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Beloved teacher, former 'Beautiful Woman' dies at age 104

Bea Ihlenfeld (Bill Marcil Jr. / The Forum)
Bea Ihlenfeld (Bill Marcil Jr. / The Forum)

Bernice “Bea” Ihlenefeld, 104, died on Thursday, Oct. 26, according to a death notice on the Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home website .


Bernice was a resident of Touchmark at Harwood Groves, a retirement community in south Fargo for many years.


In 2012, Touchmark Health and Fitness Director Mark Minette noticed how remarkable she was and nominated her as one of The Forum’s and WDAY’s Beautiful Women series. He said it was a "no brainer" to nominate her.



In the Beautiful Woman article Bea said she was "flabbergasted" when she got word that she had been chosen to be a Beautiful Woman.


"I've seen all of the girls chosen this year. And what's fun is I've known some of their mothers or even grandmothers. But I never thought I'd be one of them," she said.

Bernice and her husband, Fred, moved to Fargo in 1942 when Fred was called to serve at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. The couple had two daughters, Bea and Kathy.


Bernice initially took a job teaching physical education at Fargo Central High which led her to a job as a school counselor there and to later become an administrator at North High. She retired in 1973.



Bernice will be remembered for offering advice such as: "enjoy life," "get an education" and even "get a swimsuit and get to the pool!"


Tributes for Bernice can be left on her Tribute Wall on the Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home website .


Services for Bernice will be held Friday, Nov. 10 at St. John Lutheran Church in Fargo. Visitation hours will be Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., with funeral services beginning at 3 p.m.

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