Elizabeth Ann Ukkestad LaFleur of Rushford, MN died Thursday, December 14th at Good Shepherd Lutheran Home in Rushford, MN. Beth was 66 years old.
Beth was born March 23, 1957 at Johnson Hospital in Lanesboro, Minnesota to Rachel Witt Ukkestad and Glenn M. Ukkestad of Rushford, MN.
Beth attended Rushford Public School and graduated in 1975. After high school, she graduated from St. Mary’s School of Practical Nursing in Rochester in 1976. She then graduated from the University of Minnesota Technical College, Waseca with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Light Horse Management in 1979. In 1978-79, she lived in Scottsdale, AZ and worked at Pereira Arabian Center.
She completed her education at Winona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing in 1983. She then began her nursing career as a Licensed Practical Nurse and later as a Registered Nurse predominately in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for 36 years. In 1992, she became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and worked in that position at Mayo Clinic for 21 years. In 2019, she retired from Mayo Clinic after 38 years of service.
Beth was married May 24,1980 in Rushford, MN to Allen LaFleur and they raised two children; Julia Elizabeth LaFleur born March 11, 1985 and Phillip Allen Ukkestad LaFleur born December 8, 1989.
Beth’s interests were History, Genealogy, Antiques, Travel, and Horses. She also faithfully followed wrestling as her husband coached and her son wrestled. She was a lifelong member of Root River Saddle Club. She held years of leadership offices in the club as well as being a delegate to SEMSCA (Southeastern Minnesota Saddle Clubs Association). She was also a member and leader in the Norway Go-Getters 4-H Club and a Fillmore County 4-H Horse Project Development Committee volunteer and leader. She was certified as a Minnesota 4-H Horse judge for 25 years. She also was a member of the Rushford Area Historical Society and First Presbyterian Church. Beth was also the first and longtime President of the Oakwood (Sherwood) Cemetery Association.
Beth loved travel and she and her family traveled extensively both in the US and abroad. They enjoyed road trips in their RV, which often included taking a detour to get her daily iced mocha. She also loved getting together and planning annual girl trips with her high school and nursing friends. Her journey with breast cancer never interfered with family time, especially with her five grandchildren who were so precious to her.
Survivors include husband Allen of Rushford, Daughter Julia (Levi) Olstad of Lanesboro, MN; Son Phillip (Ashley Case) LaFleur of Preston, MN; Granddaughters Madeline Elizabeth Olstad and Lainey R. LaFleur; Grandsons Samuel D. Olstad, Graham P. LaFleur, and Emmett T. LaFleur. Mother Rachel Ukkestad of Rushford and Brother Carl Ukkestad of LaCrescent, MN also survive. Preceding her in death was Father Glenn M. Ukkestad.
Visitation will take place at Hoff Funeral Home of Rushford on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 from 4-7pm. A memorial service will be held at the Rushford Lutheran Church on Thursday, December 21, 2023 at 11am, with an additional hour of visitation at 10am. Burial will be in Oakwood (Sherwood) Cemetery of Rushford, MN.
We encourage those who wish to honor Beth’s life to reach out and support Good Shepherd Lutheran Home, Oakwood (Sherwood) Cemetery, and the Eagles Cancer Telethon.