Obituary: Ola Kvalvaag, 63, of Gwinn, formerly of Ludington

February 17, 2023

Ola Kvalvaag

Obituary: Ola Kvalvaag, 63, of Gwinn, formerly of Ludington

Ola Espen Kvalvaag, formerly of Ludington, went home to Jesus on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 at age 63.

Ola was born to Lars and Ingrid Kvalvaag on April 3, 1959 in Øre, Norway. Raised with five siblings, between two beautiful farms (Skullerud and Kvalvåg), and later the family grew through adoption of twin brothers from Sudan. As the eldest son, Ola looked forward to learning from his father the tradition of tending their farm, Kvalvåg, as has been family tradition for hundreds of years.

Ola met his wife of 35 years, Kathy Jo (Assenmacher) Kvalvaag in 1981 on a train to Paris. They married, September 25, 1981 and had their first three children in Norway: Lars Joseph, Lena Katrin, and Kristina Lynn. They immigrated to America in 1989 where they later had their youngest child Elize Dee. He and Kathy also added to the family Amanual Liben.

Ola’s accolades include agricultural school in Norway, a bachelor of science and business from New York State University, and finally receiving a master in business administration in Edinborough, Scotland. He would say his career took off when he became Microsoft certified and transitioned to IT work. From dairy farmer to fish biologist to truck driver to senior software engineer at Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn. He took pride in his work and even enjoyed working from home towards the end of his life.

Ola will be remembered as a loving father and grandfather. He also loved cross country skiing, hiking, boating, fishing, bicycling, and swimming; altogether, he had an affinity for the outdoors. 

Ola held dear his passion for prison ministries with Keryx ministries. In his final days, he said “The two things I am most proud of in my life are my family and ministering to the men in the prison with Keryx”.  Throughout Ola’s life, he held an unwavering faith in God, which he shared with those who surrounded him. Taking comfort in his Catholic faith, Ola was ‘very at peace’ in his final days and ready to join his Lord and Savior in Heaven.

Ola joins his father Lars Kvalvaag, in-laws Robert and Delores Assenmacher and grandchild (born to heaven) Parker Prislovsky in Heaven. 

He is survived by his mother Ingrid Kvalvaag; siblings Heidi, Øystein, Ann Aase, Jo Lasse, Emil and Eilert; children Lars Joseph Kvalvaag, Lena (Daniel) Bluestein, Kristina (Jonathan) Smalley, Elize (Taylor) Prislovsky; grandchildren, Espen, Jonah and Asher Bluestein, Wyatt and Brison Smalley, and Clara Prislovsky; and the mother of his children Kathy Kvalvaag.

Funeral will be held at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Gwinn on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 at 11 a.m. with visitation at 10 a.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at Prayer & Praise Assembly of God in Ludington on Saturday Feb 25, 2023 at 11 a.m.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (NIV)

Matthew 25:37-40

Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home and Cremation Services is assisting the family where memories may be shared at

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