Gudrun Agnes (Hofstad) Abolins died on May 25, 2022, at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Greenport, N.Y. She was 94 years old.
Her incredible life journey began in Madagascar, where she was born on Jan. 16, 1928, in Taolagnaro (Fort Dauphin) to the Rev. Olav Ludwig and Agnes (Lundeberg) Hofstad. Gudrun grew up in Madagascar, and as the daughter of missionaries her unusual childhood inspired a lifetime of independence, traveling and an ease with people from all different backgrounds.
In 1945, after World War II, she came to the United States with her family and settled in Northfield, Minn., where she attended her parents’ alma mater, St. Olaf College. There she met another world traveler, her soon-to-be husband, Airis Abolins, a Latvian refugee.
She served in the United States Women’s Army Medical Corps during the Korean Conflict, at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., working as a physical therapist with returning veterans.
In 1952 she married Airis Abolins and they moved to Europe and lived in Germany and Paris, France. They had three children and in 1967 they returned to the United States, where their fourth child was born.
After settling on Long Island, Gudrun volunteered for many years as a physical therapist at the Northport VA Medical Center.
She loved the beach and the ocean, being on the water in any boat, and spending time at her beloved family vacation home that her father and brothers built, at Kabekona Lake in northern Minnesota.
She was a longtime member of Sons of Norway in Mesa, Ariz., and then of the Peconic Lodge in Aquebogue.
She was predeceased by her ex-husband, Airis Abolins, in 1988, and is survived by her four children, Andrea Shine of Riverhead, Vivian Rieger of St. Augustine, Fla., Airis Abolins of Raleigh, N.C., and Maris Abolins of Lafayette, Calif.; her sister Louise Varberg of Minneapolis, Minn.; and nine grandchildren, Emmett Shine, Amanda Shine, Devin Rieger, Daniel Rieger, Evan Abolins, Ethan Abolins, Jenna Abolins, Hayden Abolins and Shayne Abolins. She was also predeceased by her sister Miriam Scott of Yuma, Ariz., and her brothers, Harold Hofstad of Baton Rouge, La., and Rolf Hofstad of Minneapolis.
The family received visitors July 22 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck, where a service officiated by Deacon Austin Stack from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Greenport also took place. Interment with full military honors followed at Calverton National Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to The Smile Train (smiletrain.org), a global charitable medical organization that Gudrun was very fond of.
This is a paid notice.