Anna Louise Oursland passed into the presence of her Savior Jesus Christ on the first of June 2021. She was 93. She will be greatly missed by her family whose lives were enriched by her unwavering love and devotion. Saturday morning breakfasts, Birthday Party scavenger hunts, Easter egg hunts, Halloween parties, Christmas Eve gatherings, Fourth of July picnics, all celebrated at the family log home, Stonecroft, on Flathead Lake. She was the Memory Keeper of the people and traditions that the family holds dear. Her influence and love reached down through three generations. Beloved aunt, grandaunt, great grandaunt to so many. Her influence unmeasurable.
Anna Lou was born at home in Somers, Montana on March 14, 1928 to Gideon and Edna Oursland. When she was a year old, the family moved to southern California. After four years, they returned to the Flathead valley. Anna Lou attended school in Somers with her three brothers and graduated from Flathead County High School with the Class of 1946.
Anna Lou was a graduate of Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills, Alberta. She also graduated from Western Montana College in Dillon, Montana. Anna Lou taught in a local rural School (Kuhns) and also in Libby, Montana before going to the mission field.
In 1955, Anna Lou began a twenty-five year missionary service with Sudan Interior Mission in Nigeria. Her instructions from the mission were to pack her belongings in a pine coffin for that is what she would be buried in, should she die in Africa. She traveled by train to New York, then by freighter to Nigeria. When she struggled with seasickness on that long voyage, the Norwegian captain said to her, “No Norwegian is going to be sick on my boat!” Her first assignment was teaching men at the Teacher Training College in Kagoro, Nigeria. After that Anna Lou served as Principal and Teacher in a school for girls in Kwoi, Nigeria. Finally, she became the first-grade teacher of missionary children at Kent Academy in Miango, Nigeria. They were the recipients of her love both in and out of the classroom as they lived away from their parents. While in Miango, she was also involved in an outreach to the Fulani people in that region. Anna Lou loved Africa and that love was contagious. Her nieces and nephews grew up hearing of her adventures there, learning the songs in the Hausa language, sampling the food, dressing up in the clothes of the people and place she loved.
After 25 years in Nigeria, Anna Lou returned to the Flathead Valley to care for her parents. She resumed her ministries at Central Bible Church which included service on the Missions Committee and organizing the CBC Library, as well as participation in the ladies’ missionary circles, Bible studies and various women’s ministries.
Anna Lou was preceded in death by her parents Gideon and Edna as well as her brothers Albert Oursland and Laurence Oursland.
Anna Lou is survived by her brother David Oursland and several nieces and nephews: Kathryn Brownell, Rebecca Jackson, William Oursland, Mary Driver, Sarah Huxford, Larry Oursland, Daniel Oursland, Rose Therrien, Ann Tucker, James Oursland, Cheryl Getty, Mark Oursland, and Marcia Snyder. She is also survived by 32 grand nieces and nephews and 48 great grandnieces and nephews.
A visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9th at Johnson-Gloschat Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 10th at Glacier Memorial Gardens followed by a Memorial Service at Central Bible Church beginning at 12:30 p.m.
(Suggested memorials: Central Bible Church Missions Fund or Gideon Bibles)
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