July 24, 1930 - October 29, 2017
Thornton- Arlis Bertelsen, 87, formerly of Thornton, passed away Sunday, October 29, 2017, at Deerfield Place Assisted Living in Sheffield. Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m, Wednesday, November 8, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thornton with Rev. Rhea Evanson presiding. Interment will be at Pleasant View Cemetery, Thornton. Visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 p.m, Tuesday at Retz Funeral Home, Thornton.
Arlis Mae Bertelsen was born July 24, 1930, on a farm near Pilot Knob to Howard and Hazel (Halverson) Taylor. She was baptized and confirmed at Faith Lutheran Church, Miller, Iowa. Arlis graduated Hayfield High School in 1947 and attended Waldorf College in Forest City where she obtained her two-year teaching degree in 1949.
At the age of 19 she began teaching 2nd grade at the Thornton Schools. Shortly after arriving in Thornton, she met Eugene Bertelsen. The two were married on May 13, 1951, and together raised three daughters on the family farm south of Thornton. In the early 70's , Arlis returned to college at UNI to earn her bachelor teaching degree. She taught remedial reading in the Dougherty and Sheffield-Chapin Schools until 1992. After her retirement, she kept active reading, substitute teaching, and volunteering over 1000 hours at Mercy Medical Center in Mason City.
Throughout her life, she also was an active member of the Thornton Women's Club, WELCA and taught Sunday School for many years at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Family, faith, and education were very important to Arlis. Together with Grandpa B, they rarely missed a concert or sporting event involving their grandchildren.
Being a child of the Depression, Arlis was personally frugal but was extremely generous with her family. Grandma B made significant annual contributions to her grandchildren's college savings throughout her life. She was very proud that all eight of her grandchildren had achieved academic merit while earning college degrees of four years or more. Arlis was a lifelong educator and a lifelong learner.
Left to cherish her memory are her three daughters: Lori (Richard) Jorgensen, Terri (Kent) Pals, and Sue (Bret) Lage. Eight grandchildren: Heather Jorgensen (friend Jason Quint), Matthew (Amy) Pals, Tate (Kelsey) Lage, Kristi (Joel) Kohler, Kyle Jorgensen (friend Nandita Agarwal), Gabrielle Lage (friend Chase Adams), Alex Pals (friend Kaitlin Olson), and Briana (Alex) Brayton. Four great grandchildren: Liv Taylor Ginther, Adeline Ann Lage, Hank Allen Lage and Hadley Ann Kohler. One sister-in-law: Donna Brooks and many special nieces and nephews.
Arlis was preceded in death by her husband Eugene, parents Howard and Hazel Taylor, parents-in-law Hans and Hulda Bertelsen, brother Wayne Taylor, sister Marjorie Hopper, brothers-in-law James Brooks and Richard Hopper, and sister-in-law, Ruby Taylor.