Lucille (Larson) Bjerke passed away peacefully at Aase Haugen Senior Services in Decorah,
Iowa, on February 17, 2023. 
Lucille was born in 1942.  She graduated from High School in Mauston, WI.  She then attended
Luther College in Decorah where she studied English and Art.  She then attended the University
of Wisconsin – La Crosse where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English.  She began
a career teaching English in the Black River Falls School District in 1965.  There she met her
future husband Gerald Bjerke, who taught Math, Chemistry and Physics. 
Lucille left teaching to raise her young children and continued to pursue her love of art with
painting and crafts.  She was a proliferate painter, and many of her works featuring countrified
rural landscapes adorned the walls of the Black River Falls Memorial Hospital for years.  Her
love for art, crafts, and all things Norwegian led her to open a gift shop in Black River Falls
called The Open Trunk in 1975.
Lucille greatly enjoyed genealogy and researching her family history.  In her research, she
traveled to Norway to expand her church records and meet extended family members that had
not emigrated.  She published a book of her family genealogic research in the 1990’s. 
After retiring, Lucille and Gerald moved from Black River Falls to spend most of their time in
Hatfield, Wisconsin.  They enjoyed retirement at their home on Lake Arbutus, where they had
spent most of their summers raising their two children.  During the winters they escaped the
snow by vacationing in Green Valley, Arizona.   
She is survived by her son, Lee Bjerke, and wife Lindsey (Stahl) of Decorah, Iowa, and her
daughter Kari (Pollock) and husband Robin (Mike) of Camden, DE.  She is also survived by
three grandchildren, Stefanie Bjerke, Cassandra Bjerke, and Darcy Hostetler, two step
grandchildren Kaden Alstad and Karlyn Alstad, a sister-in-law Marion Rude, and many cousins,
nieces, and nephews. 
Lucille was preceded in death by her husband Gerald, and her parents Otis and Ruth (Hilleque)

In lieu of cards and flowers, memorials may be sent to Aase Haugen Senior Services or
Vesterheim Norwegian Museum both of Decorah, Iowa or the Evangelical Lutheran Church of
Black River Falls, Wisconsin. 

Funeral services for Lucille will take place Saturday, June 3, 2023 at the Evangelical Lutheran
Church at 11:00 a.m. Vicar Auggie Hohl will officiate. Friends and family are invited to
visitation from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Burial will immediately follow at the Upper
Beaver Creek Lutheran Cemetery.

The Torgerson’s Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements, 715-284-4321.

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