Berdell Haraldson (1924 - 2013)

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Berdell Haraldson

Berdell Haraldson 89, passed away December 7, 2013 at Sanford Hospital. He was born March 4, 1924 in Hills, Minnesota to Lewis and Effie (Jenkins) Haraldson and grew up in Hills, Minnesota and on a farm in Minnesota right at the corner of Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota.

At the age of 19 in December of 1943 during WWII, Berdell was drafted into the Navy. Three of his brothers were also serving the country during this same time in Iceland, France, and North Africa. Berdell served on a CVE-88 the USS Cape Esperance a brand new aircraft carrier that steamed to the Pacific Front. He and his shipmates spent many days in the sweltering heat of the South China Sea where the deck got so hot it "would burn through my shoes". His ship rode out three typhoons; one named "Halsey's Typhoon" where three destroyers in the fleet sunk and 793 American sailors perished. It was proclaimed one of the worst disasters in US Naval history. Berdell was a lookout on the No. 1 gun but later became a cook on board ship cause "that's where the food was".

After the surrender by Japan, Berdell and his shipmates took war torn troops back to San Diego. Berdell got an honorable discharge from the Navy on April 12, 1946 as a Seaman First Class.

Berdell worked for the "Argus Leader" newspaper as a type setter, then at Speciality Automotive (which is now Auto Body Specialty) mixing paint and at a grocery store stocking the fruit shelves. He also helped the family with cutting firewood and in their huge garden.

Berdell enjoyed the last year living in Touch Mark at All Saints in Sioux Falls.

He is survived by his sister Lois Simms, Cheyenne, Wyoming; three nephews; Gene, Dennis, and Paul and one niece; Sheila and a long time friend Roger Kooima.

He is preceded in death by his parents Lewis and Effie Haraldson; brothers Harvey, Everett, and Vernon; sisters Mavis (Johnson), Clarice, and Della.

Visitation will begin at 2:00 pm Wednesday at Miller Funeral Home, Main Avenue location. Interment with full military honors will begin at 2:00 pm Thursday at the Bethlehem Lutheran Cemetery, Hills, Minnesota.


Published in The Argus Leader on Dec. 10, 2013
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