Vernon Birkholz, age 66, who died Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Northridge Residence in Ortonville.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank with Rev. Melanie Reiners officiating. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the time of service at the funeral home. Burial will be in Mound Cemetery.
Mundwiler and Larson Funeral Home of Ortonville announces the death of Vernon Birkholz, age 66, who died Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Northridge Residence in Ortonville.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. at Mundwiler Funeral Home in Milbank with Rev. Melanie Reiners officiating. Visitation will be held for one hour prior to the time of service at the funeral home. Burial will be in Mound Cemetery in Ortonville.
Vernon Luverne Birkholz was born on January 17, 1949, at St. Bernard’s Hospital in Milbank, SD to Luverne and Fannie (Conraads) Birkholz. They lived on a farm near Odessa, MN, before moving to Milbank, SD to farm. At the age of nine, the family farmhouse was destroyed by a fire. The family then moved to Ortonville for one year, then to Big Stone City for three years, and finally moved back to Ortonville.
At a young age, Vernon had a serious high fever for more than a week. After recovering from this, he had a difficult time in school and eventually Vernon quit school after the eighth grade. However, he was proud to earn his GED. After Vernon stopped attending school, he began working at North Star Granite Company.
On August 21, 1968, Vernon enlisted in the United States Army. During his service, he was stationed in Germany and tasked with helping the incoming wounded. Vernon received many awards including the National Defense Service Award, Code of Conduct Award, Sharpshooter Medal, and the Radio Coordinator Medal.
On August 20, 1974, Vernon was honorably discharged. Upon returning home from the Army, Vernon found his true love in truck driving. He drove until he became disabled and could no longer. He had a home in Holloway, MN, but eventually moved back to Ortonville. Vernon then moved into Northridge Residence, his home for the last ten years. The nurses and staff became his extended family and lovingly referred to him as “Vern.” He especially loved to tease and share his Nib’s candy with them all. Vernon truly loved fishing, going to Pizza Ranch, his candy, and most importantly his Diet Coke.
Vernon passed away on April 22, 2015, at his home at Northridge Residence, having reached the age of 66.
Left with his memory are his sisters: LaVonne (Gary) Beachem of Ortonville; Charlene (David) Iverson of Baltic, SD; six nephews: Jerod (Mandy) Beachem and their children, Bodie and Sadie; Brandon Beachem; Dustin Beachem; Michael (Erin) Iverson and their children, Luke and Lane; Matt (Abby) Iverson and their daughter, Paisley; and James Iverson; aunt, Julie Birkholz of Isanti, MN; uncle, Donely Dickinson of Wilmot; and many cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Charolette; grandparents; uncles; aunts; and cousins.