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Henrietta Bernice Kortum Britton

Henrietta Bernice Kortum Britton

Henrietta Bernice Kortum Britton, 94, of Bemidji, MN died Monday, September 11, 2017 at Neilson Place, Bemidji.

Funeral Services will be at 11:00 a.m., Monday, September 18, 2017 at the Neilson Place Social Hall, Bemidji with Rev. Rob Kopp officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the Neilson Place Social Hall. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Bemidji. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji. A musical celebration of her life will be held at the Bemidji United Methodist Church on a future date.

Henrietta Bernice Kortum was born in Decatur, IL June 5, 1923, the daughter of Henrietta (Witzemann) Kortum and Bernhard Dietrich Kortum. She graduated from Decatur High School with honors in 1941 and attended Millikin University. Henrietta married William G. Britton on October 16, 1943. She worked as a tool grinder at Caterpillar Military Engine Company during World War II and taught grade school for one year while her husband was overseas. After the war, she moved with her husband to Bemidji in 1947. Henrietta was an active member of the United Methodist Church. She sang in the church choir and was requested to sing solos at many weddings, funerals, and special events. In addition, she served in many offices of the United Methodist Women, served on the state board of Church Women United and on the Minnesota Regional Council of Churches. In 1973, she received a Special Mission Recognition Award. Henrietta was also an active member of the Bemidji Area League of Women Voters. One of her projects was to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Energy Conservation. She also represented five states while serving on a National Committee of the League that was studying energy conservation and, in addition, served on a Mayor's Task Force on Sewage Disposal. She was the recipient of the prestigious Hope Washburn Award (an award given by the state for her service through the League.) In addition to these projects, Henrietta volunteered for many things in the community. She was a judge at the Regional Science Fair for many years. From 1984 to 1995, she was bookkeeper/treasurer of the Beltrami County Council on Aging. She was secretary of the 55-Alive defensive driving program and a counselor in the Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offered by the Bemidji Senior Center. In 1993 she was chosen Outstanding Senior Citizen of Beltrami County. She was a member of the American Legion and VFW Auxiliaries and was a charter member of the Bemidji Lioness Club. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and held the offices of Associate Conductress, Chaplain, and Warder. She sang in the Star Choir and the Startone Quartet and did solo work for special occasions. She served as secretary for her husband while he was on the Athletic Board of Control, for his summer institutes and for the Special Gifts Division of United Way. She was one of the women honored by AAUW in their Centennial Calendar of Bemidji in 1996. In 2002, she and her husband were honored by the Senior Center and the Governor of MN for outstanding community service, with November 10 designated as Britton Day.

She is survived by her husband, William "Bill" Britton of Bemidji; four children, David "Dave" Britton, Richmond, KY; John "Jack" (Mary) of Anchorage, AK; Sarah "Sally" (Gary) Krenz of Milwaukee, WI and Barbara "Barb" Britton, of Ypsilanti, MI; three grandchildren, Amy, Sarah and Geoffrey; and sister, Elizabeth Johnson of Redlands, California.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Bernhard and Henrietta Kortum and sisters, Grace Nees and Marian Coberly.

Family prefers Memorials to the Bemidji United Methodist Church.

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