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William Harvey (Bill) Okerman

William Harvey (Bill) Okerman

Okerman, William Harvey (Bill), born June 16, 1930, died of natural causes on July 25, 2013, in Hopkins, MN, at the age of 83. Bill was born in Little Falls, MN, and graduated from Little Falls High School in 1947. He proudly served as a US Merchant Marine in combat zones during the Korean War, after which he studied at Dunwoody Institute, receiving an Associate Degree in Land Surveying in 1955. Bill married Donna Claire Tedford, also from Little Falls, in 1953 and the couple recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Bill and Donna began their family in Minneapolis and moved to Bemidji, MN, in 1963 when Bill took a job as a surveyor for the US Forest Service in the Chippewa National Forest. With true entrepreneurial spirit, Bill started his own land surveying company, Okerman Surveying, in 1969. Together, Bill and Donna raised six wonderful children on the shores of Lake Bemidji. Bill enjoyed life in Northern Minnesota, especially fishing, hunting, golfing, water skiing and traveling with family and friends.

Bill was a proud member of the Famous Bemidji Fish Fry Crew, known for the best walleye fry in the Midwest. Bill was a past president of the Minnesota Land Surveyors Association, past grand knight of the Bemidji Knights of Columbus and a past member of the Bemidji Eagles and Elk Clubs, as well as the Bemidji Jaycees. Bill operated Okerman Surveying until he sold the business and retired in 1992. In retirement, he and Donna spent their time traveling the US and Canada in their RV, wintering in Apache Junction, AZ, and summering at their home on Lake Bemidji. Bill also became an accomplished diamond willow carver in his retirement years.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Axel and Florence Okerman. He is survived by his wife, Donna; his brother, Roger (Sandy) Okerman, Venice, FL; his children, Susan (Mike) Loehrer, Plymouth, MN; Tim (Kelley) Edina, MN; Bob (Kathy) Claremont, CA; Kevin (Marcy) San Diego, CA; Kurt, Minneapolis, MN; Gregg (Krista) Greenfield, MN; and 12 grandchildren.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL will be held on Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:00 AM, at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church, 105 Forestview Lane N, Plymouth, MN. A luncheon will follow the service. Memorials preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association.

A second memorial service is planned for Bill’s community in Bemidji this fall and will be announced as soon as details are available.

Strobeck Johnson 952-938-9020