Agnes T. Akland, age 90 of St. Peter, died on Thursday, September 4, 2014 at her home.
Memorial service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church in St. Peter with Pastor Trish Reedstrom officiating. Urn Burial will be at Oaklawn Cemetery in Northfield. Memorials are preferred to Global Health Ministries (7831 Hickory St. NE, Minneapolis MN 55432-2500) or Trinity Lutheran in St. Peter. St. Peter Funeral Home ~ Klein Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements.
Agnes was born on October 31, 1923 to Lutheran missionaries, Torstein and Clara Braaten, in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar. She attended the American School in Fort Dauphin until 1938, when Agnes and her sister, Arlene, moved to the US to attend Augustana Academy, a Lutheran boarding high school in Canton, SD. Here she first met Leonard Akland, whom she would later marry.
Agnes started at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, majoring in music/piano. She later transferred to Augustana College to be with her younger sister, Arlene. It was during this time that she met and married a young serviceman, Bill J.Mahoney, with whom she had one child, Gloria Jane, before he was tragically killed while on duty as a Texas Highway patrolman. Agnes returned with Gloria to Northfield, Minnesota ,where she worked and completed her degree and was thrilled to sing in the St. Olaf Choir under Olaf Christiansen. On the day she graduated, June 4, 1951, she married Dr. Leonard R. Akland. Mark Steven was born in 1952 and Carolyn Marie in 1956.
In 1959, Agnes returned to Madagascar with her family as Len responded to a call to serve as a missionary doctor at Manambaro Lutheran Hospital. She taught music to the missionary children living at "Trano Vato" the Missionary Children's Home. Agnes was also very involved with the Malagasy women of the church. Agnes had a heart for the Malagasy people which continued all of her life.
The family retired from the mission field and returned to the US in 1969, and Leonard started a practice in Thousand Oaks, CA. In 1975, hearing of the grave lack of funding for medical missions in Madagascar, Agnes and Leonard joined with other missionaries to start Global Health Ministries to meet this need. This organization has continued as a passion for both Agnes and Leonard.
Agnes is survived by her husband Leonard, daughters Gloria Buczek (John) and Carolyn Akland (Jeannie),and son Mark Akland (Susie), grandchildren Adam Buczek (Kanya), William Buczek (Christine) and John David Lackey (Stacy). She has seven great grandchildren; Emma, Leah, Noah, Lana, Stanley, Jackson and Anna Grace. She is also survived by two brothers, F. Martin "Tack" Braaten (Betty) and The Rev. Dr. Carl E. Braaten (LaVonne). She was preceded in death by her sister, Arlene Moen (James).
Agnes is remembered for her music ministry, her strong and abiding faith, her generosity, her many friendships, her contagious sense of humor, her radiant smile, her highly esteemed roles as missionary, teacher, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend.
Her presence will be greatly missed, but her legacy lives on in the many lives she touched.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to;
* Global Health Ministries, 7831 Hickory Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55432
Trinity Lutheran Church 511 S 5th Street, Saint Peter MN 56082
St. Olaf College Music Department, 1520 St Olaf Ave, Northfield, MN 55057