Harriet Sylvia (Bratland) Newgaard, 95, a life-long resident of Spring Grove, Minnesota, passed away July 23, 2014 at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since April, 2012, she had resided at Tweeten Lutheran Health Care Center in Spring Grove.
She was born March 2, 1919, the middle child of six brothers, to Albert and Hannah (Solberg) Bratland. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church, Spring Grove.
She attended the Morken country school, District #77, from 1924-1932 in Wilmington Township. Being the only daughter in a family of seven children, she learned at an early age that her role was helping her mother tend to household chores and, although she didn’t know it at the time, she had to grow up fast. Attending school was her outlet, being with other girls her age, learning how to read and discovering what life was like for others. Walking a very long distance was the only way to get to and from school, but she had fond memories and shared many stories of those years. Her neighbors were also an inspiration and an influence in her inquisitive childhood years.
On May 2, 1936, she married Oberlin Newgaard. They farmed together in Black Hammer Township for over 55 years and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary during the Syttende Mai celebration prior to Oberlin’s death in December, 1996. Harriet made the difficult decision to move from her beloved farm home to a newly purchased house in town in 2001 at age 82. She grew to enjoy her new home and big yard and the new neighborhood and was blessed to reside there for over 10 years.
Harriet enjoyed reading, gardening, sewing, baking, crocheting, knitting, quilting and reaching out to others. She loved animals (especially horses and birds) and her home was filled with bird mementos received as gifts. She had been very active in all the church women’s groups, Sunday school, Houston County Homemakers, Meals on Wheels and Black Hammer Swift Scooters 4-H Club. Many relatives and friends were recipients of her great generosity in sending cards and letters over the years for birthdays and other special events.
She is survived by two sons, Ordell (Ruth), Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Alton, Spring Grove; and four daughters, Donna (Dick) Meyer, Menahga, Minnesota; Darlene (Donald) Evenson, Minneapolis; Phi (Fred) LaMarche, Northfield, Minnesota; and Linda (Larry) Gomer, Two Harbors, Minnesota; and daughter-in-law, Linda (Bjergum) Newgaard, Spring Grove; the extended families of 17 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren; one brother, Odell (Margie) Bratland, Chanhassen, Minnesota; two sisters-in-law, Pauleen Bratland and Elvina Bratland, both of Spring Grove; and many nieces and nephews.
Harriet was preceded in death by her husband, Oberlin; son, Clinton (2011); infant daughter; great-grandson, Cal Daniel (2009); five brothers, Kenneth, Burnell, Roland, Glenn and Vernon Bratland; two sisters-in-law, Gladys Bratland and Ann Bratland.
Blessed be her memory… she will be forever in our hearts.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Spring Grove. Burial will be in the Trinity Church cemetery. Friends may call Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Roble Funeral Home in Spring Grove and one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday.
Online condolences may be left at roblefuneralhome.com.