Eugene “Gene” C. Bjorklun, 89, St. Cloud
November 3, 1933 – November 26, 2022
Eugene “Gene” Charles Bjorklun passed away on November 26 at the St. Cloud Hospital at age 89. He is predeceased by his father, Herman Evald Bjorklun, mother, Irene Violet (Nelson) Bjorklun and brother, John Willis Bjorklun.
Gene was born November 3, 1933 at the hospital in Minden, Nebraska, near where his parents farmed. His family later moved to Minden where he enjoyed small-town life, was “Gene the Machine” on the basketball court, and the lead actor in several school plays.
In 1951, Gene attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where he earned a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in secondary education. He served in the army for two years, stationed in Little Rock, Arkansas. Gene taught junior high social studies in Lincoln for several years, during which time he met his wife of nearly 58 years, Mary Margaret (Holtmeier) Bjorklun.
Gene and Mary Margaret moved to St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1967 where Gene taught for 29 years at St. Cloud State University and authored many academic articles. He and Mary Margaret were passionate educators who believed in educational opportunity for all—giving their time, knowledge and financial support to help others.
In retirement, Gene enjoyed worldwide travels, the arts, writing, cooking, watching sports, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, and many other interests. Gene and Mary Margaret were blessed with two children, James “Jim” Martin and Carolyn “Carrie” Anne Cramer, as well as two grandchildren, Heather Alice Cramer and Austin Dale Cramer.
Gene’s celebration of life will include a visitation (10 a.m.), funeral service (11 a.m.) and luncheon on December 8 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4310 Co Rd 137, St Cloud, MN 56301.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to organizations close to Gene’s very caring heart: Terebinth Refuge, a shelter for sexually trafficked women; Anna Marie’s Alliance, a women’s domestic violence shelter; and Bethlehem Lutheran Church.