Sjur Gjerde was a good and decent man. He was also a private and polite person, who brought out the best in others. He was generous with his time and careful with his money.
He was never prideful, but he was proud of both his Norwegian heritage and his American citizenship. In Norway, he had graduated with a degree in agriculture and worked in the transport business. With $100 in his pocket, he sailed to America, and arrived with $92 in his pocket. He had thought he would explore the country for maybe three years before returning to the old country, but he ended up staying in Montana for 65 years. Certainly a major factor in that decision was finding and marrying Beverly Madson, to whom he was happily married for almost 52 years, until her death earlier this year. He called her ‘a wonderful wife’ and ‘a very fine and good person.’
Sjur worked first in the Anaconda smelter before coming to Billings to continue his career in the transport business, primarily hauling fuel all over Montana. When he moved to Billings, he took classes at Eastern Montana College to improve his English.
Sjur was deeply and genuinely interested in absolutely everything he ever heard or ever read, and in every person he ever met. He had a hungry mind and an incredible memory. He was a gifted conversationalist, because he asked such great questions and listened so attentively to the responses. He had opinions about everything, but he valued and respected those of others.
He leaves behind his extended family in both Norway and in America, his North Place family, his Morningstar family, his St. John’s United hospice family, his American Lutheran Church family, and his community of fine friends in Billings, including his exceptional medical team at Billings Clinic.
You have free articles remaining.
The family is also especially grateful to the many family members and other dear friends who came to visit him during his last days. Magne tusen takk!
Private graveside services will be held for the family at a later, warmer date when distant relatives can travel more easily.
Memorials can be sent to American Lutheran Church, Billings Clinic, or a charity of choice in Billings.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary has charge of arrangements. Condolences may be shared by visiting www.michelottisawyers.com