BERTHA ARLENE MERCELLA BOTTJEN 88, Ely, passed away in the presence of her loving husband Duane.
Bertha was born on the 17th of July, 1931, in Newcastle, Nebraska, to Adolph Gunderson and Marie nee Swenson. She graduated from Central High School in Sioux City, Iowa in 1949, and was employed as a comptometer operator in the office of Younker-Davidson retail store in Sioux City. She married Duane Arnold Bottjen on July 10, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa and accompanied him through college and seminary as he prepared for the ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church. She was greatly loved and appreciated as his helpmate in the parishes he served.
Bertha was the loving mother of six children: Annette (Marvin) Tomlinson, Poynette, WI; Debra (James) Licata, Rockford, IL; Beverly (Timothy) Ryan, Rockford, IL; David (Roxanna) Bottjen, Durham, NC; Michelle (Dennis) Keister, Cedarville, IL; and Aaron (Kari) Bottjen, Oregon, WI; nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
In addition to her family, Bertha loved being at the home on Eagles Nest Lake 2, Ely, MN. Prior to this home, she enjoyed vacationing on Eagles Nest Lake 4 for many years beginning in 1959. Bertha was also very artistic and enjoyed many crafts. When the children were young she often fashioned their clothes. Besides knitting and crocheting she also learned to weave on her own loom. Her greatest joy was doing the difficult Norwegian Hardanger. She shared her love of table games with her family and friends and was most competitive at a card game called “Rage”.
She was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Debra Licata; and two sisters, Pearl and Mildred. She is survived by her husband Duane and the five remaining children. A memorial celebration of her life is planned for Saturday, October 26, 2019, noon at the Grace Lutheran Church, Ely, MN. A very heartfelt thank you to all the staff and workers at the Boundary Waters Care Center. Blessed be her memory!
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