Cover photo for Carolynn J. "Gramme" Bjurstrom's Obituary
Carolynn J. "Gramme" Bjurstrom Profile Photo
1939 Carolynn 2021

Carolynn J. "Gramme" Bjurstrom

December 30, 1939 — October 28, 2021

Funeral services to celebrate the life of Carolynn J. “Gramme” Bjurstrom, 81, of Moline, will be 10 a.m. Thursday, November 4, 2021 at Faith Walk World Outreach Center, 1450 Avenue of the Cities, Silvis.  Burial will be in the Rock Island National Cemetery, Arsenal Island.  Visitation will be held from Wednesday November 3 from 4 until 7 p.m. at the Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, downtown Davenport.  Additional visitation will be held from 9 until 10 a.m. Thursday morning at church.  Memorials may be made to White Field Partners for the education and care for children in Sierra Leone or the Sonya Brown Christmas Dinner, which celebrates its 10th year in 2021.

Carolynn Janeen Russell was born on December 30, 1939 in Moline, a daughter of Marvin Burdette and Dorothy Ellen (Nold) Russell. She grew up in a fishing family spending many summers in Bagley, Wisconsin.  She married Ralph Brown and was later united in marriage to Carl L. “Les” Bjurstrom on May 13, 1978 in Rock Island.  He preceded her in death in October of 2001.

Carolynn or “Gramme” as she was affectionally known, owned and operated Sonshine Patch Daycare out of her home for 40+ years.  The kids she cared for became family and she would send the children off to school with the blessing “May you grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. Find favor with God and man.  I love you, have a good day.”

Gramme was a woman of great faith, empowered by prayer and her love of the word, Her love of her family was only surpassed by her love of God.  She was extremely proud of her Biblical Studies Degree she earned in 2007 from the Faith Bible Institute.  She loved to study the Word and recently focused her studies on doors for a book that she believed someone else would write.

Known as “preacher woman” to her neighbors, she was always eager to pray for others, even willing to bless a stranger no matter the location. Gramme was a treasured member of Faith Walk World Outreach Center, and a former member of the Moline Gospel Temple where she taught in the Children’s Ministry for many years.

At the age of 69, she took her first mission trip to Sierra Leone, Africa in 2008 and went again in 2010 where she stayed for a month. The trip in 2012 was special as she was able to share the experience with her daughter Cara and granddaughters Elizabeth & Kristin. To prepare for her last mission trip in 2019 to Malawi, Africa she made a goal to walk 1000 miles on her treadmill in a year and she surpassed that goal.  She fell in love with the people whom called her “Mama Caroline.” When she did a DNA test in 2020, she discovered she was 1% African, she said that 1% was in her heart.

Gramme adored her loud, boisterous and close-knit family.  When they were together the decibel levels were extremely high.  She cherished family vacations to Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota and Door County, Wisconsin, where she could hone her amateur photography skills and visit all the lighthouses, even the ones that were technically illegal to get to!

She loved to TALK and tell stories, if you heard it once, you probably heard it three more times! She had an amazing sense of humor, even in the end. Gramme was extremely opinionated and always fought for what she believed.  She would often quote, “A woman convinced against her will is of the same opinion still.”

Gramme was a Girl Scout Leader for 41 years and was the leader of Circle of Friends, a small group who met monthly for fellowship and food.  She also played board games every Sunday night with her friends, Gloria, Pat, Connie, and Jan.

Those left to honor her memory include her children: Russell (Trudy) Brown, Texas, Caralee (Jeff) Rath, Moline, Aaron (Vicki) Brown, Cleveland, Illinois, Malinda (Jon) Rodocker, Moline, Eric (Patrice) Bjurstrom, Huntley, Illinois, Tiffany (Mel) Bruce, Northern California; grandchildren: Kristin (Reece) Argo, Trudy Marie (Dane) Ware, Nic (Sharla) Rath, Jessica (Ryan) Rangel, Cari (Nate) Parchert, Alexis Rath, Elizabeth (Tirenioluwa) Ajibola, Dylan, Samuel, Hannah, and Buddy Rath, Ali (Lucas) Kirlin, Fayne and Alden Brown, Branton (Kayla Riggs) Nelson, Broderic (Jenna Strom) Nelson, Noah and Joshua Stivers, Ben Rodocker, Mikel (Lindsay) Rodocker, Zele Rodocker, Kimberlynn Bjurstrom; great-grandchildren: Clinton, Elijah, Nora, Makayla, Emma, Jenna, Brian, Drew, Tilly, Emmett, Addison, Logan, Wesley, Emerson and two on the way in November; a brother, Dr. Larry (Leann) Russell, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, and many nieces, nephews, and countless children whom she cared and prayed for as well as her canine companions, Pebbles and Moose and her grandpets: 5 goats, 19 dogs, 17 cats, 1 chinchilla, 1 guinea pig, all the chickens, and 1 raccoon who lived in her tree.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter-in-law, Sonya Brown, her parents, and a brother Butch Russell.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carolynn J. "Gramme" Bjurstrom, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm

Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home

614 Main St, Davenport, IA 52803

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Additional Visitation

Thursday, November 4, 2021

9:00 - 10:00 am

Faith Walk World Outreach Center

1450 Avenue of the Cities, Silvis, IL 61282

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Funeral Service

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am

Faith Walk World Outreach Center

1450 Avenue of the Cities, Silvis, IL 61282

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

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