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Harriet Wilma Pokorney, 89, passed away June 11, 2009, at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena. She was born April 17, 1920, to Erwin and Edna (Erdmann) Ehlke of Oak Valley Township. She graduated from high school and attended St. Cloud Teachers College. She married Charles George Pokorney on June 25, 1944, at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Bertha and together they operated the family farm near Wrightstown. In addition to caring and providing a home for her own family, she served her community as a teacher, daycare provider and foster grandparent. Most knew her simply as Grandma Harriet.
Violet V. (Niemela) Bentilla, 89, of New York Mills, passed away June 9, 2009, at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo. She was born Nov. 6, 1919, in New York Mills, to Charles and Esther (Carlund) Niemela. She married Ralph Raymond Bentilla in 1940 in Verndale. Their marriage was blessed with six children. From 1941 to 1947, they resided in Valparaiso, Ind., and Aurora, Ill., where Ralph worked for The McGill Company. They moved to Minneapolis, where Ralph was employed with Utilities Services Company. She was employed with Leef Brothers in Minneapolis.
Jerry Basel Bentley, 82, of New York Mills, passed away June 8, 2009, at the Elders' Home in New York Mills. He was born June 4, 1927, to Norman and Tegla (Tapio) Bentley, at his grandparents' homestead, which is now Finn Creek Museum, rural New York Mills. As he was growing up, he spent quality time with Abner and Hilda Fiskari. When he was 16 years old he began sailing on the Great Lakes. He was employed on the iron ore boats for a total of 35 years. He served in the Army from Aug. 29, 1945, to Dec. 6, 1946, in Alaska and was honorably discharged.
Charles "Charley" Olaf Pary, 73, of New York Mills, passed away Monday, June 8, 2009. He was born July 28, 1935, at home in Newton Township. He attended country school District 105, confirmed his faith at the Apostolic Lutheran Church and graduated from New York Mills, class of 1953. He enlisted in the Army in April 1954. After he was honorably discharged in April 1956, he relocated to Silver Bay, Minn., for a time. Later he moved to St. Paul and attended the University of Minnesota, College of Forestry.
Pearl Markstrom, 89, of Henning, died Thursday, June 11, 2009, at the Broen Home in Fergus Falls. She was born Oct. 24, 1919, in Nidaros Township of Otter Tail County, to John Friedolph and Mabel Josephine (Haagenson) Linder. She was baptized on March 11, 1920, and confirmed on Oct. 22, 1933 at Leaf Mountain Lutheran Church. She attended School District 283 through the eighth grade. She also attended night classes in a college for business.
Dustin Ian Beil, 4 months, passed away Thursday, May 21, 2009, at his home in Sumter, S.C. A memorial service was held in the Palmetto Chapel at Shaw Air Force Base on Wednesday, May 27. The funeral was held Sunday, May 31 at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Wadena. Interment was in the Bonar Cemetery in Bertha. A memorial service was also held at the Hinsdale American Legion Hall in Hinsdale, Mont.
Theresa Gorghuber, 85, of Bertha, passed away Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at the Knute Nelson Memorial Home in Alexandria. She was born May 9, 1924, to John and Ella Kaluza at Browerville. She married Jerome Gorghuber on Sept. 9, 1950, in St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Browerville. Together, they bought the bakery in Bertha and operated it from 1955 until 1977. After closing the bakery, she worked for a time at the First National Bank of Bertha/Verndale (now Star Bank, NA) in Bertha. She was a member of St.
Carol LaVonne (Gustafson) Gerhardson, 63, of Bluffton, passed away June 10, 2009, at Tri-County Hospital in Wadena. She was born Aug. 26, 1945, in Willmar. She grew up in New London, Minn. She graduated with the class of 1963 from New London High School. After graduation, she attended Willmar Community College. On Nov. 27, 1965, she married Gerald Gerhardson at Trinity Lutheran Church in New London. Their marriage was blessed with four children; Tammy, Sherry, Jeff and Becky. They made their home and farmed on the Gerhardson family farm in rural Belgrade, Minn.
Elmer Gustav Arndt, 94, formerly of Hewitt, passed away at his home in Staples on June 1, 2009, succumbing to congestive heart failure after defeating esophageal cancer two years ago. He was born Sept. 4, 1914, to Gustav and Ida (Frank) Arndt at their home in Bartlett Township, rural Verndale. Ida passed away when he was just 15 months old and he was raised by his father and siblings. As a young man, he worked for many farmers in the region. He entered the Army on Jan.
Thomas Jonah Aagard, 25, of Fergus Falls, formerly of Wadena, passed away unexpectedly on June 5, 2009, at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo. He was born Oct. 16, 1983, to Thomas E. and Kimberly A. (Lovegreen) Aagard in Wadena. He grew up in Wadena and had been living in Fergus Falls for six years. He was employed as a truck driver for Coca-Cola. He served as an infantryman at the rank of specialist in the Minnesota National Guard from October 2005 until his death. He enjoyed fishing, hunting and camping. Visitation was held on June 11. Private funeral services were held at a later date.