Mildred “Millie” Justesen

 

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“Millie” (Andersen) Justesen died December 6, 2017 at her home in Valley City, ND.

Millie was born, December 10, 1925 to Anna and Carl Andersen, at their farm home outside of Litchville, ND. She graduated from Litchville High School in 1943.

She loved farm life and riding her favorite horse, “Belle”. Although their lives were humble, the Andersen family worked the land near Litchville. Millie loved recalling days of skating on frozen sloughs, picking berries, milking cows, and the freedom that America brought to her parents and four siblings who emigrated from Denmark.

She often talked about the vibrant little town where she would meet up with friends and married sisters who farmed nearby. She’d laugh recalling her three cantankerous brothers, revel in her mother’s tenacity and grit.

Sadness came early in life, losing her father during her senior year of high school. She was the first of the family to graduate and so wanted him to be proud.

Following high school, Millie worked at Dahl’s Store in Litchville.

With her brothers fighting in WWII, and following the death of her father, Millie, her sister Delores, and their mother Anna moved to Valley City, ND in 1944.

Millie married Orville Brendmoen in 1945. Together they raised six children. During those years Millie worked at 1st National Bank, Woolworth’s, and J&L Super Value.

In 1975 she married Raymond Justesen and continued to make her home in Valley City. During her life, Millie was involved with the VFW Auxiliary, and was a life-long member of Mercy Hospital Auxiliary. She volunteered at the hospital’s gift shop for about 30 years before retiring, but remained a member of the auxiliary throughout her life.

Her lifelong passions included gardening, cooking, and loving her 8 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren. Millie also had a love for quilting, and cherished her time with the quilters of Faith Lutheran Church. Twice while hospitalized, she found that the quilt that adorned her bed came from Faith Lutheran.

She lived alone since Ray’s death in 2009, spending her days cutting and sewing her patchwork creations, either in her cramped sewing room, or in front of a big bay window where she was sure to keep an eye on the neighbors.

Millie loved the little things in life; colorful flowers and the birds that would feed from her three or four bird feeders on her deck, after which they’d take a dip in the garden birdbath.

A highlight of her lifetime that she never forgot was a trip she and Ray took to Denmark where Millie was able to meet and share experiences with her mother’s sister.

Millie is survived by her daughters Brenda (John) Stearns, Valley City and Lynette Grieve, Valley City; sons John Brendmoen, Valley City and Dave Brendmoen, Valley City; 27 heartbroken grandchildren; her step children Gary (Nancy) Justesen, Litchville, ND, Vicky (Bob) Justesen-Hlubek, Mahnomen, MN and Donette Klever, Hastings, ND as well as their families; and her quilting sisters at Faith Lutheran Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents Anna and Carl, sisters Ulla, Carla, and Delores, and brothers Kenneth, Paul, and Knute, sons Lon Brendmoen and Larry Brendmoen, in addition to Orville Brendmoen and Raymond Justesen.

Funeral services and a celebration of her life, will be held at 10:30 AM, December 12, 2017 at Faith Lutheran Church in Valley City, ND. Visitation will be held at the church on December 11 from 5-7 PM with a prayer service starting at 7:00. Burial will be in Woodbine Cemetery, Valley City in the spring.

Lerud-Schuldt-Mathias Funeral Home is assisting Millie’s family with arrangements. An online guestbook is available at www.lerudschuldt.com.


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