Dorothy Bjerke, 1921-2020

Published 1:23 pm Friday, May 1, 2020

Dorothy Bessie (Hansen) Bjerke passed of natural causes Thursday, April 30, 2020, at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community in Albert Lea. She was 98 years young.

Dorothy Bjerke

The following was written by Dorothy long ago with a few recent edits:

Dorothy was born Nov. 3, 1921, to Nobel Hansen and Dorathy Bessie Wichmann in London Township, Freeborn County, and her mother died three days after she was born. She was then raised by her aunt and uncle Emma (Hansen) and Victor Nelsen and their daughter, Evelyn (Nelsen) Ferber.

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She was baptized in the Lutheran church and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church by the Rev. H.W. Bonda in Albert Lea. Dorothy went to school in Myrtle, high school in Northwood (one year) and then graduated from Albert Lea High School.

She married William Bjerke on March 16, 1947. Daughters Margaret (Bjerke) Hatch was born in October of 1948 and Debra Bjerke was born in March of 1954. They also graduated from Albert Lea High School. Both are now retired.

After high school Dorothy worked at F.W. Woolworth for a couple of years, then to Land O’Lakes during World War II.

After that she worked at Wilson & Co. and then Northwestern Bell until 1948. When Debra was a junior, she worked at the senior high cafeteria in Albert Lea as a baker for several years — she loved her job. She enjoyed knitting, crocheting, needlework, sewing, family, friends and life in general.

Dorothy is preceded in death by her husband, William Bjerke; her parents Nobel and Dorathy (Wichmann) Hansen and Victor and Emma (Hansen) Nelsen; sister, Evelyn (Nelsen) Ferber; and brothers Harold, Donald, Robert and Tom Hansen.

She is survived by her daughters Margaret (Bjerke) Hatch and Debra Bjerke; sisters Lucile (Hansen) Greiner and Ruth (Hansen) Peoples; her brother, Nobel Hansen; sister-in-law, Elaine (Byron) Bjerke; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, a private family burial will be Monday at East Freeborn Lutheran Cemetery. A celebration of life will be at a later date.

Instead of flowers, donate to the charity of your choice in Dorothy’s name.

Her family would like to thank both Thorne Crest Senior Living Community and St. Croix Hospice and their staff for their care and kindnesses while their mom was with them. They have been a special part of their lives for a few years now, and were always there for their mom and them, too.