Tilla Amanda Quam, age 102, passed away peacefully Oct. 3, 2020 due to living a full life. She was born May 22, 1918 in Primrose, to Torsten (Tom) and Anna Pederson.
Tilla’s faith and love of her family enabled her to live and love for many years. Born to two Norwegian emigrants, she became the center of attention in their lives as they built their home in America.
Her mother, Anna, passed away when Tilla was only 16, this difficult loss lead to a very strong father-daughter bond. Although we can’t prove it, rumor had it, her father Torsten (named after the Norse God, Thor) beat the strongest man in the world when he threw a cow out the top of a silo AND in another challenge, picked up a solid oak table (four chairs on top) with only his teeth!
His life was ended early when a drunk driver hit him as he crossed the highway to get the mail, but his strength certainly proved true through his daughter’s long and honorable life.
In 1948, Tilla embarked on a new adventure when she married the most loving and genuine man, Clarence Quam, a farmhand of her father’s. We’re certain he fell in love with not only her loving spirit, but her lively smile and beautiful long hair.
She lit up every time she spoke of their honeymoon in Florida to see and feel the ocean. Together, they established a farm in DeForest and settled their family there. That farm was the soul of the family until the county claimed it to widen Highway 51 in 2007. Saying ‘goodbye’ was difficult for Tilla, as the farm was home and all she had left of Clarence after his death in 2002.
Those who knew Tilla likely remember her signature crown of braids hairstyle. She took pride in her locks and only the closest of family got to see her with her hair down. Since she never learned how to drive, she was known to always have a chauffeur (her husband/son, or anyone willing) during her shopping adventures. She was a shopaholic at heart and once got locked in the East Towne Prange Way.
Tilla knew what she liked, despite being diabetic she broke the rules and ate Three Musketeers candy every day until the end. With an affinity for the color yellow, she owned and renovated several homes with her husband in the Madison area, most of which proudly adorned her preferred golden shade.
Mom/Grandma- Your faith has taught us your journey has just begun. We envision you, eyes wide open, fully of joy, gazing upon your husband Clarence and the farmhouse he has been preparing for you the last 18 years. He’s been working hard, gathering the family, waiting patiently to see you, and craving one of your famous homecooked meals with mashed potatoes. We’ll be joining you for dinner and dad/grandpa’s accordion playing and hand-drumming pre-dinner entertainment soon.
Tilla is survived by her three children, Alan Quam (her favorite), Cherie (Jeff) Peper, and Tamela (Mike) Smithson; grandchildren, Chris (Tania)Tinberg, Tara (Kevin) Hudson, Brad (Kristin) Smithson, Amanda Smithson, Candyce Smithson, and Zack Peper; great-grandchildren, Dustin, Charrley, Nevaeh, Sophia, McKenna, Haedayn, Kynlee, Caleb, and, Drew.
Born during a pandemic and died during a pandemic, neither took her. Tilla was preceded in death by many, most notably her husband, Clarence, an older brother who died in infancy, Peter, and her parents, Torsten and Anna. We were beginning to think she’d outlive us all.
A private family service and burial will be held. A large celebration of life for Tilla will be held when it is safe to do so.
Her age may have taken her sight, hearing, and some memories, but the pandemic took precious time with her beloved family from her. We are forever grateful to the loving caregivers at Nazareth House for their unwavering kindness and genuine love they offered her during her stay pre/post pandemic and in her final breaths.
We ask all who read this to consider and act upon the loneliness of our elderly. As we move forward and learn to live this new normal, many of our precious mothers, fathers, grandparents, etc. are still without hugs and reminders of being/feeling loved every day. In honor of our very loved, Tilla, please offer gratitude to those caring for our loved ones in our necessary physical absence. More importantly, find a safe way to shower those you care about with love and attention.
In the parting words of Tilla, in the days when we were free to visit, our hands held tightly by hers: “God bless, I’m so happy you came to see me. When will you come back and see me again? I love you so very much.”
We love you too, mom/grandma.
Please share your memories of Tilla at: www.Cress FuneralService.com
Cress Funeral Services
206 W. Prospect Street, Stoughton