Harlan Carl Bechtold, age 73, of Buffalo, formerly of Greenfield, passed away suddenly Monday, May 18, 2009.
He was born April 27, 1936, in Hassan Township, Hennepin County, the son of Harold and Mary Bursch Bechtold. Harlan was baptized May 17, 1936, at Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenwood by the Rev. W. P. Haar Jr. He was also instructed in the Lutheran catechism and confirmed in the Christian faith at Salem April 2, 1950.
Harlan was joined in marriage to Darlene H. Marschel Oct. 11, 1958, at Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rockford. The Rev. W. E. Neumann performed the ceremony. God blessed their marriage with five children.
Harlan engaged in dairy farming in Greenfield for 40 years. He later worked part time at Super Valu for 10 years. He also drove school bus for Rockford Schools and West Lutheran High School.
A faithful member of Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rockford, Harlan formerly served as an elder, a counter, and as a greeter. Harlan enjoyed working at the Wise Penny Thrift Store.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Darlene H. Bechtold; and loving children, Lisa (Joseph) Siers, Brenda (Douglas) Berkenes, Wendy Holmstrom, Scott (Laurie) Bechtold and Mark (Teresa) Bechtold. He was a fond grandfather of 10 grandchildren: Jeremy, Matthew, Janine, Christopher, Chad, Heather, Andrew, Emma, Alex and Gabrielle; and four great-grandchildren.
Harlan is further survived by sisters, Marlys (George) Twardy and Elaine Salonek; brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Mary Bechtold; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, August and Helen Marschel.
Funeral services took place Friday, May 22 at 11 a.m. at Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rockford with the Rev. Michael T. Barlow officiating. Janet Beise was the organist for the funeral service.Interment followed at Elmwood Cemetery.
Honorary casket bearers were Emma Holmstrom, Alex Bechtold, and Gabrielle Bechtold. Casket bearers were Jeremy Siers, Matthew Siers, Chad Berkenes, Janine Page, Heather Berkenes, Christopher Siers, and Andrew Holmstrom.
Visitation was Thursday, May 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m.
Memorials are preferred to WELS Missions or to West Lutheran High School.