June E. Bjerke -- Mantorville

April 12, 2017

June E. Bjerke, age 94, of Mantorville, died Saturday, April 8, 2017, in Hugo, Minn.

June Elaine Kaul Crowley Bjerke was born on July 22, 1922, in Hibbing, Minn. She graduated from Hibbing High School and in May 1943, graduated from Ancker Hospital Training School for Nurses, in St. Paul. In 1944, she enlisted as a Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corp and served in tent hospitals in France and Germany during WWII.

Following her discharge from the Army, she attended the University of Minnesota and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She met her husband, Curtis Crowley, at the University of Minnesota. They were married in 1948, and had three children, Cathie Crowley (Peterson), Christine Crowley and Barbara Crowley [Erickson]. Curtis died in 1957, from cancer. Following his death, she worked as a social worker in Hibbing and a Public Health educator for St. Louis County, Duluth, Minn.

In 1965, she married Harvey Bjerke, from West Concord, where they blended their family of five children: Steve Bjerke, Mike Bjerke, Bruce Bjerke, Barb (Crowley) Erickson and Cathie (Crowley) Peterson. She was on the nursing faculty at Rochester Community College for 15 years prior to her retirement. After retiring, June and Harvey enjoyed traveling in their RV throughout the United States, dividing their time between Southern California and Mantorville.

June was baptized and confirmed at Grace Lutheran Church, Hibbing. After moving to West Concord, she became a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. As a person of faith, June sang in the church choir, participated in Bible studies, and served on the Trinity Lutheran Church Council. As a lifelong learner, June took oil painting classes to develop her artistic gifts. Along with painting, she also participated in study groups, golfing leagues and local politics.

She is preceded in death by her first husband, Curtis Crowley; infant daughter, Christine Crowley; her second husband, Harvey Bjerke; her mother and father, Gerhardt and June Kaul; and her brother, Gerhardt Kaul.

She is survived by her children, Steve and wife, Vicki Bjerke, and their children, Stevie Bjerke, Leif Bjerke and Dr. Aja Bjerke; Dr. Cathie (Crowley) Peterson and husband, Rev. Dr. Gordon Peterson, and their children, Dr. Kirstin (Thane Douglas) Peterson-Douglas, Sonja (Thanh Vo) Peterson; Michael Bjerke and wife, Jody, and their children, Erik (Brooks) Bjerke, Dr. Brian (Kate) Bjerke and Maria Bjerke; Barb (Crowley) Erickson and husband, Denny, and their children, Dr. Nathan (Anna Warnes-Erickson) Erickson and Dr. Lindsey Erickson; Bruce Bjerke and wife, Joan, and their children, Evan Bjerke, Lute Bjerke, Stephen Bjerke, and Sam Briesacher.

Funeral services for June Elaine Kaul Crowley Bjerke will be held April 22 at Trinity Lutheran Church, West Concord. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m. Internment following the service at Concord Cemetery, Old Concord. Following the services, lunch will be served at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Memorials may be given in her name to Trinity Lutheran Church, West Concord.