigan, a position he would occupy for more than two decades before retiring. Throughout the years, Nancy was his number one supporter, encourager, and helpmate. Nancy loved to sing hymns at church and was active in the church with the youth group and with her Circle’s bible study group.

In Marquette, Nancy and her two friends, Bodil Soderberg and Joan Myefski became business partners starting the Scandinavian Gift Shop on North Third Street. They had fun together, including travel to trade shows in Chicago and Minneapolis to purchase merchandise, and also traveled to Sweden and Norway to order and purchase items. Nancy loved the creative and social aspect of the retail business and enjoyed chatting and getting to know her customers. She retired from this wonderful adventure after 27 years. Nancy enjoyed sewing clothes for her daughters and herself, she dabbled with rosemaling and took oil painting classes with her mother, Maria. In college, she participated in Swedish Folk dancing and was selected to be the Augustana College “Santa Lucia” her junior year. Nancy enjoyed her many friends wherever she lived, and she loved to entertain. She had wonderful times at the clergy wives’ overnight retreats and with her “gourmet club”. She and Kal were members of the Cotillion Dance Club for many years. Nancy was a member of a PEO in Marquette.

For vacations when the girls were young the Kalweit family would go on camping trips across the US. In 1975 Nancy and Kal purchased “Stuga”, their camp on the shores of Lake Superior, a haven of relaxation, simplicity, and fun for family and friends. After Kal’s retirement, Nancy and Kal had wonderful cruises together and trips to London, Paris, Sweden, Panama Canal, to mention a few. The highlight of their travels or time at Stuga, were when their daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren would be with them.

Nancy was a lover of animals, her first dog was Tippy when she was 2 years old, she had a horse named Patsy when she was a teenager, and the Kalweit family always had cats. Nancy especially loved her cats her whole life!

In addition to her parents, Nancy was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Kal, in 2012; her sister Norma “Bunny” Laurell, an infant brother, Oscar Anders Nylen, and her special aunt and uncle, Elsa and George Lundquist.

A loving wife, daughter, aunt, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Nancy is survived by daughters, Karin (Dean) Haxton of Belle Fourche, SD, Linda (Paul Steklenski) Kalweit of Duluth, MN, and Lisa (Eric) VanAlstine of Algoma, WI; grandchildren, Justina (Andy) Goldhahn, Britt (Brett Reynolds) Haxton, Lars and Annika VanAlstine; and great-grandchildren, Ethan and Jackson Goldhahn.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Nancy’s life will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, Marquette, on August 24, 2019. Visitation will begin at 11:00 am until the time of service at 1:00 pm. A reception will follow in Magnuson Hall.

Memorials may be directed to Messiah Lutheran Church, 305 W. Magnetic Street, Marquette, MI 49855, Jacobetti Home for Veterans Activity Fund, 425 Fisher Street, Marquette, MI 49855, or Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp, 138 Fortune Lake Camp Road, Crystal Falls, MI 49920.

The family would like to express their deep appreciation to the staff and residents of the Jacobetti Home for Veterans for their compassionate, loving care of Nancy and the many kindnesses extended to her family.

Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhan