A private family service will be held at a later date. Bernie will be buried next to his mother and uncles in New Woodlawn Cemetery, Pipestone, Minnesota.
Bernie “Bernie” Dale Stoltenberg was born in Hendricks, Minnesota, to Anna Mae Stoltenberg on July 5, 1945. He grew up on a farm outside of Verdi, Minnesota, and was raised by his mother, his grandmother, Dena Stoltenberg, and his uncles, Donald, Clifford, and Lester. Bernie’s biological father, Ivan K. Johnson, was not a part of his life. Bernie played 9-man high school football for the Verdi Trojans and graduated in 1963.
In 1964 he married Joan Lange and started a family in Luverne, Minnesota, raising three children who turned out pretty well.
He started working for Luverne Truck Equipment that same year as a welder. He eventually became shop foreman on his way to becoming the purchasing agent for the factory. His name is on two patents issued to Luverne Truck Equipment, one from 1980 for a running board and another in 2012 for an adaptable vehicle step assembly.
He moved from Luverne to Brandon when the company relocated there and following his divorce in the early 1990s.
Bernie retired from Luverne Truck Equipment after a 50-year career. While in Luverne, he also served on the Luverne Volunteer Fire Department. He once rescued a pickup truck full of Miller Lite from a semi-truck accident on Interstate 90. He played 4-H softball for a time. He loved to fish, whether from shore, in a boat, or through the ice. He was an expert at cleaning and frying the fish that he caught. They were delicious. He also loved the Minnesota Vikings and Twins and playing video poker.
Bernie is survived by his three children, Jodi (Tim) Nelson, Scott (Shelly) Stoltenberg, and Paula (Darrin) Lindblom; four grandchildren, Zach and Abigail Nelson and Grace and Josie Lindblom; and his ex-wife, Joan Stoltenberg.
Online condolences at www.heartlandfunerals.com