Lois Bjorlie

Lois Bjorlie

  • Funeral Date: 2/05/14
  • Funeral Time: 10:00 AM
  • Date of Birth: 7/09/13
  • Date of Death: 2/02/14
  • Funeral Location: John's Lutheran Church - Northfield

Lois Gertrude Brenna Bjorlie, age 100, child of God, died peacefully surrounded by family on Sunday morning in her home at the Northfield Retirement Community. A graceful, generous, kind and gracious woman, she lived an extraordinary life as a loving mother, grandmother and great grandmother as well as a teacher and pastor’s wife.
Bjorlie was born July 9, 1913, in Silver Lake, Minn., and grew up in Harmony, Minn. She attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn, graduating in 1935. She went on to receive a masters degree in English at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa. She married the Rev. Leo Orville Bjorlie in 1944 and served side-by-side with him in numerous parishes throughout North Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota. They raised six wonderful children and they were always enthusiastic supporters of their children, 16 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
On her 100th birthday, the Northfield Mayor declared July 9th Lois Brenna Bjorlie Day in recognition of her countless contributions to the community.
She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Leo; sister, Esther Burmeister of Harmony, Minn.; children Ellen (James) Ellickson of Eden Valley, Minn.; Leo (Carol) Bjorlie of Asheville, N. Car.; John (Cynthia) Bjorlie of Gloucester, Mass.; Lois Bjorlie (Corey Mohan) of St. Paul, Minn.; Ruthie (David) Neuger, of Northfield, Minn; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents Oscar and Ellen Brenna; sister, Ruth; bothers Oscar and Harold; and son Mark Bjorlie.
Lois Bjorlie will forever be remembered for her love and concern for all people, her deep abiding Christian faith, and her love of all things gentle and good. Her family knew her as the “World’s Best Mom,” a champion turkey stuffer and baker, and the inventor of the widely renowned Mama’s Special. Friends, family and even strangers were welcomed by her hospitality as she fed them with a kind spirit and fabulous home-cooked meals. She also served as the St. Olaf registrar and as an English teacher to young girls in her career.
Her funeral will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, with visitation from 4 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at Benson & Langehough Funeral Home in Northfield. Memorials may be directed toward St. Olaf College in lieu of flowers.
Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com


  1. Julie Ellickson

    She was such a wonderful grandmother. We will miss her. The boys and I have such nice memories of her. They said, “she was always so happy.” Love and hugs to all the Bjorlies. We are there in spirit. Love, Julie, Ethan, Nathaniel, and Zachary Ellickson.

  2. Susan Brenna Flynn

    To all the Bjorlies,
    Aunt Lois was a model of kindness, forgiveness, grace, and love! Ans she was so wise. I remember great conversations with her at the parsonage (usually in the kitchen)in St. Paul. She always spoke in a gentle, reflective manor which I as a young girl listening, admired, and took to heart. I remember almost 3 years ago, just before my dad died, she made the long trip down to Waterloo, sat and gently held my dad’s hand, and told him she loved him. Always a caregiver! Your family is truly blessed to have her as your Matriarch. Know that she is rejoicing with her mom, dad, sister, brothers & Mark!

  3. Ed & Marty Melvin

    Leo, we are so sorry to hear of your Mother’s death. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so glad that Ben will be there with you for the service. Blessings, Ed & Marty

  4. Mary and Roger Sanders

    We feel so sad at Lois’ death. At the same time we know how blessed we’ve been to have her in our lives. Lois was a wonderful aunt and a truly caring person.
    I remember one time in Slater, Iowa. Ellen and I, as young teenagers, went with Lois to take a cake to a grieving family. I don’t remember Lois’ words, but I remember that they were so comforting.
    We have an especially happy memory of Lois and Esther (when in their eighties). They drove cross country from Minnesota to Oregon to visit us.
    Love to Leo and all of Lois’ Family from,
    Mary and Roger Sanders

  5. Yvonne O'Donnell Raes

    I didn’t know Mrs. Bjorlie, but my mother, Jackie O’Donnell of Slater, told me that Mrs. Bjorlie drove her to the hospital when she went into labor with her twelfth child – me! I also have a recipe in my recipe box passed on to me from my mother titled “Mrs. Bjorlie’s Cinnamon Rolls”. So, thank you to Mrs. Bjorlie for making my birth in a hospital possible and for the many, many years my family and I have enjoyed her cinnamon rolls. She touched many lives!

  6. Catherine Fox

    Lois and Leo will forever be in our hearts as they were instrumental in helping us, in 2001, form what is now Safe Harbour Lutheran Church, in the Cayman Islands. She was a beautiful woman with an incredible soul and touched the lives of everyone, everywhere she went. She is fondly remembered by all here in Cayman.

    “Have No Fear, Little Flock”

    In Christ,
    Cathy Fox

  7. Dan O'Donnell

    I was in the same class as John and remember her as a gracious, caring person who welcomed me into her home many times. I, too, remember the cinnamon rolls that she would bake for special occasions for many of her neighbors. We have all been blessed by knowing her and poorer with her passing. My thoughts are with all of her family.

  8. Barbara Weeks Mallon

    What a long and wonderful life! Of course, every one of us who grew up in the Bethlehem Church in Slater knew and loved the Bjorlie family. It was a trip down memory lane to recall each of you again and it was interesting to learn where everyone has settled. Love to your family.

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