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Ron Bjerke, age 66, of Milbank, died on July 11, 2019, at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls.
Funeral services are scheduled for Monday, July 15, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at American Lutheran Church in Milbank. Rev. Justin Neugebauer will officiate, and burial will be in the Milbank City Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Sunday, July 14, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at American Lutheran Church.
Casket bearers will be: Al Mathiason, Jamie Hartman, Bill Jurgens, John Weyh, Ken Johnson, and Jim Kramer. Honorary bearers will be members of the Milbank Fire Department and employees at Ron's Equipment Painting.
Ronald Dean Bjerke was born on February 15, 1953, in Milbank, SD. He was the son of Martin Inier Bjerke and Verna Jean (Pies) Bjerke. Ron grew up in Milbank and graduated from Milbank High School with the Class of 1971.
Ron was a life-long resident of Milbank. He worked various jobs including: welding with Ron VanHoorn, Route Driver for Flanery’s, Maintenance Manager at Cold Spring Granite Company, Jurgen’s and Sons, and most recently was the Owner/Manager of Ron’s Equipment Painting.
Ron was a member of American Lutheran Church. He proudly served his community as a member of the Milbank Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years. He served as Fire Chief for 15 years and enjoyed all the fire department activities. He always looked forward to the fireworks show that the fire department helped with.
Ron did a lot of living during his 66 years and enjoyed life to the fullest. He enjoyed playing his guitar and loved music. He had a great love for dogs. Ron was an avid fisherman and loved spending time at the lake either fishing or pontooning. He especially loved spending time with his family and friends. He cherished his shop and his employees.
Ron suffered a stroke two years earlier. He was strong and brave as he fought to overcome his disability. He was a fighter until the end and always maintained his sense of humor. He was an all-around good guy and was rarely seen without a smile on his face. He was quick-witted and loved a good joke. Ron loved helping people and making a difference in their lives. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Kim Bjerke of Milbank, SD; his daughters: Melissa (Charlie) Broberg of Sioux Falls, SD; Karla (Tim) Klueber of Montrose, SD; Shawna (Russ) Gardner of Sioux Falls, SD; Jamie (Jason) MacKinnon of Ghent, MN; adopted daughter, Abigail Klingenberg of Milbank, SD; brother, Roger (Deb) Bjerke of Bismarck, ND; grandchildren: Zachery and Dawson Hopkins of Virginia; Moses, Jonah, Daphnee, and Lizzie Broberg of Sioux Falls, SD; Raya and Jessa MacKinnon of Ghent, MN; Cash and Prezleigh Gardner of Sioux Falls, SD; nephew, David Bjerke of Bismarck, ND; niece, Michelle (Tony) Zimney of Bismarck, ND; special friends: Hillarie Folk and Mark Loehrer; as well as numerous cousins, and his dogs: Macie, Sammie, Maggie, and Bear.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents: Martin and Verna; maternal and paternal grandparents; and many beloved pets.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Milbank Fire Department.
Milbank Volunteer Fire Department
PO Box 625, Milbank SD 57252