Funeral services for Byron “Barney” Bjerke, age 85, of Albert Lea, will be held at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday at East Freeborn Lutheran Church. The Rev. Matt Griggs will officiate. Interment will be at East Freeborn Lutheran Cemetery with military honors accorded by Freeborn County Veteran’s organizations. Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Monday at Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. To sign the guest book, goto www.bayviewfuneral.com
Barney died Thursday, July 23, 2009.
Byron “Barney” Bjerke was born on Feb. 2, 1924, to Bennie and Tina (Jellum) Bjerke in Albert Lea. He grew up in rural Albert Lea and graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1941. Barney served in the United States Navy from 1945 to 1946. He returned to Albert Lea where he farmed. On Aug. 27, 1949, Barney was united in marriage to Elaine Halverson at Round Prairie Lutheran Church. Barney served on the Freeborn County Cooperative Oil Co. Board of Directors from 1981 to 2002 and the Clarks Grove Creamery Board of Directors from 1986 to1997. Besides farming, Barney also worked as a crop insurance adjuster out of the Marvin Gaard office. Barney was a member of the East Freeborn Lutheran Church, Sons of Norway, Golden Kiwanis II Club, Eagles and Elks Clubs. He was also a life member of the VFW and member of the American Legion. Barney was proud to be a very active member of the Honor Guard and enjoyed spending time with his friends and fellow servicemen.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine; son, Bradley; sisters-in-law Dorothy Bjerke of Albert Lea and Betty (Phillip) Callahan of Albert Lea; brother-in-law, Rollin Halverson of Albert Lea, and many nieces and nephews.
Byron was preceded in death by his parents; brothers William Bjerke and Orville (Lois) Bjerke; and sisters Helen (Wallace) Thompson and Stella (Jr.) Bakken.