Gina Marie Tolstedt, 63, passed away Monday, January 27, 2020 in her home in Alliance

She was born May 14, 1956 in Alliance to Keith and June Tolstedt. She graduated from Alliance High School, attended Chadron State College and graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.  She graduated from the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana with a master’s degree in Art History.

Gina delighted, stimulated and brought the creative best out of her students throughout her 35 year teaching career.  Student displays of art work were a regular part of her extra efforts.  These displays were a great source of pride for both her and her students.

Gina’s teaching career began in Hyannis and took her to Minden, Gaffney, S.C and finally to Omaha Public Schools, where she retired after 20 years.  She also mentored many student teachers, was active in curriculum writing, gave private art lessons and was awarded Art Educator of the year in 2007-2008 and Elementary Art Educator of the Year in 1997.  She was a lifelong member of Nebraska Art Teachers Association and the National Art Educators Association.

Gina will be remembered by her students for her passion about art and her belief that all possessed the ability to create beauty and expression through the visual arts. 

She is survived by her brothers and sisters, Steven of Alliance, Susan and Tim Maxcy of Gering, Michael and Barbara and Kim and Mike Wills of Alliance, Mark and Jill of Sioux City, IA and Lance and Tracy of Gilbert, AZ.  Numerous nieces and nephews also survive.

Gina was preceded in death by her parents, Keith and June Tolstedt and her grandparents, Jake and Emma Herman and Calvin and Virlene Tolstedt.

Funeral services will be Tuesday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Alliance with Jeanie Sedivy officiating.  Burial will be in the Alliance Cemetery.  Visitation will be Monday from 3-7 p.m. at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home.

Memorials may be given for the Pillars in the Park and may be sent in care of the family to 1012 Niobrara, Alliance, NE  69301.

Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com.

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