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Bernita Shurr

Bernita Shurr

Bernita Shurr, age 95 formerly of Rock Rapids, IA died Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at the Parkview Manor Nursing Home in Ellsworth, MN.

Memorial service will be 2:30 p.m. Friday, January 31, 2014 at the Jurrens Funeral Home in Rock Rapids, with Reverend Marcia Sangel officiating.

Visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until time of service at the funeral home.

Bernita Shurr was born March 25, 1918, and lived 95 years, 9 months, and 28 days. She was born on the family farm on the banks of Plum Creek near Walnut Grove, MN, to Merle J. and Lora (Adams) Bell. She attended area country schools and Walnut Grove High School. She then went to Mankato State College graduating with a degree in teaching in 1939. During her senior year she met John Shurr.

Bernita and John were married August 27, 1940, at her parents' farm. Their first home was a little house that had been part of the original homestead at Lone Tree Farm, rural Ellsworth. They moved to the main house in 1943 and lived on the Shurr family farm for a total of 69 years. The past four years they have lived together at Premier Estates in Rock Rapids, IA, and Parkview Manor in Ellsworth, MN.

Bernita was an educator. She taught high school in Inwood, IA, Ellsworth, MN, and in Rock Rapids, IA, where she was the school librarian. She was part of a family tradition of teaching that extends for five generations.

She was an avid reader who took comfort from nature. She appreciated the perspective on nature that Native Americans provide. She was intensely concerned about social justice issues and was a member of Ellsworth Congregational Church and Stateline Presbyterian Church.

Bernita is survived by her son, George (Margaret) Shurr of Ellsworth; two grandchildren, Sharla (Matt) Krell of Vermillion, SD; Robb (Joelle Wisler) Shurr of Nederland, CO; and four great-grandchildren, Paige and Jack Krell and Grayson and Nora Shurr. We cherish the memory of her contagious enthusiasm, rigorous intellectual curiosity, and commitment to family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John, of 73 years, her parents Merle J. and Lora Bell, sister Beverly Wing of Worthington, MN, and her son Bob.

In lieu of flowers Rock Rapids Public Library and Ellsworth Parkview Manor are memorial suggestions.

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