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Published September 26, 2013, 12:00 AM

Celia Burk

Celia Burk, longtime resident of the Williston, ND, area and later of Fargo/Moorhead, passed away September 24, 2013, at Sheyenne Crossings Care Center, West Fargo, ND, under the care of Hospice.

Celia Joan Hanson was born on July 22, 1927, the second of five daughters, to Agnes (Blegen) and Harold Hanson at Thor, MN, where her father was a carpenter by trade and her mother was a homemaker. Celia's father, who had lost an eye in a battle in France during WWI, named Celia in honor of one of his nurses.

Celia Burk

Celia Burk, longtime resident of the Williston, ND, area and later of Fargo/Moorhead, passed away September 24, 2013, at Sheyenne Crossings Care Center, West Fargo, ND, under the care of Hospice.

Celia Joan Hanson was born on July 22, 1927, the second of five daughters, to Agnes (Blegen) and Harold Hanson at Thor, MN, where her father was a carpenter by trade and her mother was a homemaker. Celia's father, who had lost an eye in a battle in France during WWI, named Celia in honor of one of his nurses.

Celia was blessed with the unusual combination of blonde hair and brown eyes. She was baptized in Zion Lutheran Church, Thor. Celia was a very active and social child. Growing up she taught herself to play the piano, enjoyed singing, playing the baritone saxophone in the high school band, playing tennis, swimming and ice skating. She loved the outdoors, hiking, picnicking, painting, making crafts, and literature. She was in the Camp Fire Girls and the Luther League of First Lutheran Church, Aitkin, MN, where she was confirmed.

She graduated from Aitkin High School and from Augsburg College with a home economics major. Shortly after her graduation, she married Willard Burk of Williston, whom she had met while at Augsburg, on July 12, 1952, in First Lutheran Church, Aitkin.

After they were married, Willard and Celia ranched east of Williston. The ranch was originally the hobby of Willard's father, Walter O. Burk, who found a second home on it, enjoying lively conversations with Celia.

On the ranch, Celia enjoyed one of her favorite hobbies, gardening. For her it was important that the house was surrounded with flowerbeds. Each year she tried something new in her garden, and eventually grew vegetables that she had never tried herself, such as kale, chichory, brussell sprouts and Jerusalem artichoke.

During the Korean War, Willard was drafted into the army and Celia joined him in Missouri. While there, she got a job working for the Army special services. When Willard received orders to leave for Germany, the orders were soon changed because losing Willard meant losing Celia.

The Burks raised four children, and each of them are successful in their various fields. Dru ranches and buys and sells ranches; Dawn is the director of FREE in Lusaka, Zambia; Dee Lia farms with her husband near Hope, ND, and teaches school; and Deirdre works as a pharmacy technician in the Netherlands.

Celia had an active life in the Williston community and was a member of AAUW, the ND Cattlewomen, Homettes Homemaker's Club, and Christian Women's Club. She was active in the church and Celia and Willard were members of Gloria Dei Lutheran. She loved doing Bible studies and encouraging her children in their relationship with Christ by doing devotions with them. She loved to pray for others and was a faithful member of the church prayer chains. She taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, was a member of WELCA and the Tuesday Morning Ladies' Quilting group. She was also a 4-H leader and worked with the Bluebirds and CampFire Girls.

Celia always welcomed and befriended new people. Celia and Willard sponsored the Cheng family when they became U.S. citizens. Celia loved other cultures and trying unusual food. She visited daughter Deirdre in the Netherlands and went on to Norway to visit her cousin and a 4-H exchange student who had lived with them on the ranch for a summer.

In 1997 the Burks moved to Fargo/Moorhead.

Celia is survived this side of eternity by her husband, Willard; her children, Dru (Audrey) Burk, Miles City, MT, Dawn Close, Lusaka, Zambia, Dee Lia (Kerry) Baldwin, Hope, ND, and Deirdre Burk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; her grandchildren, Sheana Rose, Aubrey (James) Baile, Spencer (Katie) Burk, Ariana Burk, Jordan Close, Allison (Justin) Graham, James (Susan) Baldwin, Carissa (Joshua) Morman, Daniel Baldwin, and John Baldwin; and her great-grandchildren, Nikira Graham and Addison Burk.

Celia was preceded in death by one grandson, Joshua Timothy Vink, who was born and died Oct. 10,1988; and two sisters, Alice Neva and Mary Ann Tingle.

Funeral Service on Saturday, September 28, 2013, at 10 AM, in Zion Lutheran Church, Thor. Visitation one hour prior to service. Burial in Saron Cemetery, Glen Township, MN.

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