Alma Stevens

Alma Stevens, 93, Bergen, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, at the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva.

Alma was born on the Jens Bergstad homestead in Odin Township, northeast of Bergen, on May 23, 1920. She attended country school in Odin Township. Her work on the farm primarily involved helping with the household chores, and she became an excellent cook and baker.

She married Kenneth Stevens on Oct. 19, 1942, and they moved to their own farm one mile south of Bergen, where they farmed and milked cows until 1954, when they bought and moved to the Bergstad farm when her parents retired. Family was always the focus and love of Alma’s life. The years were filled with Bergstad and Stevens family gatherings and raising her children among a throng of aunts, uncles and cousins.

Alma always loved music and dancing and could frequently be heard pausing at the piano and playing a favorite hymn or two by ear as she worked about the house. She always sang as she rocked her children, grandchildren, and any other children she cared for to sleep. She was a skilled Chinese Checkers player and continued to be stiff competition for her grandchildren up until a few weeks before her death. She loved her yellow finches and bird feeders.

Alma continued to live on the family farm for 26 years after Kenneth died in 1985, though she never stopped missing the man who was the love of her life.

Alma moved to the St. Aloisius Nursing Home in Harvey, in October 2011 after a fall which broke no bones but left her needing help for the first time in her life. She came to enjoy the caring staff and the socializing with residents there. In August 2012, she was able to move to Assisted Living at Valley View Manor in Velva, closer to her farm to which she never stopped wanting to return to. Most recently, physical decline necessitated her move to the Souris Valley Care Center for skilled care in August 2013, where she died peacefully a few weeks later.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jens and Manda (Johnson) Bergstad; brothers, Oscar, Henry, Walter and Melvin; sister, Stella Hetland; and husband, Kenneth.

She is survived by: her children, Ron (Diane) Stevens, Winona, Minn., Ardeth Stevens (James Ryan), of rural Balfour, Don Stevens (Candyce Dostert), of Somerville, Mass., and Corey Stevens, of rural Bergen. She is also survived by six grandchildren and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and assorted cousins.

Funeral services: Will be held Monday, Sept. 16, at 11 a.m., at the Balfour Lutheran Church in Balfour, with Curt Medalen officiating.

Burial: Will be at the Bergen Cemetery, followed by a luncheon fellowship at the Stevens farm, rural Bergen.

Pallbearers: Alma’s grandchildren: Aaron Stevens, Alex Stevens, Steffen Ryan, Jens Stevens, Anneli Ryan and Jules Stevens.

Arrangements with Bethke-Nelson Funeral Home of Drake. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting (