Mildred A. (Zelda Alberta Mildred Kortuem) Gjertson was born in Osakis, MN, the only child of Arlettie M. (Hooseline) and Albert H. Kortuem. Her father, grandfather, 4 uncles and several cousins worked for the Great Northern Railroad. Millie married Wilfred F. (Scut) Gjertson on June 14, 1946. After living briefly in Bird Island, Mora, and Faribault, they moved to Brainerd in 1952. Millie did office work much of her life beginning as a part-time secretary to O.S. Dahlager, superintendent of schools during her senior year at Osakis High School. For a year between her sophomore and junior year she served as secretary to the president of Bemidji State University. Following graduation from Bemidji State University in 1945 with English and Physical Education majors, she accepted the position of head of the girls physical education department for the high school and five elementary schools in the Faribault, MN. Her part-time secretarial work continued at First Congregational Church in Faribault, Land O'Lakes Creamery in Mora, and Brainerd Marine in Brainerd. Shortly before Wilfred's retirement in 1969, they built a home on South Long Lake. Following Wilfred's death in March 2000, Millie moved to the Southview Court neighborhood in Brainerd. Millie's interests were many and varied; traveling, hiking, bird identification, gardening, piano & choral music, genealogy, bowling, tennis, golf, needlework, sewing, knitting, writing, and puzzles such as crossword, jigsaw and Sudoku. Traveling was one of Millie's great joys. By 1997, she and Scut visited the lower 48 states and 6 Canadian Provinces by car, bus, airplane, ferry and cruise ship. Her goal of visiting all 50 states was completed when she visited Alaska in 2010 and Hawaii in 2013. She was a volunteer worker in the RSVP program and at Good Samaritan Society - Woodland (Tea & Chapter) and Brainerd Senior Center (Greeting Card recycling project). She belonged to the Woodland Wildflower Red Hat Society, Golden Gems Choral group and a longtime member of First Congregational UCC of Brainerd. Millie was a past president of Women's Fellowship and sang in the choir for many years. She was passionate about environmental concerns such as parks, nature and public lands. Millie was very generous as she created a scholarship for at Bemidji State University, contributed to the Woodland Community Garden for new surfacing, made a significant donation to the Nisswa Lake Park and contributed to many other special projects in the Brainerd area.
Millie passed away Saturday, November 24, 2018 at Good Samaritan Society - Woodland in Brainerd.
Her husband, parents and 4 nieces preceded her in death. She is survived by a nephew, two nieces and her church family.
A Celebration of Millie's life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, December 8, 2018 at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Brainerd. Family and friends are invited to gather beginning at 2:00 p.m. Interment will take place at 9:00 a.m., Monday, December 10, 2018 at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery near Camp Ripley.
In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to First Congregational UCC Memorial Fund, Northland Arboretum, Brainerd Lakes Area Senior Center or Brainerd Public Library.
Brenny Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services