BERNARD ELGERSMA, age 88, of Edgerton, formerly of Leota, died Saturday, January 5, 2019, at the Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton. He was born to Andrew and Nancy (Vander Zee) Elgersma on January 29, 1930 near Beresford, SD.
Bernard served in the US Army as a clerk typist in occupied Germany after the war. When he returned home, he worked delivery for the Chevrolet dealer in Sioux Falls, and then farmed with a friend near Baltic, South Dakota.
On February 17, 1955 he was united in marriage to Viola Swier in Phoenix, Arizona. Bernard and Viola then moved to Ireton Iowa where they rented a farm. Later they rented a farm near Magnolia Minnesota, and finally bought a farm north of Leota, Minnesota where they lived for most of their married lives (until Bernard moved to Edgebrook Estates in 2016).
Bernard will be sadly missed by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren: Roger Elgersma, of Pipestone, MN and his daughters Julie (Elgersma) Kent and Laura Elgersma. Michael Elgersma (Sisi Ung), of Plymouth, MN and their son, David Elgersma. Mary (Elgersma) Van Korlaar (Larry) of Colorado Springs, CO, and their children, Craig Van Korlaar (Abby Benequista), and their two children, Erika (Van Korlaar) Blakeman, and her three children, and Larissa Van Korlaar.
Bernard will also be sadly missed by Michelle Johnson Long who lived with them from age 1 to age 13, and considered Bernard her Dad, and by Michelle’s husband, Alonzo Long, and her children (Naquea, Meara, and Alexandria, and by their families.
Bernard was predeceased by his wife, Viola (Swier) Elgersma, his parents, Andrew and Nancy (Vander Zee) Elgersma, two brothers, William and Asa Elgersma, and two sisters, Annie (Elgersma) De Vries and Jennie Elgersma.
Bernard was a member of Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Leota, MN. He served his church as a Sunday School teacher, and as an elder.
Bernard was an active member of the Gideons and had presented the Gideon’s cause in many churches. He and Viola were also members of S.O.W.E.R.S, a group of folks who traveled around the country in RVs, serving as volunteers at various Christian ministries. He served on the boards of the Leota Christian School, and of the New Life Treatment Center as well as president of the SWCH School Society. Bernard and Viola were foster parents to a total of nine children over the course of the years. Bernard was a member of the American Legion for most of his adult life. He also served on the Leota 4th of July Board.
Bernard enjoyed travel, visited all 50 states, and especially enjoyed visiting the many national parks. He was interested in learning new things and was always curious as to how things worked.
Visitation will be Thursday, January 10, 2019 from noon to 1PM at the Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. Funeral service will be at 1:00 PM Thursday at the Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church in Leota. Burial will be in the Leota Community Cemetery. The Leota Burial Association and the Dingmann Funeral Home are in charge of arrangements.