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 Mary Venus <I>Bjelkstrom</I> Luukinen

Mary Venus Bjelkstrom Luukinen

Stanley County, South Dakota, USA
Death 19 Nov 2010 (aged 97)
Astoria, Clatsop County, Oregon, USA
Burial Warrenton, Clatsop County, Oregon, USA
Memorial ID 149684221 · View Source
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Venus (Mary) Luukinen

February 12, 1913 - November 19, 2010

Venus as she preferred to be known was born on Feb. 12, 1913, in Stanley County, South Dakota, to Charles Oscar Bjelkstrom and Amanda Fetter Bjelkstrom. Venus grew up on the open prairies of South Dakota. Venus received a teaching certificate from Northern State Teacher's College in Aberdeen, S.D., and began a teaching career in one room rural schools similar to the schools she had attended. That teaching experience included walking more than a mile through the snow to teach school and boarding children at the school when the weather was too severe for them to travel home. The world wide events of WWII led to Venus taking a temporary position as bookkeeper at a bank in Rapid City, S.D. In the fall of 1943, Venus met Albert Luukinen who was stationed at the Rapid City Army Air Base. They were married on Jan. 21, 1944. At the end of the War in 1945, Venus and Albert moved back to Albert's home town of Astoria, Ore. Albert's death in 1996 brought the end of their marriage which spanned 52 loving years. The birth of son, Charles and daughter, Helen; and the addition of daughter-in-law, Valeria and son-in-law, Iven Findley; grandchildren, Bryan, Alan, Amanda, Heidi and Trevor; and great-grandson, Elijah; Bryan's wife, Kama and Heidi's husband, Chris, all completed her family unit, with each member a great source of pride for her. Venus continued her teaching career at various schools in the Astoria area. Venus had also established her faith community at First Lutheran Church in Astoria. These two strong factors in her life combined in the 1960s when she was asked to start and teach the First Lutheran Church's Kindergarten program. Venus remained the only teacher in that program until the Astoria School District added a Kindergarten program 13 years later. Venus was an avid gardener. She loved to go clam digging, mushroom hunting, wild blackberry, strawberry and blueberry picking. She admired and often encouraged others to pause and appreciate the beauty and bounty of their surroundings. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26 and from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, at Hughes-Ransom Mortuary, 576-12th Street, Astoria, OR. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27, 2010, at First Lutheran Church, 725 33rd St., Astoria, Oregon. Memorial Contributions may be made to Children's Ministries First Lutheran Church. In her memoirs written for her grandchildren, she wrote: "Life on the ranch, twenty miles from town, a mile from our closest neighbor, without electricity, telephone or radio, we were not isolated or deprived, we lacked nothing necessary for a good life. Rather, my experiences enabled me to be patient, find contentment and pleasure in what I do have, and feel deep appreciation for family, friends, and the many gifts of nature which surround me."

[Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon, November 24, 2010]

Family Members


Married January 21, 1944.




  • Created by: EGF
  • Added: 23 Jul 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 149684221
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mary Venus Bjelkstrom Luukinen (12 Feb 1913–19 Nov 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 149684221, citing Ocean View Cemetery, Warrenton, Clatsop County, Oregon, USA ; Maintained by EGF (contributor 47271774) .