Cover photo for Clara M. (Berkland)  Hansen's Obituary
Clara M. (Berkland)  Hansen Profile Photo

Clara M. (Berkland) Hansen

March 30, 1929 — August 8, 2023

Minnetonka

Clara M. (Berkland) Hansen

Clara Mae (Berkland) Hansen, age 94, Minnetonka, Minn., died August 8 peacefully at home.

Clara was born Mar. 30, 1929, at White River, SD, to  Nels and Andrea Berkland, first-generation Norwegian pioneers who each claimed a homestead before marrying and having children. Clara was the third youngest of their 11 children.

The family later moved to Brookings County.  Clara graduated from Brookings High School, Brookings, SD, and Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD.  She married James Hansen on Apr. 20, 1952, at Lake Campbell Lutheran Church, Volga, SD.

After college, she was employed as a social worker in South Dakota and Nebraska.  Upon moving to Grand Forks, ND, in 1957, she was employed by the Social Security Administration where she worked until she retired.  She considered herself one of the liberated women of her time and took great pride in balancing family and work, particularly during the years when her husband travelled frequently for his job.

Upon retirement at age 59, she and Jim moved to Ottertail Lake, where she spent much time with her family and volunteering for various organizations. Clara was an active volunteer, often pulling Jim along with her in her endeavors. She had the heart of a servant leader and a powerful interest in women’s rights and equality, investing her time with Chapters D and Ay of the P.E.O. Sisterhood. After retirement, she focused her energy on local organizations, serving as a hospice volunteer, delivering Meals on Wheels, volunteering at United Hospital and with the American Cancer Society, and providing leadership to the Ottertail Lake Property Owners Association. She was a longtime member of Calvary Lutheran in Grand Forks and later Zion Lutheran Church of Amor, but was active in her church and the community wherever she was, offering to volunteer in many capacities.

After giving up their beloved lake home, Clara and Jim moved first to Buffalo, MN, to be closer to their children. They continued their volunteer service at Zion Lutheran Church of Buffalo before moving to an independent living facility in Andover, MN, and finally to Amira Choice Minnetonka, where both Clara and Jim lived out the rest of their days close to their beloved children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Clara is survived by her son, Eric Hansen (Lisa); grandchildren Ryan Hansen (Kelly Schwartz), Jessica Hedberg (Vaughn), and Victoria Hansen; her sister, Verna Cochran (Russ); four great grandchildren; and more than 40 nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband, James Hansen, son Jerry Hansen, grandson Alexander Hansen, her parents, and nine siblings.

Memorial service 1:00 PM, Fri. at Mount Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth, 12235 Old Rockford Rd., Plymouth.  Interment Mount  Olivet Lutheran Church of Plymouth Cemetery next to her husband, son and grandson.  Visitation one hour prior to the service at the church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clara M. (Berkland) Hansen, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, August 18, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Friday, August 18, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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