A loving and hard-working wife and mother, compassionate friend, revered teacher and venerable school volunteer, Vera came into this world on Sept. 3, 1917, and left it a better place for her presence on May 19, 2011, just as the earth warmed up, the trees started to blossom and the ground readied itself for her plants. Vera was born on a farm in Brandt, S.D., to Hebal and Annette Josephine Kjenstad, graduated from LaMoure, N.D., High School and Jamestown College. She and Arv were married in Salt Lake City, Utah. She taught special education in West Fargo and at Sheltering Arms in Minneapolis. But for most of her life, Vera spent busy hours raising her five children: Dennis (Donna), Sharon (Rod), Doug (Jerre), Jerry (Amy), and Craig (Patty). Traveling was a passion for Vera and she loved discovering different cultures and interacting with the people. Volunteering, gardening, reading, doing crossword puzzles and entertaining at her Hardy Lake home filled her days. Her 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren will always remember her love of life. A few months ago, Vera told her granddaughter, “If you have had half the fun in your life as I have had in mine, you’ll have had a good life!” The family invites Vera’s friends to a celebration of her life on Sunday, May 22, 3 p.m. at the First Congregational UCC Church in Brainerd. As Vera would say, “Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood!” In lieu of flowers, donations will be given to Habitat for Humanity or First Congregational Church. A special thank you to the caring staff at Birchwood, her home for the last four years.
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