M. Fern (Ramsey) Birnstihl, 97, of Bemidji died Saturday, December 27, 2008 at Havenwood Care Center in Bemidji.
Funeral Services will be 10:00 am Friday, January 2, 2009 at the Cease Family Funeral Home in Bemidji with Rev. Jim De Smidt officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the funeral home on Friday. Interment will be at the Calvary Cemetery in Bemidji.
Casketbearers will be Larry Schroth, John Eggers, Carl Seeman, John Tibstra and Dennis Depew.
She was born on November 4, 1911 in Brooks, Minn., the only daughter of Emma (Meyer) and Samuel Ramsey. At the age of 6 months, her family came to Bemidji, where her father had been promoted to section foreman of the Sault Sainte Marie Railroad (Soo Line). After attending Central Elementary, she graduated as valedictorian of Bemidji High School class of 1928. She attended Bemidji State Teacher's College and received her degree in elementary education. She taught in Fosston, Northern, Red Lake Falls, Brainerd and Aurora-Hoyt Lakes and retired from teaching in 1977. Her marriage to George B. Birnstihl, Burlington Northern railroad engineer, took place in Bemidji in November 1948. Her husband died in the fall of 1963.
A member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bemidji, she was at one time a Sunday school teacher, president of the Women's Association, and a long time choir member. A state member of Delta Kappa Gamma, she became a charter member of Minnesota Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma Bemidji. She was a life member of Order of the Eastern Star, Alpha Chapter in Brainerd, Minn. She was also a member of Alther Shrine, Order of the White Shrine, and of the Star of the West Rebekah Lodge No. 183, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
She enjoyed reading, writing, oil painting, fishing, and traveling.
She is survived by two cousins; adopted family, Patricia Mason of Bemidji, David and Peg Tiffany of Fredonia, N.Y., Larry and Mary Jane Schroth of Deer River, Minn. and Betty Hanson Lehman of Bemidji .
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George and her adopted son, Geoffrey Woodley.
Memorials are preferred to the Arthritis Foundation- North Central Chapter.