Bernice Lena Jorgenson, age 88 of Faribault, passed away May 1, 2023 peacefully at home surrounded by her family.
I was born on October 16, 1934 to Peter and Ella (Carpentier) Thibodeau. I went to school in a one room school house out in the country near Faribault, MN for 1½ years. Parents & family moved to a farm south of Faribault, were I attended Medford High School (1-12th grade). I graduated third highest in my class of 25 kids in 1952. After graduation, I worked at various jobs in the Faribault area. Then I met the man of my dreams and on July 8, 1955 Ansel Jorgenson and I were married. We have 4 children, Conrad, Daniel, Elisabeth (Beth) and Faith, who are the joy of our lives.
I worked at the Lakeville Schools for 14 years and then Farmington Schools. Ansel and I worked for Elko Speedway in Elko, MN, Ansel as Pit Steward, and I sold tickets. Before I started working there, I drove a race car in the Powder Puff race and I won and got a trophy. I then quit racing as a winner. The owner of Elko Speedway built a smaller track for quarter midget racing for kids 5-15. We had to get the kids involved and bought one car that Conrad and Dan both drove. We ended up buying a few more cars so Dan could have his own car and one for Beth and then Faith. The kids did their share of winning their races. I also helped with scoring and served as President. I loved every minute of the quarter midget racing and having the whole family together. Ansel and I sold Watkins products together. He was a great talker and found many people that were interested in buying the products and I hosted the Watkins get-together house parties.
On Friday, October 25th, 1985 my dear husband of 30 years suddenly died. It was a shocker and very sad day for everyone. I continued working at the Farmington School District until I retired in 1993. In 1989 I married Emil (Pete) Peterson and we were married for 8 years. In 1998 I started working as a bookkeeper for Valley Sign and Silk screening in Prior Lake, MN until I retired in Oct, 2004. I stayed home to watch my grandchildren while my daughter, Faith, went to work. I joined the Women's Health Initiative group in 1996 and was a member until death. I received a gold medal thanking me for 20 years of service in 2016 and helping all the women around the world to have a better life.
I liked to play bingo, do jigsaw puzzles, reading, making my own greeting cards on the computer, growing flowers, and keeping my family in tow. I have lived a full and happy life and I am ready to join Ansel, my family and those who are in heaven. Please do not shed too many tears or grieve too much. I am in a much better place, with Jesus and God...no pain, no worrying, just heavenly bliss.
She is survived by sons, Conrad (Lisa) and Daniel (Susan); daughters, Elisabeth (Tim) Lien and Faith (Rob) Branham; grandsons, Jimmie, Jake, Sam, Jesse, Matt, Andrew and Robbie; granddaughters, Allee, Julie, Nikki, Sadey, Amber and Lexie; great-grandchildren; Penelope, Violet, Sebastian, Daisy Mae, Bentley, Phoebe, Aria; sister, Dorothy Guentzel; and many treasured nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; brothers, Theodore, Clifford, Marvin and David Thibodeau; sister, Marie Stoltz; and Nicolas Embertson.
Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory, Faribault with Rev. Hal Rex Longshore, officiating. Interment will follow at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis.
Visitation will be held on Monday, May 8, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the funeral home and continue Tuesday from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M.
A reminder to my family that I will always love you and many, many times you will feel my arms around you, comforting you in the good times and bad. To my relatives and friends, I love you all.