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 Gerhard Bjornstad

Photo added by William Bjornstad

Gerhard Bjornstad

  • Birth 8 Mar 1912 Mekinock, Grand Forks County, North Dakota, USA
  • Death 5 Sep 1998 Freeburg, St. Clair County, Illinois, USA
  • Burial Winston County, Alabama, USA
  • Memorial ID 35678330

2nd child and son of Kristian and Olina Quanrud Bjornstad. He grew up on several farms around the Inkster ND area, west of Grand Forks and graduated from Inkster High School in 1930. After working on his father's farm for about eight years during the Great Depression, he went out west to Washington and Oregon to look for other employment. He finally settled near Billings MT, working on a local ranch. In February 1942 he was drafted into the US Army after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and the US declared war on December 7, 1941. He married Robbie Dovie Denson on September 15, 1943 in Winona MN, while he was stationed at Camp McCoy WI , just prior to being sent overseas to Northern Ireland fur additional training with the 38th Infantry. See the spouse link below for the story of how Robbie and Gerhard met. A communications specialist who was also trained to defuse land mines, he served in 5 major European Campaigns and was awarded the Bronze Star for gallantry and the Purple Heart for a shoulder wound received at the Battle of the Bulge. He was in the American forces that laid siege to and captured Brest, France where the German military had a major submarine base. He was stationed in Northern Ireland and England prior to participating in the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944. After his discharge from the Army in September 1945, he resided in Lima OH where his wife lived for a short period before his job (Montgomery Ward) transferred him to Elkhart IN in 1946. He then applied for and accepted a job with the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) in 1948, working for them 28 years before retiring in 1976. While living in Elkhart, he was active in the Osolo Junior High School PTA and the band parents group where his two sons attended. He also served as president and treasurer of the Elkhart Mineral Society. Both he and his son, William, loved to search for fossils in the local gravel pits, creek beds, and quarries throughout northern Indiana and southern Michigan, and amassed a sizable collection. In 1988 he and his wife moved to Belleville IL where their youngest son resided. There were two sons born to the union of Gerhard and Robbie Bjornstad, David Morris Bjornstad (born 7/10/1946) and William Brian Bjornstad (born 4/11/1950). There were 4 grandchildren (Joseph Michael Bjornstad (born September 1972), Erik Daniel Bjornstad (born September 1974), Kathryn Marie Bjornstad (born 11/8/88), and Matthew Aaron Bjornstad (born 11/26/90) and two great-grandchildren (Michael Joseph (born March 1994) and Christine (born 1998). He died at the Freeburg Care Center in Freeburg IL from heart failure, brought on by prostate cancer and old age. His wife, who died on April 3, 1994 is also buried next to him at Nesmith Methodist Cemetery.

Family Members


Note: See the spouse link for the tombstone inscription and the story behind it.

  • Created by: William Bjornstad
  • Added: 9 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35678330
  • William Bjornstad
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gerhard Bjornstad (8 Mar 1912–5 Sep 1998), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35678330, citing Nesmith Methodist Cemetery, Winston County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by William Bjornstad (contributor 47016546) .