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Bernie Victor Sondergard

Bernie Victor Sondergard, age 80, of Watertown and formerly of New Germany, died Friday, July 26, 2002, at the Ridgeview Medical Center, Waconia.

He was born January 15, 1922 to Nels and Alma (Fiene) Sondergard in Freeborn County, Minn. Bernie attended Freeborn High School, and graduated in 1939.

He and his brother enlisted in the service the day after Pearl Harbor was attacked. He served as a sergeant in the US Marine Corps, seeing all of his duty in the South Pacific, from 1942 to 1945. He was in the first battle of Guadal Canal. He was a member of the American Legion and the VFW.

Bernie was a very active man, and owned and operated Frontier Electric, was a charter member of the Carver County Mounted Posse, was a charter member of the Tri-County Riders of Watertown, served as head of Carver County

4-H horse program, and was on the Carver County Fair Board.

In addition, he was a 20-year active member of the Western Saddle Club Association, serving as judge and past president. Bernie placed third in the American Quarter Horse Reining competition in 1983 at the Quarter Horse Congress.

Bernie saw a need for equestrian training for children, and formed a 4-H saddle club to fill that need. He was a dealer of Jackson Horse Trailers, donating both his time and two trailers to the Minnesota High School Rodeo Association.

Horses were a big part of Bernie's life, and he and one of his sons participated in a mock robbery on horseback of the Winsted Bank, which was part of the Winsted Centennial.

Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Nels and Alma Sondergard, and one brother.

He is survived by five sons, Michael and Susan, Jerry and Peggy, Jack and Lisa, Scott and Deb, and Steve and Ann; 13 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Marilyn and Fred Phillips and Wilma Zoller.

Memorial services were Tuesday, July 30, at the Iten Funeral Home in Delano. Gathering time took place prior to the service, with the Rev. James Beard officiating.

Music was provided by Karen Otto as organist.

Arrangements were made by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.

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