Kathleen Bjerum, age 88 of Bemidji, died Thursday, May 12, 2022. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at church. Burial is in the Westbrook Cemetery. Stephens Funeral Service – Westbrook Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Kathleen Irene Nelson, the daughter of Willie C. and Clara (Svien) Nelson was born on February 15, 1934, in the family home near Westbrook, MN. She spent the first days of her life in a box in the kitchen oven due to the bitter winter cold. She was baptized and confirmed in her Faith at Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook. Kathleen received her education at Double Lake Country School, Westbrook High School, the University of MN (AA), and South Dakota State University (BS). On August 5, 1956, Kathleen was united in marriage to Douglas Wayne Bjerum at Trinity Lutheran Church. Her first career, and the passion of her work, was as a Home Extension Educator in Amboy, MN. Through her life she never stopped teaching and mentoring her family, or anyone of any age, in homemaking and life skills. Her cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, cross stitching and crocheting skills were second to none, and if you wanted to learn she would teach you with the patience of Job. The majority of her career life was spent as an Administrator and later Program Advisor in Child Support collections for the State of MN. In retirement, Kathleen spent every fall as a volunteer election judge in Bemidji, MN, and as a County Fair judge. She enjoyed reading, with goals exceeding 100 books per year, camping and campfires, hiking and sitting in the woods or at the lake, playing games, and cheering on her Minnesota Vikings. This exceedingly strong, independent, stubborn, bullheaded, survivor loved her family – Children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters, nieces and nephews, cousins, and all who went before her. As things were looking that the final chapter had begun, Kathleen expressed how great it was to be together, and that we weren’t waiting until after the funeral. She shared missing the cousin gatherings, and that when the time for further care came, we would get her back to Westbrook close to “the family”, so she could spend time. Sadly, that chance did not come. On Thursday afternoon, May 12, 2022, Kathleen peacefully died in Bemidji, MN.
Grandma B is survived by her three children, Michael and his wife Audrey of Romeoville, IL, Jodell Wood and her husband Richard Almont of Hudson, SD, and Debra Risberg and her husband Edward of Bemidji, MN; seven grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren; her three sisters, Harriette Bondhus of Westbrook, Phyllis Bakken and her husband Lee of Westbrook, and Carol Harder and her husband Brian of Mountain Lake, MN; eight nieces and nephews; many other relatives and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents; a son-in-law, Michael Wood; her former husband, Douglas Bjerum; brother-in-law Leland Bondhus; and a nephew, Corey Harder.