From the Billings Gazette, February 22, 2016:

Don Bjertness died peacefully at his home at Mission Ridge on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2016. He was experiencing severe congestive heart failure and was welcomed into the peaceful presence of his Lord Jesus. Don was born Nov. 25, 1930, in Hatton, N.D., the second of four boys to Elmer and Anna (Hannestad) Bjertness.

Don spent his early years in Hatton and entered the University of North Dakota at the age of 17, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1957. His college was interrupted by serving in the Air Force for three years as a flight surgeon’s surgical tech in the Korean War. After graduation Don was employed as a land man for Carter (Humble) Oil. He became Billings Municipal Judge and served for 24 years.

He and Bernice Boylan were married after a brief courtship on July 2, 1961. They have been married for 54 years. “Commitment” describes life and interactions with his family and friends. He was a gentle and loving man. He was known as being committed to his faith, family, friends and work. He loved music, he sang in choirs all his life beginning when he was five years old. He sang in his church choir at King of Glory until about two months. Don also sang in the Billings Symphony Chorale for 32 years. He was passionate about his volunteerism. In later life he enjoyed volunteering at the Moss Mansion and as a Billings Clinic patient escort. Don was a skilled woodworker and made many beautiful gifts.

Don’s dry and witty sense of humor will be missed. He is survived by his wife; daughters Kristen ( Lonnie) Hanson and Ann; grandsons Kristopher and Kolton Brohaugh; Hanson grandchildren Ben (Renee), Abby (Cullen), Lydia (Nick), Mike, Brad and four great-grandchildren; one brother, Robert, survives him plus eight nieces and nephews.

Cremation is planned and a memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at King of Glory Lutheran Church, 4125 Grand Avenue with interment of the urn at the Rosebud Cemetery in Absarokee. Should folks desire memorials can be made to King of Glory Lutheran Church, Billings Symphony Chorale or a charity of one’s choice. Condolences may be left for the family at