Bernelda Burger, 87

Bernelda Burger obit photo.JPG

Bernelda Burger, 87
    Thief River Falls
– Bernelda “Bernie” Burger of Thief River Falls, passed away February 14, 2017 in Mesa, AZ.
    Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, 2017 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Thief River Falls, with Father Rick Lambert presiding.  Interment will follow at St. Bernard’s Catholic Cemetery, Thief River Falls.
    Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. prayer service on Friday, March 3, 2017 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls.  Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
    Bernie was born on Christmas Day, 1929 in St. Cloud to Raymond & Veronica (Klaverkamp) Dietman.  She attended John Clark Elementary in Rockville and graduated from St. Cloud Technical High School in 1947.  Bernie attended St. Cloud Business College, later working for the St. Cloud Times and St. Cloud State College.
    Bernie married Virgil Burger on October 11, 1951 at Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church in Rockville.  The young couple made their home in Holloway and Holdingford, before settling in Thief River Falls in 1958. Together they raised four children.  
    Bernie was a beautiful role model to her children and grandchildren – the heart and soul of her family.  Friends and family benefitted from Bernie’s hospitality and amazing cooking and baking skills. She was especially famous for her banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Friends could always count on Bernie’s pecan pie for their birthday. For over 50 years, Bernie enjoyed coffee parties with neighborhood friends. Yes, Bernie spread her kindness far and wide.  
    After her children were grown, Bernie worked for Northland Technical College in the Ag Department and as an Election Judge. She was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church.  
    Virg and Bernie made their winter home in Mesa, AZ beginning in 1987.  Here they were able to connect with their Holdingford friends from years ago as well as other MN retirees.  When family visited, Bernie would welcome them with open arms, baked goodies and freshly squeezed lemonade. Virg and Bernie enjoyed traveling and gardening, but mostly being with their children and grandchildren.  
    Bernie is survived by her brother: Verlin (Joanne) Dietman of St. Cloud; children: Linda (Steve) Larson of Excelsior, Brenda (Rande) Smith of Little Falls, Tom (Brad Rystedt) Burger of Wilton Manors, FL, and Ann Olimb of Warroad; grandchildren: Tony (Sherry) Larson, Rob (Angie) Larson, Abby (Nick) Walker, Ben (Jaclyn) Smith, Blake (Stacy) Smith, Eric (Jessie) Olimb, Melissa Olimb, and Lindsay Olimb; great-grandchildren: Austin, Juliette, Olivia, and Henry Larson and Russell, Magnolia, Ava, and Thorin Smith.
    Bernie was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Virgil, January 19, 2014; parents; great-grandson, William Anthony Larson; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Gene and Rita Burger.  
    Memorials are preferred to St. Bernard’s Catholic School, the TRF Education Foundation, or the Poor Clares Monastery in Sauk Rapids.