FactsBorn: January 30, 1917
Death: January 15, 2009
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Gilman Bjerke, age 91, rural Bradley, died in the Golden Living Center at Clark late Thursday, January 15, 2009.
Funeral services will be Monday, January 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM in the Crocker Lutheran Church at Crocker with Minister Marion Grimes officating. Music will be provided by Marvine Obermeier as organist with special music by Lisa Bjerke with a piano solo and David & Carol Finstand singing a duet. There will also be congregational singing. Honorary casketbearers are Chris & Olivia Sass, Jarvis, Lydia and Lincoln Reidburn & Lisa Bjerke. Active casketbearers are Amy Sass, Aaron and Anthony Bjerke, Alissa Reidburn and Caitlyn, Jorgan, Brooklyn and Adrien Bjerke. Burial with miltary honors furnished by the Larry Hartman American Legion Post #108, Bradley will be in the Calvary Cemetery near Bradley.
Visitation will be on Sunday from 4-6PM at the Furness Funeral Home in Clark and after 9Am at the Church on Monday morning.
Gilman R. Bjerke, son of George and Ragna (Siggerud) Bjerke, was born at his parents farm home in northern Cottonwood Township, Clark County, Bradley, South Dakota on January 30, 1917. He attended various country schools in northern Clark County, all near Bradley, graduating from the 8th grade. Following his schooling he helped on the family farm until entering the United States Army in March of 1941. He honorably served his country during WWII in Europe and was discharged in May of 1945 after receiving a Bronze Battle Star and Purple Heart after being wounded in battle.
Following his stint in the service, he returned to the family farm near Bradley where he helped until his marriage to Dorothy Florence Hilmoe on Mary 29, 1949. They were married at the Crocker Lutheran Church. GR, as Dorothy called him, and she lived and farmed their entire married life within about a mile radius of the Calvary Lutheran Church, in fact, homesteading the farm just south of the Church in the early 1950s. Dorothy died on June 29, 2004. Gilman has since lived in the Wookey Assisted Living Center in Clark for a time before moving to the Golden Living Center last July.
Some of his fondest moments were spent hunting deer and spending time outside. He loved the land and farming, even doing custom baling and moving hay for others. He will long be remembered for his sense of humor, laughter, light-heartedness and the willingness to always share a cup of Dorothys egg coffee, oatmeal raisin cookies and a story. He thoroughly loved having company.
Among survivors who are grateful for having shared in his life are his sons, Allen (Pam) Bjerke and Bob (Lori) Bjerke all of Clark, 8 grandchildren, Amy (Chris) Sass, Aaron Bjerke, Anthony (Lisa) Bjerke, Alissa (Jarvis) Reidburn and Caitlyn, Jorgan, Brooklyn and Adrien Bjerke; three great-grandchildren, Olivia Sass and Lydia and Lincoln Reidburn and siblings, Max Bjerke of Bradley and Myrtle (Gerald) Batenhorst of Fritz, TX. He also leaves sisters-in-law, Louise Bjerke of Clark, Esther Bjerke of rural Crocker and Joyce (Don) Schoenbeck of Watertown and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents, wife, siblings, Palmer (Lela) Bjerke, Richard Bjerke, Oscar Bjerke, Tenny Bjerke, Olive (Carl) Zweig, Helga (Lester) Finstad, Gladys (Lowell) Bull and sisters-in-law, Lucille and Marge Bjerke.
Arrangements are with the Furness Funeral Home at Clark where you can sign an on-line guest registry at www.furnessfuneralhome.com
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