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Posted 2016-11-01T20:16:26Z

A Life of Gratitude

I am sorry to write the news that my father, Donald Howard Westerberg, passed away at 2:30pm today. Dad put up an incredible fight, and that's putting it mildly.
After getting to the hospital yesterday, we learned that he wasn't expelling Co2 and his blood gases did not look good. This has happened before and, after doing dialysis, he came back around. We tried dialysis, but it did not help and his body had a difficult time tolerating it. They kept him on a bipap machine to keep him breathing comfortably and to eliminate some of the Co2. He settled into a comfortable place and was resting peacefully since yesterday afternoon. We all stayed over in the room with him last night and today spent the morning and early afternoon playing his favorite music and telling our favorite stories. His pulmonologist, Dr. Shaw, came in and helped us make the decision to take off the bipap machine and allow Dad to go peacefully. He was in a lot of pain the last couple of weeks and finally was at a place of comfort.
We thank you all, from the bottom of our hearts, for the love, prayers and support you have shown us and, especially, Dad. Dad taught us all to fight and promised me a while ago he would not give up too soon. After his original diagnosis 10 years ago, he was given 6-12 months to live and we've had another 9 years since then. He leaves us all with a better understanding of what resilience is. When I have a better idea of the funeral arrangements I will let you all know, but we are aiming for Sunday/Monday.
We came into this journey with faith, and we leave it with an even stronger one. After a family meeting a couple of weeks ago, Dad said to all of us "I hope you live as good a life as I have had, but you will never live a better one". Dad truly lived a life of gratitude. With that I leave you all with his favorite psalm. I hope it brings you the comfort it brought him, and brings all of us.
Psalm 100:
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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Comments (25)

  • Annie Williams
    Annie Williams

    Love you, Linnea. May your memories of your amazing father bring you comfort and peace. He is forever in you.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Kerry l Tahan
    Kerry l Tahan

    Our love and deepest sympathies to you and your family. It was a privelege and an honor to have met your Dad. His strength, determination and hope were second only to his love for his family. Godspeed Don❤️

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Jacqueline Pikulski
    Jacqueline Pikulski

    Im so sorry Linnea. He is in a much better, peaceful place now. If there is anything you or your mom needs, let me know.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Randy Willcox
    Randy Willcox

    I'm so sorry, Linnea. My deepest condolences and sympathy to you and your family. And please give your mother a huge hug for me. I never met her, but it couldn't hurt. ❤️❤️❤️

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Barbara greene
    Barbara greene

    Our grief is insurmountable at this moment. Your father fought with every part of his being to stay with all of you as long as he could. He loved you so. Your family couldn't have shown him more love or done more for him or one another during this long ordeal. You're a testament to the meaning of the words family and love. Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. We are all better off for having known your dad, if even for a short while. Our love and prayers continue to be with your mother, whose grace knows no boundaries, and the rest of your family as you work through your grief.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • David Peters
    David Peters

    Linnea, Peter and Bonnie, Our deepest sympathies to you. Don was the best a new pastor could hope for when I came to Roxbury following his tenure here. We went out for lunch and he pledged to be the best former pastor he could be. He let me know some of the ins and outs of this small church and town and I appreciated that so much! I give thanks for his 10 years here (as well as yours) and the years afterwards. It is not easy to be the former pastor in a small town and he did it well. Please know that we will continue to keep you all in our prayers in the days and weeks to come. If there is anything that we can do, we stand ready. Grace and Peace, Rev. David F. Peters and the congregation of the Roxbury Congregational Church

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Patti

    My heartfelt sympathies go out to all of you at this very difficult time. Please give Bonnie an extra long hug for me as I know how trying this must have been for her. Both Don and Bonnie we're amazing role models and it is evident in what amazing children and now adults you and Peter have become. Your dad died with tremendous Pride in his children and deep love for your mom. May you all find strength in eachother's love as you go through the next few weeks, months, and years. May Don rest now as his struggle was so long.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Darlene Greer
    Darlene Greer

    Linnea: You are an awesome daughter. Don has been and is proud of you. Now he joins the other saints (today is All Saints Day!!) in celebrating the love of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Blessings and comfort to all of you at this difficult time. Darlene & Dave Greer

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Diana de Vries
    Diana de Vries

    On this All Saint's Day our good friend Don left us to join all the other saints who have gone before him, , he will be truly missed, fondly Phil and Diana

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Carol Kitchin
    Carol Kitchin

    My heart breaks for you and your family. He entered heaven on All Saints Day and I am sure with the angels singing. Please know that I will be lifting you all in prayer. God Bless, Carol Kitchin

    3 years ago · Reply
  • gretchen getsinger
    gretchen getsinger

    I don't have the words to express my sorrow. My deepest condolences.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Janice Steers
    Janice Steers

    Dear ones. Bill & I are overwhelmed with sadness at the loss of our friend Don. He provided us with love & support as we raised our children & I will be forever grateful. You are all in our prayers. Please let us know how we can be of service to you. Love, Jan & Bill

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Darcey Wunker
    Darcey Wunker

    Lots of love and hugs from us. Your father and family have been a part of mine - sometimes in close orbit, sometimes distant - and I am so sorry for your loss. I was immensely grateful that he was able to do the marriage service for my husband & I, a few years after that "6-12 months" prediction.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Diana Haskell
    Diana Haskell

    Sorry to hear of your Dad's passing Linnea. I lost my Dad four years ago and lost my mom a year ago after and eight month hospitalization. It doesn't get any easier with time missing them both. Sending prayers to you and your mom and family. Hugs Diana

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Ken & Kendra Johnson
    Ken & Kendra Johnson

    We are deeply saddened to learn of Don's passing. He will be greatly missed by all. I have such fond memories of Donnie, Peter and Howard coming out to Nebraska to hunt pheasants. We send our Love to Bonnie, Peter, Linnea and families. May God comfort you and bless you during this time of loss.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Diane Malkin
    Diane Malkin

    So sorry to hear Linnea. You were lucky to have him and he was so lucky to have you! Our whole family is sending our love. The Malkins

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Hal Kamm
    Hal Kamm

    Jan and I send our condolences on your loss along with prayers for all of you after Don's remarkable battle for survival. It was my privilege to know and care for him.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Liz Aitcheson
    Liz Aitcheson

    We are so sorry, Linnea! Your dad was a terrific person, a valued colleague, and an inspiration in this, his final year. We have thought of you all often, remembering the good times we shared with your family. We'll be in touch with your mom soon. With much love to you all, Liz and Arch Aitcheson

    3 years ago · Reply
  • jane donn
    jane donn

    Linnea, You had a wonderful dad who produce an amazing daughter. I am so sorry for all of you...but especially your intrepid mom who is such a special person and who gave your dad and your family the strength to go through all to the ups and downs of long term medical care. It takes so much strength and she was always there. Think of you often my best love and prayers to you all, jane donn....

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Kirsten Knutson
    Kirsten Knutson

    Dear Linnea, What a wonderful tribute to your Dad - heartfelt and uplifting! My deepest condolences to the whole family and especially to your mother Love, Kirsten

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Virnette Hamilton
    Virnette Hamilton

    Dear Westerberg family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so sorry to hear about his passing. He was a courageous fighter right to the end. Praying that God will cradle you gently and bring forward wonderful memories of the time you spent together. God Bless you all, Virnette and Bruce Hamilton

    3 years ago · Reply
  • David Barker
    David Barker

    Bonnie & family. I am really sorry for your loss. I'll contact Reiner & George and those HC cohorts I know of. all of Mayberry is mourning. Peace.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • David Barker
    David Barker

    Bonnie & family. I am really sorry for your loss. I'll contact Reiner & George and those HC cohorts I know of. all of Mayberry is mourning. Peace.

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Bev Weaving
    Bev Weaving

    Bonnie, Peter & Linnea - Don was a special man. I will always remember him with grace and dignity & his fastidious bookkeeping rituals. My thoughts are with you all at this time. Bev Weaving

    3 years ago · Reply
  • Susan Desrochers
    Susan Desrochers

    Dear Bonnie, Peter, and Linnea, We are sorry for your loss and also inspired by Don's amazing faith and fight to live the life he treasured on earth. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please let us know when we can be of neighborly assistance. The Desrochers Family

    3 years ago · Reply