Obit: Bekkelund, Jeanette Ramona (1916 – 2009)

Contact: Dolores


Surnames: Bekkelund, Erickson, Holman, Duerkop, McCutcheon, Fischer, Johnson, Bentham, Bakken, Adams, Haugen, Goettl, Gjerseth


----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co., WI.) October 28, 2009


Bekkelund, Jeanette Ramona (4 October 1916 – 23 October 2009)


Ramona J. (Duerkop) Bekkelund, 93, of Black River Falls and formerly of Humbird died Friday, Oct. 23, 2009, in Sacred Heart Hospital, Eau Claire.


Jeanette Ramona Holman was born Oct. 4, 1916, at Fairchild, Jackson County, to Gunder and Ida B. (Erickson) Holman.  She was raised in the Fairchild area and graduated from Humbird High School.


She married Elmer A. Duerkop March 5, 1938, in Osseo.  The couple farmed near Humbird for 40 years.  Elmer and Ramona also operated a state-licensed foster home for 20 years.  Many boys and girls were adopted by others after a short stay at the Duerkop home.  Over the years, many of the Duerkops’ foster children have maintained a close relationship with them, especially Marie Johnson and Tammy Duerkop.


In 1983, Ramona and Elmer moved to Black River Falls. Elmer Duerkop died Jan. 9, 1984.  Ramona married Newell Bekkelund, Aug. 11, 1990, at the Black River Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Newell Bekkelund died Feb. 12, 2003.


She was a member of the Black River Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church and its Sewing Circle and the Sons of Norway.


Ramona was instrumental in the formation of the Jackson County Chapter of the American Alzheimer’s Association.  She had served as a 4-H leader and had been an active member of the Happy Hour HCE Club and the Jackson County HCE.  She was very involved with the former Jackson County ARC and for several years provided services for developmentally disabled adults.  Ramona was a dedicated volunteer in the communities that she lived in.  For several years, she served as a volunteer at Pine View Care Center. She also was fond of visiting shut-ins and providing food to them.


She enjoyed cooking, collecting plates and quilting.  She also made the best Lefse.


Survivors include two sons, Jim (Linda) Duerkop of Chetek and Alton (Sue) Duerkop of Centuria; four grandchildren, Krista (“Scott) McCutcheon, Becky Duerkop, Christopher Duerkop and Peter Duerkop; two great-grandchildren, Matthew and  Lauren McCutcheon; a sister, Ruth Fischer of Osseo; and many foster children, including Marie (Ronald) Johnson of La Crosse and her children Debi, David, Dale, Deanna, Jean, June, Jamie and Brenda and Tammy Duerkop of Madison and her children, Grace and Gary; and numerous other relatives and friends.


In addition to both husbands, she was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Gerald Holman; two sisters, Wilma Bentham and Mabel Holman; and two nephews, William and Tommy Bentham.


Funeral services for Ramona J. (Duerkop) Bekkelund will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, at the Black River Falls Evangelical Lutheran Church.  Burial will be in the Mentor Cemetery at Humbird.  Reverend Eric Bakken will officiate.


Honorary Casketbearers will be: George Adams, Carol Haugen, Fred Goettl, Peter Duerkop and Dennis Gjerseth.  Casketbearers will be: Christopher Duerkop, Scott McCutcheon, David Duerkop, Marlyn Duerkop, Eddie Holman and Gary Duerkop.


Friends and relatives were invited for visitation from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Buswell Funeral Home, Black River Falls, and are also invited at the church Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m.


Online condolences are available at



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