Cover photo for Rita Trandem's Obituary
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1938 Rita 2022

Rita Trandem

December 3, 1938 — November 10, 2022

Erskine, MN

Rita Trandem, age 83, of Erskine, MN, passed away on Thursday, November 10th, at her home. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 17th, at Rodnes Lutheran Church, rural Erskine, with the Rev. Joel Smeby officiating. Interment will be in Rodnes Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the service on Thursday at the church. Arrangements are with Carlin Family Funeral Service of Erskine and messages of condolence may be shared at

Hazel “Rita” Trandem of Erskine, MN passed away peacefully in her home on the 10th of November surrounded by her family. Rita was born on December 3, 1938, to Mable (Martin) and Edward Solberg in her parents’ home in Knute Township.  She was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church in Erskine, MN.  All of Rita’s education was in Erskine, MN.

Rita met her future husband James (Sheldon) Trandem after a basketball game at the Ness Café. Sheldon offered to drive her home.  Rita was unsure about the offer and called parents to see if Sheldon could give her a ride home. Her father said yes, and the rest was history.

Following high school, Rita moved to Minneapolis, MN and worked at the telephone company.  She married Sheldon on September 5, 1959, in a double wedding with her sister Joan “Patsy” and David Vick at Grace Lutheran Church Erskine, MN. Rita and Sheldon enjoyed 63 years of marriage, and were blessed with two children, Sheri and Scott.

Rita had a special talent with all types of hand work, such as knitting dozens of sweaters and dresses for family and herself, crocheting, hardanger, and creating a graduation quilt for each grandchild. Her hands were rarely idle. Each year, Rita would plan which projects to bring to the Fertile Fair, resulting in many Grand Champion ribbons. There were several years in which she received Grand Champion ribbons for every item she entered!

Rita worked for many years in the Crookston School District, and at Polk County and Bremer Banks in Crookston. She and Sheldon loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to countries all across Europe. In her spare time, Rita enjoyed playing cards and games with Sheldon and their friends. She loved entertaining family and friends and often spoiled them with her delicious meals and desserts, often including her specialties: 7-layered Jell-O and Swedish tea rings.

When Sheldon retired, Rita designed her dream home located near the Solberg farm on Union Lake where she grew up. Her brother, Bruce, built the home in 2000.

Rita led an active life in retirement.  She and Sheldon had planned outings every day.  Rita was active in the Erskine Red Hatters, Bible Studies, church committees, and she especially loved singing in the church choir.

Rita was the best mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. She anxiously waited to be a great-grandmother and was finally blessed with Charlie James Altepeter, born July 11, 2022.

Rita often said, "I am not leaving my house until they carry me out!" Rita was blessed to receive her final wish.

Rita is survived by her husband, James Sheldon Trandem, daughter Sheri (Phil) Altepeter, Son Scott (Cathy) Trandem, grandchildren, Tyler (Nicole) Altepeter, Justin (Sami) Altepeter, Joshua Altepeter, Danelle (Emmanuel) Trandem, Amanda (Izaac) Trandem, & Luke (Lydia) Trandem, great-grandchild Charlie Altepeter, brothers Bruce Solberg and Lanny Martin, sisters Ruth (John) Stimpert, Joan “Patsy” Vick and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Mabel and Edward Solberg, sisters Emogene Solberg, Joanne Solberg, brothers Jerry Solberg, David (Toby) Solberg.

Rita’s family would like to thank Hospice of the Red River Valley and Pastor Joel Smeby of Rodnes Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rita Trandem, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 17, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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