Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 18, 2010
Elgar Kenneth “Ken” Bjerke, age 88 of Austin, Minn. died Wednesday afternoon, April 14, 2010 at Primrose Assisted Living in Austin.
Ken was born Aug. 31, 1921 in rural Grand Meadow, Minn. to Cleabert and Grace (Van Gundy) Bjerke. He was baptized and confirmed at the LutheranChurch in Grand Meadow. He attended grade school in rural Grand Meadow and later received his high school diploma from Southland High School in Adams, Minn.
He met Margaret L. Peterson, and they were married Aug 2, 1946 at Evanger Lutheran Church in Rural Dexter, Minn. The couple had four sons. He was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church, the Mower County Historical Society, and a life member of the local VFW Post 1216. Margaret died April 8, 2008.
Ken worked for Hormel Foods in Austin for 41 years. After retiring from Hormel Foods, he assisted with lawn care at Grandview Cemetery in Austin for 20 years. He donated blood to the American Red Cross for over 45 years, donating more than 25 gallons of blood during that time. He served his country in the United States Army during World War II, serving over three years in Africa and Italy. He loved traveling in his motor home with his wife, visiting family and friends, trips to Turtle Lake, hunting, fishing, woodworking, and watching his sons play sports. Ken was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather.
Ken is survived by four sons: Brian (Susanne) Bjerke, Turtle Lake, Wis., Danny (Kay) Bjerke, Mason City, IA, Gary (Theanne) Bjerke, Bakersfield, Calif., and Scott (Susan) Bjerke of Eagan, Minn.; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one sister: Mary Lou (Burton) Morrow, Great Falls, Va.; one brother: Milton (Eva Mae) Bjerke, Richfield, Minn., and many nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife Margaret L. (Peterson) Bjerke, his parents, one brother Leonard Bjerke, and one sister Wilma Kulbe.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday April 20 at 1:30 p.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austinwith Rev. Ron Barnett officiating. Visitation will be held Monday from 5 – 7 p.m. at Worlein Funeral Home and one hour prior to service at the church. Interment will follow the service at Grandview Cemetery.
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.worlein.com