Veryl Adolph Jessen was born the second of five children to Henry and Helena (Hieb) Jessen on January 14, 1933 on their farm in Harrold, South Dakota. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harrold, SD and confirmed his Baptismal Promise at Camp Release Lutheran Church in rural Granite Falls, MN. He attended Morris Agricultural (High) School before meeting his future wife, Bernetta Fenske, playing church softball. Veryl enlisted in the U.S. Army and served from 1953-1955 before returning home to marry Bernetta on June 25, 1955 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Omro Township. The couple had four children: Bradley, Kay, Ron, and Kathy.
Upon discharge from the service, Veryl worked as a mechanic for Sharkey Implement for a couple of years before moving to a farm in Tyro township in 1957 to start his farming career. In 1963 he purchased a farm in Omro township where he lived for the remainder of his life. Veryl’s life was dominated by service to others; he served on the many boards at his church, sang in the church choirs for most of his adult life, and served on the Clarkfield school board. He used his mechanical ability by helping many farm neighbors repair their tractors, combines, and other farm machinery, overhauling many gasoline farm engines.
Veryl and his brothers sang while their sister Eleanor played the piano and sang at many neighbors, friends, and relatives’ weddings, funerals, wedding anniversaries. They would always sing hymns and Christmas carols at their family Christmas parties and other family events.
Veryl “retired” at the age of 65 but continued to be a steadfast presence in his brothers’ and nephews’ farming operations, running a planter in the spring and a combine in fall until the last few years when his health declined. He enjoyed golfing with his brother, Alfred, fishing, square dancing in his younger years with his brother and sister-in-law, Delmore and Bethel, and was so dedicated to farming that he would forgo holiday trips up to the lake to stay home to get the baling done on time and make sure the cows were milked and taken care of correctly. Veryl harbored lesser-known talents including his homemade peanut brittle and rosettes, and being an excellent marksman, with his under-handed rock throwing and being able to land rocks square between the eyes of a bull as needed to keep them away while doing chores in the cattle yard. Above all, Veryl will be remembered by his family for his dependable willingness to help, optimistic spirit—"making the best of it" until the very end, straightforward sense of humor, unfailing attendance at every birthday party, school concert and recital, sleepovers at Grandpa's house (which was a place of wonders for the curious granddaughter), the deep love he had for his family, and unwavering faith in the Lord. His family finds comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain, but rather in the arms of Jesus, preparing to celebrate his first Christmas in Heaven.
In his final days, the love Veryl shared with his family was poured back unto him in the form of a hand held, forehead kissed, tears shed and memories shared. He was a bright spot in our lives and will be missed beyond measure.
On Wednesday, December 8th, 2021, at the age of 88, Veryl passed away with family by his side at the Madison, MN Hospital. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Helena; wife, Bernetta; daughter, Kay; father and mother-in-law, Ernest and Cecelia Fenske, sister-in-law, Marlys Jessen, and brothers-in-laws, Kenneth Block and Delmore Fenske.
Veryl is survived by his children, Brad (Theresa), Ron (Tammy), and Kathy (Rick Schwachtgen) Jessen; 5 granddaughters, Ericka (Chris) Phelps, Stephanie (Jacob) Sternhagen, Erin (Andy) Vukas, Stacey (Jarrod) Oberg, and Sami (Dan) Koep; 10 great-grandchildren: Brody, Henrik, Warren, Reese, Britta, Addison, June, August, Iver, and Graham; brothers, Irvin (Kathy) Jessen, Alfred (Deanna) Jessen, and Herb (Cynthia) Jessen; sister, Eleanor Block, sister-in-law, Bethel Fenske; sister-in-law, Mary Lou (Duaine) Kurtzbein; brother-in-law, James (Janet) Fenske, and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 12th, 2021, from 3-5 PM at the J.H. Lynner Funeral Home in Clarkfield, and continues on Monday, December 13th at 10 AM at Zion Lutheran Church, Tyro Township, followed by the funeral service at 11 AM. Interment to follow in the church cemetery.
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