Art Creative 01

Brenda S. Holt Bjorlie

October 28, 1940 ~ May 28, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old


Brenda Bjorlie, age 82 of Miles City, MT formerly of Pompey’s Pillar, MT and Pekin, ND passed away on May 28, 2023, at Holy Rosary Extended Care with loved ones by her side.

Brenda was born on Oct. 28, 1940, to Harry and Ethel Mae Holt of Monahans, Texas.  She graduated from Monahans High School and was baptized in the First Baptist Church.  She met and married Bill Gus Gearhart while working for her father at his oilfield construction company in 1964.  The couple moved to Montana hours after getting married to manage two of the family’s ranches in Forsyth and Pompey’s Pillar where they lived.  Brenda, a city girl who grew to love ranch life, was quite the hand.  Mary De’ was born in 1964 and Sheri Kay was born in 1969.  The girls were raised and worked alongside of their parents on the ranches.

After Bill’s death, she married Elmer Bjorlie in Huntley, MT in December 1987 gaining a large extended family who she loved dearly.  After Elmer’s retirement, they moved to his hometown of Pekin, ND in October 1992.  In 1993 she founded the Nelson County Arts Council (NCAC) and served as Executive Director for 20 years.  She expanded NCAC to include the Pekin Art Show, which became the biggest selling art show in North Dakota.  She also created the Stump Lake Fine Arts Youth Camp that has served generations of students.  Her proudest moment was when the NCAC received the ND Governor’s Arts Award in 2001 as the Most Outstanding Arts Organization.  Significantly, Brenda led a multi-year effort to restore the City Auditorium for year-round use by the Arts Council.

Brenda served as Pekin City Auditor for 7 yrs and was a board member on the Pekin Park/Tree Board, the Nelson County Health System Hospital Board, and the Nelson County Job Development Authority Board.  She was a member of the Sheyenne Lutheran Church and the American Legion Auxiliary.

Her most cherished memories were times she spent with her family.  She considered the most important gift you could give was to love your fellow man and treat them as you would want to be treated.

Brenda is survived by her two daughters: Mary De’ (Tim) Hurr, Miles City, MT and Sheri Kay Gearhart (Keith Luckett), Fort Worth, TX.  Stepchildren, Anna (Timothy) Donahue, John (Ann) Bjorlie, Paul (Crysti) Bjorlie, Laura (Chris) Harmon, and daughter-in-law Kathy Bjorlie.  1 granddaughter, 3 grandsons, and 5 great grandchildren.  27 Step-grandchildren, 52 step-great grandchildren with 2 more on the way and 3 great, great grandchildren.  One sister, Mary Ann (Richard) Blake, San Angelo, TX and sister-in-law, Jeannie Holt, Cypress, TX; plus numerous nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband, mother, father, brother, Tommy Lee Holt and stepson, Pete Bjorlie.

The Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 10, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at American Lutheran Church in Tolna, ND, followed immediately by a luncheon.  A private family interment will be held after the luncheon at Sheyenne Lutheran Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers she requests donations to an Arts charity of choice or the Nelson County Health System Foundation.

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Memorial Service
June 10, 2023

10:00 AM
American Lutheran Church
218 Main Street N.
Tolna, ND 58380


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