Pastor Tanya Rae Rist joined the church triumphant on Sunday, October 27, 2019. She died a little after noon in her home in rural Alma holding hands with her husband Fred. After over one hour of resuscitation, emergency medical response staff were able to restart her heart. When life support was removed, Tanya’s heart again stopped with family present. Tanya was in the end stages of dementia with Lewy bodies, and her quality of life was very low.
Tanya was born on August 20, 1948 to Delores and John Lund in Rapid City, SD. Three years later, she was joined by her sister Sonya Kaye. She was baptized into the Christian faith on 3/27/1949. Tanya attended Rapid City schools, and on 6/1/1966, she graduated number two in her class of over 900.
Inspired by a high school chemistry teacher, Tanya enrolled at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology seeking a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. While attending college, she met her husband-to-be, Fred Rist. (She was struggling with Fortran IV so she got him to help with programming mainframe computers.) They graduated on May 29, 1970 and were married at South Canyon Lutheran Church the next day on May 30.
After a move to the east side of St. Paul (where Fred worked at 3M), she became a chemistry laboratory supervisor at Lakewood Junior College. When Tanya was expecting her first child, she decided that the chemistry lab was not the best place for a pregnant woman. Karl Frederick was born in 1973 followed by John Peter in 1975.
After a move to Menomonie in 1978, Tanya slowly became more involved with Christian education of children at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. With the encouragement of Rev. Dr. John Mikkelson, she became the superintendent of a Sunday school of over 200 children. With Pastor John’s encouragement, Tanya enrolled at Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. On May 19, 1996, she graduated with a Masters of Divinity. On October 13, 1996, she was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament at Our Savior’s and began her ministry a week later at Trinity Lutheran Church, Hammond, WI.
Since then, Tanya served churches in Rapid City, SD and Aberdeen, SD. In July of 2013, she retired and moved with Fred to rural Alma so that they would be close to their children and grandchildren.
Tanya is survived by her husband of 49 years, Fred, two sons, and four grandchildren. Karl lives in Rochester with his husband, Daniel Kronemann, and two children, Sela Grace and Erick Rist (Karl F. V; not to be confused with Karl Frederick III and Karl Frederick IV). John lives in Woodbury, MN with his wife, Melissa, and two children, Theodore Michael and Nathan Peter. Tanya is also survived by her beloved sister Sonya and brother-in-law Bill Beck of AZ and SD (depending on the air temperature) and their two sons, Chris and Mike. Other surviving family include brother-in-law, Ardell (& wife Janet) Rist, and two sisters-in-law, Bonnie (& husband Ray) Ode and Barbara (& Wade) Karli, plus eight nieces and nephews. Tanya is also survived by her lifelong friend Mary Lou Scott of Chesapeake, VA and beloved former daughter-in-law Anjanette Bandel of Rochester.
Tanya died on October 27th, the 36th anniversary of her sobriety. Some people in our churches knew of this. She wanted to share this at St. John, Alma, but her declining health prevented this. She was a friend of Bill W.
A memorial service will be held at St. John Lutheran Church, Alma on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 11:00 am with Pastor Michelle Rem officiating. Committal to follow at Tell Church cemetery. Visitation will be held at the church one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, Tanya’s request is that all memorials be directed to the ELCA Hunger Appeal at ELCA Churchwide Ministries, 8765 W Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631 or online at WWW. ELCA.org.