Neil Alexander Ellsworth Gerhardson, 95, of Fergus FallsPublished 9:27am Thursday, March 21, 2013 Updated 11:30am Thursday, March 21, 2013
He was born July 23, 1917, on his parents dairy farm in Aurdal Township near Fergus Falls, the son of Anton and Caroline (Nockleby) Gerhardson.
Neil grew up on the farm putting up hay, shocking grain, threshing, corn-picking, and helping with the dairy cattle. He graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1936.
Neil worked for Taylor Hardware in his younger years. He was employed for 43 years with the Fergus Co-op Creamery, where he worked inside for 13 years washing bottles, cleaning the pasteurization tub, and making butter.
He then delivered milk for 30 years, starting in February of 1952. He and Merle Tommerdahl had a business partnership for more than 30 years in the dairy delivery service, North Star Dairy, with about 500 customers who received deliveries twice a week.
After his retirement in 1983 he worked with Jerry Galena at his business, Milcare Company, manufacturing hoof trimmers and filling orders.
He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church and the Rough Rider Snowmobile Club.
Neil enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, bowling, snowmobiling, singing in the church choir, and spending time with his family.
Preceding him in death were his parents, a son-in-law, Jack Nelson in December of 2009, two brothers-in-law, Marty Martinson, and H.R. “Hucky” Estenson, and a sister-in-law Helene “Gen” Gerhardson.
Survivors include his children, Juneal Nelson of Fergus Falls, JoAnn (Blaine) Sivertson of Mankato, Joyce Cooper of Fergus Falls, Janet (Joe) Brezina of Peoria, Ariz., Judy (Clarence) Johnson of Wyoming, Minn., Jerry (Denise) Gerhardson and Jerald (Tami) Gerhardson, all of Fergus Falls; 19 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a brother, Bennie Gerhardson of Fergus Falls; and two sisters, Viola Estenson of Fergus Falls, and Violet Martinson of Chula Vista, Calif.
He had a good life, well-lived, and his example of honesty, integrity, and clean living will remain in our hearts forever.
Visitation: Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home, and one hour prior to the service at the church
Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, at Trinity Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls
Clergy: Rev. Curtis Deterding
Burial: Trinity-Faith Cemetery, Fergus Falls
Funeral Home: Olson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls