By Sr. Ingeborg Blomberg, Jonathan Tindor
Sr. Ingeborg’s life was spent in the heartland of America for almost all of the 20th Century and some of the 21st. Born in 1915, she was confirmed in 1930, and graduated high school in 1934. She went on to pursue her dream: to become a Deaconess and a nurse. She received a nursing diploma from Iowa Lutheran Hospital in 1945, and a B.S. in nursing in 1950 from the University of Omaha. In 1947, she entered the Immanuel School for Deaconess Training. That same year she experienced her first Christmas season there:
“Preparations for the Christmas Season were always a festive and joyous time at the Immanuel Deaconess Home in Omaha, starting with Santa Lucia, December 13. Beginning students were not told how Santa Lucia was observed. So December 13, 1947, I, a new student and sound asleep, was awakened early by a knock at the door. Entered an angel with a crown of lights on her head and gave me a plate with a cookie and a lighted candle. No word from the angel but my first word when I saw this angel was “oh heavens!”
“What a beautiful sight to enter our sun porch, living room, and dining room! This added to the warm glow of Christmas arising as we looked at the decorations and the tree. One thing that I always loved was the tiered dining room serving table (smorgasbord). Beautiful table cloths covered each tier. The lowest was for the hot foods. The smaller tier for all the special breads, pickles, and jelly. The top tier was quite small, and usually, there was a plant on it.
“Another special tradition was at our Christmas morning breakfast after going to early morning worship service at the chapel. Each Sister had a four-inch white candle at her place. After prayer, Sister Olive, our Directing Sister, lit her candle and then the Sister next to her lit her’s from Sister Olive’s. The light spread down the line of the table. It was so beautiful and I will always cherish the feeling of drawing the Sisters together as a family.”
This family helped sustain Sr. Ingeborg for her entire life. She was consecrated as a Deaconess in 1950, earned a Masters in Hospital Administration, and in 1957 she became Administrator of the Immanuel Lutheran Hospital in Omaha. She worked there until 1984, when she retired. She wrote in 2006, that she was “living at a slower pace” now that she was 91. She is a picture of the Deaconess Community. She was a remarkable woman who was sustained and empowered by the Community to impact a broken world.