Funeral services for Harlan Koertje, age 88, of Bloomfield, Nebraska will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 30, 2016, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield. Reverend Deb Valentine will officiate, with burial in Bloomfield City Cemetery.
Visitation will be Thursday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the church.
Brockhaus Funeral Home in Bloomfield is in charge of arrangements.
Harlan died Sunday, December 25, 2016, at his residence.
Harlan Willis Koertje, son of William and Dora (Wiese) Koertje, was born on the farm close to Bloomfield on September 27, 1928, along with his twin sister, Helen. He was baptized at First Trinity Lutheran Church on October 21, 1928. Harlan attended elementary school at First Trinity and graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1947. Harlan worked at the Gambles store and for Henry Peters before he and Norma Grimm were married on February 19, 1950, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Bloomfield. They were blessed with six children: William, Robert, Sharon, Sara, Nancy, and David.
Harlan started farming after he was married. He was a pioneer in the “no till” type of farming and took lots of ribbing from farmers in the area for this new practice. He also put up one of the first irrigation systems in the area. After farming for 42 years, Harlan drove the school bus for ten years and then was a night watchman at Waldbaum Chicken Farm.
Harlan joined St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in 1950. He served on the building committee and helped with the groundbreaking for the new church. Harlan also sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, and served on the council at St. Mark’s, and helped at the Church Stand at the Knox County Fair.
Harlan was active in the community by serving on the Farmer’s Co-op Board, Farm Bureau, and Knox County Pig Co-op. He also served with the Bloomfield EMT’s and at the Knox County Food Pantry. He enjoyed coffee hour, playing cards, gardening, and visiting the casino.
Harlan is survived by his wife, Norma Koertje of Bloomfield, Nebraska; his children, William (Julie) Koertje of Lincoln, Nebraska, Robert (Deb) Koertje of Bloomfield, Sharon (Arnold) Doerr of Bloomfield, Sara (Greg) Baumann of Pierce, Nebraska, Nancy (Paul) Jensen of Exeter, Nebraska, and David (Mary) Koertje of Colorado Springs, Colorado; 20 grandchildren; 32 great-grandchildren; twin sister, Helen Mays of Grand Island, Nebraska; brother, Loyal (Mary) Koertje of Denver, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Shirley Koertje of Bloomfield, Larina (Roger) Carpenter of Seward, Nebraska, and Ruth Ann Grimm of Crofton, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Wilber (Olivia Kohles) Grimm of Bloomfield; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Arnold and his wife Viola Koertje and Delbert Koertje; sisters, Mildred and her husband Duane Nelson and Lila and her husband Wilbert Hansen; and brother-in-law, Glenn Mays.