A request from volunteer Tim Bjork led to Gail Lyngstad’s becoming a volunteer at the Cultural Heritage Center.
“He asked me to fill in for him while he had heart surgery,” Gail said.
She soon claimed a regular spot on the schedule, volunteering in the Heritage Store on Monday afternoons.
“I like the warm feeling you get when you are helping others. Working here, you get to meet so many neat people,” Gail said of volunteering at the CHC.
Gail was born at her parents’ home outside of Corsica. The doctor who delivered her was her great-uncle.
She attended a country school for eight years, then attended Corsica High School. While attending the University of South Dakota – Springfield, she met and married a fellow student by the name of Larry Lyngstad. They continued to live in Springfield until Larry graduated from college. Gail graduated from USD-S with a two-year teaching certificate.
The Lyngstads lived in Avon, where Gail taught in a country school, before moving back to Springfield.
“By then, I had two children. I went back to school to get a clerical degree. My kids and I would sit at the kitchen table and study together.”
The Lyngstads moved again, to Beresford, where Gail managed a convenience store.
In 1981, the family moved to Pierre.
Gail worked for the Department of Social Services, retiring on Oct. 6, 2003.
“I have been doing volunteer work ever since and enjoy every minute of being able to help someone out,” Gail said.
Gail also volunteers at the Hospice Thrift Store, and is active in the First Congregational United Church of Christ.
She and Larry have four daughters: Melany Moore of Sioux Falls; Melinda Bouwman of Rock Valley, Iowa; Marcie Long of Pierre; and Maia Surdez of Pierre. They also have 10 grandchildren.
Thank you, Gail, for your commitment to the CHC!