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Willard's Story

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Willard Edmund Bjorklund passed away at the age of 88 on Monday, October 16, 2017 at the Ridgeview Hospital, Le Sueur, MN.

Funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 20th at Scandian Grove Lutheran Church with visitation one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow the service at Scandian Grove Church Cemetery, Norseland, MN. Memorials can be directed to Scandian Grove Lutheran Church. Saint Peter Funeral Home-Klein Chapel is helping the family with arrangements.

Willard Edmund Bjorklund was born on the family farm in rural New Sweden Township, MN on August 16, 1929. Willard was the first born son of Gustav Edmund and Anna Estelle Viola (Larson) Bjorklund. He was baptized at First Evangelical Lutheran Church at Scandian Grove, MN on September 22,1929 by Pastor O.J. Nelson, with Roy and Florence Anderson as his sponsors. Willard was confirmed by Pastor J. A. Gustafson on June 4th, 1944 at First Evangelical Lutheran Church at Scandian Grove, MN. Willard completed his secondary education through the eighth grade in the one room school house in New Sweden Township and later received his GED while in the Army on November 1, 1951 from the Gaylord Public High School in Gaylord, MN. He was drafted into the Army on February 22, 1951 and served as a Medic of Dentistry at Camp Steward, Georgia during the end of the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on February 22, 1953. He came home to help his dad on the family farm and also worked at the Continental Can Factory and in later years worked at the Year-A-Round Cab Company, both in Mankato, MN. Willard married the love of his life, Marilyn Adeline Hopp, daughter of Clarance and Ella (Compart) Hopp on June 11, 1955 at St. John's Lutheran Church in New Ulm, MN. Together, Willard and Marilyn took over the family farm on March 29, 1961; where they milked Hereford cows, raised pigs, chickens and planted and harvested the surrounding crop land. Willard was a life-long member of Scandian Grove Lutheran Church where he was a member of the Church Cemetery Board and had the honor of digging many of the graves for the families of the church. Willard was the father of three children whom he loved deeply and new what it meant to be a Dad to them! He always made the daily work fun and teachable moments. His compassionate spirit for all things living was a beautiful example to those around him. He took his family on many vacations and he and Marilyn traveled to Sweden twice. He enjoyed watching football, basketball, and baseball and he also loved to read. He and his sense of humor will be missed by his family so very much.

Willard is survived by his wife, Marilyn of 62 years and three children, Janet (James) Buck of Gaylord, Bonnie (Scott) Rieger of Norseland, Robert Bjorklund and Elizabeth Bjorklund of New Sweden. Four Grandchildren, Amanda Buck of Brainerd, MN, Julie (Jesse) Kuehl of Gaylord, MN, Benjamin Rieger and special friend Kayla Lanes of Bloomington, MN, Anna Bjorklund fiancé of Cody Body of Gibbon, MN, and Sarah Bjorklund. Five Great Grandchildren, Brooklyn Kuehl, Tammy Lynn, Lucas, Grace Lynn and Logan Buck. He is proceed in death by his parents Edmund and Anna Bjorklund, parents in-law Clarence and Ella Hopp and Grandson Timothy Buck.
Published on October 17, 2017
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