Bertus Eugene DeMaris, age 84, of Rockford, died Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013.
He was born May 2, 1928, in Hubbard County, to Henry and Ethel (Stanley) DeMaris. Bert grew up on the family farm in Osage, and lived on the Iron Range, mostly in Babbitt, for many years until retiring to Waskish, Lester Prairie, Rockford, Buffalo, and Delano.
Bert attended country school through eighth grade and then stayed home to work on his parents’ farm as his older brothers were leaving to go in the service.
He worked on several farms throughout Minnesota before he moved to northern Minnesota and started working in the iron mines. He retired from Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt after having put in a total of 36 years.
Bert married the love of his life, Leona Torma, Nov. 16, 1957. They were together almost 52 years before her passing in 2009. Their marriage was blessed with five children, Robert (Catherine) DeMaris of Victoria; Renee (Bradley) Tostenson of Rockford, Bruce (Julie) DeMaris of Maple Grove, Darrell (Sue) DeMaris of Delano, and an infant son, Kurt, who preceded him in death.
Bert loved to farm and to this day, would often talk about dreams he had at night about farming. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, berry picking, gardening, playing bingo, and watching his sons, and later his grandchildren, participate in sports.
He loved his grandchildren very much: Benjamin DeMaris, Emma DeMaris, Tyler Tostenson, Brittany Howe, Dustin (Kelsey) DeMaris, Cassie DeMaris, Ryan (Ann) Meyer, and Nicole Limberis. His first great-grandchild is expected in July.
Bert is survived by his sisters, Joyce Bruhn of Hibbing, Patricia (Ike) George of Park Rapids, Marlene (Orlin) Anderson of Foley, and Janice Hensel of Frazee; his friend and companion, Mary Lou Johnson, and all of her children, especially Joe and Sue Francis and Kathy Turner; sisters-in-law Hazel Eskola, Hilma (Reuben) Tretbar, all of Ponsford, Joan Torma of Menagha, and Shirley DeMaris of Babbitt; many nieces, nephews, and friends.
In addition to his wife, Leona, and infant son, Kurt, Bert was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Ethel; siblings Loren, Warren, Morris, Arnold, Donald, Leland, Morna, Floyd, James, and Carol; and many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-laws, nieces and nephews.
The funeral service took place Sunday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m. at Our Father’s Lutheran Church in Rockford, with visitation at the church from 1 to 3 p.m.
Arrangements were handled by the Peterson Chapel in Buffalo.