Cover photo for Orpha Raun's Obituary
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1932 Orpha 2017

Orpha Raun

February 5, 1932 — October 31, 2017

Orpha Beverly Klukken Raun was born on February 5, 1932, in Osakis, Minnesota, to Oswald and Gunda (Pederson) Klukken. She was baptized and confirmed in Elim Lutheran Church in rural Osakis. She attended a small country school in Gordon Township six miles east of Osakis before advancing to Osakis High School where she was salutatorian of her class in 1950. She next received her R. N. degree from the Lutheran Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and worked as a nurse for two years in Minneapolis while attending classes at the Lutheran Bible Institute in the city during part of this time.

Orpha met her future husband, Donald Raun of Seattle, Washington, in the summer of 1954 after she and a nurse friend decided to attend summer school classes at the Seattle branch of the Lutheran Bible Institute. Don had planned on attending the same school that summer and they became friends as they chatted together after classes. Without having any previous acquaintance of each other, they discovered they had common interests and goals of some day going to Africa as missionaries. While attending the Lutheran Brethren Seminary in Fergus Falls that fall, Don one day went to Minneapolis with a seminary friend and during that weekend, Orpha and Don began a dating relationship which involved enough visits to that city the following months to arouse the suspicions of the seminary president. The dating continued when Orpha went out to Seattle the following summer to continue classes at L.B.I. A wedding at Orpha's home church in rural Osakis on September 24, 1955, put an end to the dating trips.

After seminary graduation, Orpha and Don worked on an Indian reservation in north central North Dakota for a couple of years before they sailed to France for 11 months of French language study in Paris. Upon completion they flew to Africa beginning a 40 year ministry in the country of Chad, working in two different people groups.

Orpha's personality had much to do with their ability to work in Africa for so long. She was always determined to finish well whatever task came her way. Besides using her nursing skills in Africa, she managed a large bookstore while working with the Moundang people. She typed the entire manuscript of the newly translated Moundang Bible before the day of computers.  There were some years when she had to home school her three children. She was often asked to help other missionaries with their financial records and audit their books at annual missionary conferences. She traveled on bush trips with her husband at times. She had an enviable ability to make people laugh and this often lifted the load for those around her. She herself seldom complained of hardships.

Orpha and Don were retired from the Lutheran Brethren International Mission after they returned to the States in the fall of 1999, following a fall in which she fractured her hip.  Retirement years were spent in Fergus Falls. Orpha was a member of Bethel Lutheran Church and participated in their Stitch-a-Quilt group for many years. In the last year and a half she and Don lived in the Park Gardens Senior Living facility in Fergus Falls and it was there she met her Savior face-to-face on October 31, 2017 at the age of 85 years. The staff at Park Gardens and Lakeland Hospice were outstandingly helpful in her final days.

Orpha is survived by her husband, Donald of Fergus Falls; three children: Carolee Gerstmann of Fergus Falls, Jonathan (Zam-Zam) of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and David of Chad, Africa; four sisters: Eleanor (Loren - deceased) Larson of rural Osakis, Ruth (Vernon - deceased) Edlund of rural Ashby, Doris (David) Walter of Duluth, and Arlys (Cornell) Svaren of Fergus Falls; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Oswald and Gunda Klukken.

Visitation:  5 - 7 PM Thursday, November 16, 2017, with a 6:30 PM Prayer Service, at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls, and one hour prior to services at the church.

Memorial Service:  11 AM Friday, November 17, 2017, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls

Clergy:  Reverends David Foss and Caleb Larson

Interment:  Elim Lutheran Cemetery, Osakis, Minnesota, at a later date

Online Guestbook, Video Tribute, and Funeral Webcast:

Orpha's Memorial Folder

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