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Levon "John" Bjertness

Levon "John" Bjertness, 76, of Hatton, North Dakota died Friday, October 1, 2010 at the Sanford Health Center in Fargo, North Dakota.

Private Family Services will be held.

John was born in Hatton, ND on January 27th, 1934 the son of Gilman Bjertness and Constance (Solberg) Bjertness, who were born in Mo Rogen, Norway and came to America in 1914. He was baptized at the Zoar Church in Hatton and later confirmed at the First American Lutheran Church in Mayville, ND. He was united in marriage to Jean Bond of Reading, England on April 28th, 1969 in Grand Forks, ND. They have one son Ryan living in East Grand Forks, MN. Except for short periods, John lived most of his life in Hatton. He attended school in Hatton graduating in 1953. During his teen years he enjoyed participating in the Boy Scout program and earned the Eagle Scouts award and is a member of the Order of the Arrow. Upon completion of high school he entered the U S Army. During his two years of military service he was a radio operator assigned to the 516th Signal Co. at Camp Roeder in Salzberg, Austria. Upon his discharge from the military he entered Mayville State College under the GI bill. He graduated from Mayville State in 1960 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. He was employed by the Department of Interior until April 1962 when he transferred to the Department of Defense at the Grand Forks Air Fore Base. He spent the next 27 years of his career as a civilian employee of the Strategic Air command. For 20 of those 27 years he was a Contracting Officer and Deputy Chief of the Base Contracting Division. He was also the GFAFB Small Business Specialist and the advocate for minority and women owned businesses. In 1985 the Small Business Administration selected him as the Minority Advocate of the Year for the state of ND. He retired from government service in 1989.

He was a member of the Hatton American Legion Post #70 and also the Mavville VFW Post #4221. He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and trivia.

He is survived by his wife Jean of 41 years, son Ryan, sister, Irene, step daughters Karen and Linda, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Mary Ann.

The Bilden Funeral Home of Hatton is assisting the family with arrangements.

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Jean, Sue and I were saddened to hear of Mr. B's passing. We always saw him as a fine teacher and a voice of reason. We are both better in our endeavors because of his willingness to share. Our prayers for healing and peace are with you and family. Respectfully, Sue and Johnnie Bratton, USAF, (Ret.)

Johnnie Bratton Oct 11 2010 12:00 AM

My sympathy to Jean, Ryan, and the family. I always enjoyed visiting with Stubin when I was home in Hatton. That man was full of knowledge! We had so many enjoyable nights at trivia--everyone wanted him to join their team! Reminiscing with him was always a treat.

Mary Beth Kleveland Oct 7 2010 12:00 AM

Dear Jean and Family, Please accept sincere condolences from the Hemphills. We have fond memories of John, especially picnics at the lake. Ours boys, still talk about the fun they had there. I especially recall John for his willingness to share his incredible knowledge of our business with a smart-mouthed young know-it-all NCO. His patience taught me the value of listening to what was being said without trying to think of a reply. I came to appreciate his wit (I think he liked his Friar Tuck nickname), wisdom and counsel during my second tour at Grand Forks. I envied his ability to grasp the true nature of a problem and propose several workable solutions. I thoroughly enjoyed our "spirited" discussions about the finer points of the job and I never walked away angry - just smarter. Perhaps the best thing I learned from John was to ask what the other person thought after they presented a problem. While it may not seem like much, it taught us to research our problems and try to find a solution before dropping it in some else's lap. I frustrated many people with this tactic but it served as an excellent training tool. Boy, how many times in those last few years did I hear, "You're just like John." I took it as a great compliment. Please know he was liked and respected by so many. I picture him in Heaven not in white robes but in the brown robes of Friar Tuck. It makes me smile. Bud Hemphill

Bud and Marion Hemphill Oct 5 2010 12:00 AM

Ryan, We are so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing....know that your family is in our Prayers.

Vernon and DeeDee Terrill Oct 4 2010 12:00 AM

We are terribly sorry for your loss. You should find comfort knowing he is no longer feeling any pain and is in a much better place now. Love, Amy, Matt, and Matthew Wayne Jahnke

Amy and Matthew Jahnke Oct 4 2010 12:00 AM

Our hearts and thoughts are with you all. PLEASE let us know if we can do anything!

Matt, Amy & Matthew Jahnke Oct 4 2010 12:00 AM

Ryan just wanted to let you know that Jas and I are thinking about you and if you need anything let us know please. Either one of us can take Lexi for you or anything else you may need. Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers! April, Jason, Lillie and Mollie

April Oct 4 2010 12:00 AM

Jean, Ryan, and Family, I am very sorry to hear of the passing of John. My thoughts and prayers will be with you at this difficult time in your lives. I am the youngest child of George and Nathalie Brustad.

Nathan Brustad Oct 4 2010 12:00 AM

Jean, Ryan, Lori, I am so sorry to her of John's passing. I always enjoyed talking to him, and we used to have so much fun at Trivia! He will be missed. Marie & Larry

Marie Hjelmstad Oct 2 2010 12:00 AM