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Obituaries April 15, 2014

11/7/2012 11:15:00 AM
Virginia Bjerke

Virginia Bjerke, 85, of Waukon died Monday, November 5, 2012 at the Good Samaritan Center in Waukon. Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 8 at 11 a.m. at Zion United Church of Christ in Waukon, with Pastor Samantha Houser officiating. Burial will be held at Oakland Cemetery, Waukon. Friends may call from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, November 7 at Martin Funeral Home in Waukon.
Virginia Anna Minnie Bjerke was born April 21, 1927 to Simon and Lydia (Rolfs) Grotegut on their farm in rural Waukon. She was baptized and confirmed at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church in Waukon. In 1945, Virginia graduated from Waukon High School.
June 21, 1946 she married Ordell Bjerke at the Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church. They farmed together, where Virginia was very active in the daily operations of farming. In 1974, Ordell and Virginia moved into Waukon, where Virginia worked at the A&W Restaurant, Montgomery Ward and Coast to Coast stores.
She was a member of the Zion United Church of Christ, where she was active in church circles and Women’s Fellowship. Virginia was also involved in Neighborhood Club. She enjoyed gardening, especially growing raspberries and strawberries, and raising chickens and selling the eggs. Virginia was a good cook and loved to bake. One of her family’s favorites were her gingersnap cookies. She enjoyed canning the produce from her large garden. She also enjoyed playing cards, crocheting, embroidering, and later in life went on bus tours with Ordell across North America. Virginia was a caring wife, mother and grandmother, always making sure her loved ones were happy.
Virginia is survived by her four children, Karen (Randy) Loeb of Waukon, Lois (Loren) Beneke of Waukon, Lynn Bjerke of West Union, and Robert (Cheryl) Bjerke of Decorah; nine grandchildren, Kayla, Shawn, Brianne, Rachel, Adam and Mikael Bjerke, Amanda Guese, Amy Evans and Jacob Beneke; five great-grandchildren, Ryan and Mitch Guese, and Alex, Zayna and Zoey Evans; her brother, Roland (Hazel) Grotegut of Decorah; and two sisters-in-law, Carolyn Grotegut of Bettendorf and Audrey Angel of Waukon.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Ordell, who died in 2011; her parents; and two brothers, Ralph and Leonard Grotegut.
Casketbearers will be Virginia’s grandchildren.
Online condolences can be left at

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