George M. Hallstrom of Newton, left this earth for Heaven May 16, 2020, at Newton HealthCare Center, at the age of 91, while holding the hand of his loving wife.
George was born April 12, 1929, to John and Caroline (Lidstrom) Hallstrom, both of whom immigrated to the United States from Sweden in the early 1900s, but met, married and raised their family of 11 children on their farm near Quamba, Minn. Following his mother’s death when he was 12, George was raised by his older siblings in Minnesota. After attending a technical school for cooking, George moved to Newton, where he had the opportunity to run the restaurant and coffee shop in the Churchill Hotel. On July 1, 1953, George met Sarah Joann James and they married that same year on Dec. 26 in Minneapolis. They made their home in the Newton area where George would farm for the next 35 years. During that time, he also was one of the first dealers in Jasper County to sell Vermeer large round balers. Following his retirement in 1990, George spent several years doing installation and deliveries for Randa’s Appliance. For almost 20 years, George and Joann wintered at Citrus Park in Edinburg, Texas, where they enjoyed a close-knit community. While there, George loved challenging friends in pool, riding his three-wheeled bike around the neighborhood and taking strolls, chatting with those he encountered, regardless of whether they were strangers or friends.
George was an enthusiast in every sense of the word. His many hobbies ranged from making homemade salsa, fudge and pies, collecting coins for himself and others, attending garage sales and carving wood pieces for his kids and grandkids. George appreciated the outdoors as well. He enjoyed taking summer fishing trips to Minnesota, North Dakota and Canada, along with wintertime deer and elk hunting excursions. He also expressed a special fondness for the Iowa countryside.
Those who knew George would describe him as warm, kind, easy-going and fun-loving.
He had a gift for being present and giving of his time and energy to those around him, especially his grandchildren. He not only built his grandchildren a playhouse but played in it with them. He was the first one to jump in the pool or lake and splash around or throw up his hands while riding a rollercoaster. He often took his grandchildren fishing and these expeditions would first include a stop at the bait shop to look at the minnows or crawdads and to buy colorful lures, just for fun.
George attended the Newton Church of the Way and always stayed true to his faith. In any tough time, his motto was “You Gotta Have Faith,” and he lived that to the fullest. As George often said during the very last stage of his life, he felt prepared and ready to “meet his Maker” and reunite with his many siblings and especially his mother, whom he talked about often and affectionately.
George is survived by his wife, Joann of Newton; children, David E. (Brenda) Hallstrom of Paola, Kan., and GeorgAnne (Bill) Talsma of Newton; his grandchildren, Cody (Casey) Hallstrom, Baker Hallstrom, Mackenzie Hallstrom, Lindsey (Joel) Bosch and Stacey (Harley) Gorter; great-grandchildren, Kenadie, Karsyn and Kailee Hallstrom, Vera and Etta Bosch and Henry, Oliver and George Gorter; his sisters-in-law, Carol Hallstrom, Florence Hallstrom and Loraine Carlson; his many nieces, nephews and cousins; and beloved dogs, Bugsy and Bingo. He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Marion (Harry) Kluender, Lorena (Enoch) Nelson and Della (Don) Richardson; and seven brothers, Holger (Helen), Hilding (Irene), Harold (Gladys), Henry (Delpha), Carl, Torry and Earl Hallstrom.
George is dearly loved and will be deeply missed — not only by his family but by many in the community who enjoyed his bright personality, warm smile and enthusiasm for people and life’s simplest joys. A celebration of George’s life will be held at a later date. A private family burial will be held at Newton Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorials to the Newton Church of the Way may be mailed to the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.