Bettye Joyce Bjordahl Harmel,
Of Wayzata, passed away on May 8, 2020 after a long and full life.
Bettye was born on May 1, 1928 to Orville and Stella Bjordahl in Hendrum Township, Minnesota.
After graduating from Borup high school, she attended Moorhead State University, where she met and married Chester Bakkum. Later, she attended Saint Cloud State and the University of Minnesota, earning a Masters and Specialist degree in special education. After raising children, she taught school for many years, ending her career in the Mound school district.
In 1972, she married Robert Harmel. After their careers, they retired and made their home in Menahga, Minnesota where they enjoyed traveling in winter and summers on the river. They each had 3 children, Dellin Bakkum (Laurie), Kristine Kilian (James), Roxanne Cadle (Ted), Nancy Schmidt (Paul), Steve Harmel and Nancy Jo Nelson (Blaine).
Bettye had many life-long friends. She loved and played music, teaching piano lessons as a young mother. She was an exceptional cook, loved to write, study family ancestry and was a devoted reader and learner. Above all, she was a teacher, inspiring and encouraging many whose lives she touched.
She was predeceased by her parents and her loving husband, Bob, of 48 years. She is survived by her three sisters, Olive, Marilyn (Harold) and Ordell, her children Dellin, Kristine, Nancy, step children, Roxanne, Steve, Nancy Jo, her grandchildren Erika, Jason, and David, step grandchildren Kristin, Brittany, Brandon, Taryn and Ethan, great grandchildren Kai, Casper and Isabelle.
Bettye and Bob will be interred in the Memorial Garden at Riverside Methodist Church in Park Rapids, Minnesota. A memorial service will be held at a later date. The family requests no flowers. If desired, friends and family may donate to their favorite charity in Bettye’s memory.
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