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Biography | 1960-1984

Marriage & Family

In 1959, Brigitte moved to Finland from the Shetland Islands. There was need at that time to help grow the Finnish Bahá’í community. The Finnish language is very similar to Estonian (and almost no other) which Brigitte spoke fluently.

Shortly after becoming a Bahá’í in 1959, Milton Lundblade moved to Sweden to teach the Bahá’í Faith there, and then moved on to Finland. Milton's ancestors came from Sweden around the turn of the century and eventually migrated to Southern California, which is were Milton grew up, lived, and became a Bahá’í.

Brigitte and Milton were both asked to move to Turku, Finland which they did in early 1961. A short while later they married, having the civil ceremony in Turku and the Bahá’í ceremony in Helsinki.

Brigitte & Milton outside the Bahá’í Center in Helsinki, Finland - 1961

Brigitte & Milton outside the Bahá’í Center in Helsinki, Finland - 1961

Most of Brigitte’s family where now living in West Germany, so it was possible to visit them.

Milton, Brigitte & Adele (Brigittes mother) in Germany - 1961

Milton, Brigitte & Adele (Brigitte's mother) in Germany - 1961

In 1961, Milton and Brigitte relocated to Hellerup, a suburb of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Brigitte & Milton in Hellrup, Denmark - 1961

Brigitte & Milton in Hellrup, Denmark - 1961

Laurence was born (with black hair!) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Brigitte & Laurence - 1961

Brigitte & Laurence - 1961

Milton could not work in Denmark because he spoke only English. Therefore, the family planned to return to the United States. First they traveled to Stade, Germany and stayed with Brigitte’s mother and her brother Gunnar. Laurence and Brigitte stayed on a little longer while Milton got re-established in Southern California.

Adele, Gudrun, Brigitte, Laurence & Milton in Stade, Germany - 1961

Adele (Brigitte's mother), Gudrun (Laurence's cousin), Brigitte, Laurence & Milton in Stade, Germany - 1961

In June 1962, Laurence and Brigitte joined Milton. Their first modest apartment was in Norwalk, California - a suburb of Los Angeles. In 1963, Luise was born in Downey, California and the family was complete.

Laurence, Milton, Brigitte & Luise - 1963

Laurence, Milton, Brigitte & Luise at Milton’s brother’s house in Southern California - 1963

The family soon settled in Whittier, California and there they stayed. Milton worked in a hardware store. Brigitte helped at the local schools, a little at first, to eventually becoming the school nurse.

Luise, Brigitte & Laurence - 1968

Luise, Brigitte & Laurence - 1968

Moving Day 1972 with Mr Kahoula

Moving day 1972. Milton, Luise, Mr Kahoula and Brigitte

In 1972, the family inherited some money from a great aunt and was able to buy a house and, after ten years, return to Europe to see family and Bahá’í friends.

Lundblade Family in Germany, 1972

Luise, Milton, Brigitte & Laurence outside the Bahá’í temple near Frankfurt, Germany - 1973

Milton's family lived in nearby. Most of the family worked in construction and this was very unfamiliar for Brigitte coming from a family of pastors and writers.


Brigitte with two of Milton's five brothers

In 1978, Milton died of cancer after a year long battle. Laurence was in his senior year in high school and Luise her sophomore year.

Brigitte & Chauncey (the cat) – 1980

Brigitte & Chauncey (the cat) – 1980

By 1982, Luise and Laurence were both attending college. UCLA wasn’t too far away from Whittier. They were often home on weekends to see mom and friends. In the summer of 1982, Brigitte traveled back to Germany to see her brothers and sisters again.

Brigitte in Germany with Avi, Gunnar, Brun and Theo - 1982

Brigitte in Germany with sister Avi, and brothers Gunnar, Brun and to her left Theo - 1982

Brigitte continued to work as a nurse in the Whittier School District. By then she knew many people in the community.

Brigitte at her going away party in Whittier, California – 1984

Brigitte (on the far right) with co-workers at her going away party in Whittier, California – 1984

With the children gone most of the time, and having more and more of their own lives, Brigitte began to consider “pioneering” for the Bahá’í Faith again. She wrote to the Bahá’í administration and asked to return to Finland.

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