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