Jo-an H. Berseth, 95, passed away on Oct. 21, 2020, at Edgewood Vista in Brookings, South Dakota. A private service and burial for her immediate family will commence at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, at Richland Lutheran Church (rural Walcott, ND). The Vertin-Munson Funeral Home in Wahpeton, ND is making the arrangements.
Jo-an H. Berseth was born July 13, 1925, to John and Emma (Alm) Hendrickson at their farm near Christine, ND. She was baptized and confirmed in the Christine Lutheran Church. Jo-an received her public school education in Christine, graduating as the valedictorian of the CHS Class of 1943. She continued her education at the University of North Dakota; graduating in 1947 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Home Economics. She was the recipient of the P.E.O. Helen Sullivan Freshmen English Award and earned membership in Phi Upsilon and Mortar Board, based upon her leadership, scholarship and service.
Jo-an married Norman Berseth in Minneapolis on July 10, 1945, while he was on military leave. She worked in home extension in Ellendale, ND during the 1947-48 year before they returned to farm, and start their family in the Colfax area.
Once their four sons were in school, Jo-an began a teaching career, initially in Abercrombie and later Colfax, from 1966-1987. Norman passed away on October 26, 1989, and Jo-an continued to live on the family farm until moving to an apartment in Abercrombie in September of 2007. She moved to Edgewood Vista in Brookings, SD in October 2014.
She was a member of Richland Lutheran Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and as a member of the church council; and was active in WELCA. Jo-an’s interests included family and friends, reading, card games, sewing, traveling, the Valley Homemakers and the Abercrombie Senior Citizens. On special occasions and for bake sales, her oatmeal-molasses buns were much in demand.
Jo-an is survived by her sons Steve (Benda) of Brookings, SD, Mike of Lake Park, MN, Brian (Connie) of Fridley, MN and Neil (Kim) of Colfax, ND, eight grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, infant daughter Bonnie Rae, daughter-in-law Linda, grandson Shawn, her parents and older siblings – Irene (Peterson), Vivian (Ulven), Joyce, Earl, Burnell and Ellsworth Hendrickson.
Jo-an’s family is grateful for the loving care she received from the devoted staff at Edgewood Vista during her final years. Memorials in her memory may be directed to the Richland Lutheran Church. An online registry can be found at [email protected]