Robert Berthelsen, 76, Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 5, 2007

Robert E. Berthelsen, 76, of Albert

Lea, died peacefully while surrounded by his family on Wednesday, April 4, 2007, at Albert Lea Medical Center.

Bob, also known to his students and friends as &8220;Mr. B,&8221; was born on July 14, 1930, in Philadelphia to Viggo and Helen (Simcox) Berthelsen. He lived in Philadelphia and Auburn, N.Y.

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At the age of 10 he moved to Chicago, where he graduated from Tilden Tech High School. He received his bachelor of arts degree from Dana College in Blair, Neb. where he met the love of his life, Erna Petersen, to whom he was married for over 54 years. During his later years he furthered his education adding a master&8217;s and specialist degrees in school administration from Mankato State College. Bob served two years of active duty and four years of reserves in the U.S. Navy.

During his active duty he was stationed at Midway Island and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Bob taught and coached baseball and girls volleyball for one year in Milligan, Neb. He then taught and coached from 1956 to 1962 in the New Richland schools. In 1962, he began teaching at Southwest Junior High in Albert Lea. He also served as a guidance counselor and assistant principal from 1970 to 1980. He was the assistant principal at the senior high school from 1980 until his retirement from the school district in 1986. During the summers of

1960 to 1969 he and his family also managed Luther Point Bible Camp in Grantsburg, Wis. In 1988 he was elected as a Freeborn County commissioner from the 5th district and went on to serve three terms.

Bob is survived by his beloved wife Erna. Bob is also survived by his four sons: John (Kay) of Middleton, Wis., Paul (Elizabeth) of Fargo, N.D., Peter

(Laura) of St. Paul, Neb., Mark of Stillwater; grandchildren: Angela, Derek, Nick, Caleb, Peter, Annie, Mary Berthelsen, Katherine, Griffin, and Cora Williams, and Kim Ask; sister Dorothy (Marty) Christensen; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Viggo and Helen Berthelsen; father and mother-in-law

Peter and Kathrine Petersen; brothers-in-law Everett Bousfield and Lyle Anderson; sisters-in-law Ruth Falksen and Delona Petersen; and nephews David Christensen, Douglas Petersen and Donald Breese.

Bob was an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church and had held positions of president, Sunday school teacher, choir member, youth director, Sunday school superintendent and Stephens Ministry leader. He was an active member of the community as well and was currently, or had served on, the United Way Board, Salvation Army Board, Freeborn County Historical Society Board, hospital volunteer, U of M Extension Board, Albert Lea Cantori Choir, Chemical Dependency Center Advisory Board, Department of Human Services Board, AMC Environmental & Natural Resource Commission, Senior Resources Board, Hillcrest Cemetery Board and Guardian Ad Litem.

Visitation will be at Bonnerup Funeral Service on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and the funeral will be at Trinity Lutheran Church on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church.