Veronica Marie “Vernice” (Bertsch) Axtmann, the daughter of Adam and Kathryn (Senger) Bertsch was born on December 28, 1923 in Devils Lake, North Dakota. She died at the age of 89 years on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Vernice was raised in Alsen, North Dakota and began her schooling there. At the age of 3 her mother died, and at the age of 10, her father died too. At this time, she moved to her uncle and aunt’s, Tony and Lena Bertsch, in Devils Lake, where she completed her education at St. Mary’s Academy. Sometime after high school, Vernice, with her aunt and uncle, moved to Balta, North Dakota, where she worked in the local caf. On April 5, 1943, she was united in marriage to Nicholas F. “Nick” Axtmann at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Balta. The couple made their home, farmed, ranched and were blessed with six children on the Axtmann family farm in Tuscarora Township. In 1978, the couple retired from the farm and moved to Rugby. Vernice was a former member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a current member of Little Flower Catholic Church, a 50-year member of Catholic Daughters, a 70-year member of Christian Mothers, a longtime volunteer and auxiliary member of the Heart of America Medical and Care Center, loved to cook and entertain and enjoyed dancing, playing cards, working crossword puzzles, crocheting and was an accomplished seamstress. Nick died March 21, 2009.
She is survived by her children, Kathy (Ron) Hove of Ft. Myers, FL., Karen (Haven) Ratcliff of Rotunda West, FL, Dr. Joseph (Kathleen) Axtmann of Aberdeen, S.D., Keith Axtmann of Rugby, Frank J. (Colette) Axtmann of Watford City and Nicki (Gordie) Haman of Towner; 12 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; one brother, Larry Bertsch of Spokane, WA; one sister, Lena Wisler of Raceda, CA; a half sister, Jeanette (Don) Calderwood of Crary, ND; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband; one granddaughter, Elizabeth Axtmann; one brother, Edward Bertsch; two sisters, Frances Fettig and Marie DeWitt; and her parents.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, July 5, 2013 at the Little Flower Catholic Church in Rugby with burial in the church cemetery. Fr. Thanaiah, Celebrant and Msgr. Fr. Joseph Senger and Fr. Michael Schommer, Concelebrants.
Rosary and vigil prayers will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home.
Organist: Glenda Mack, Vocal Leader/Cantor: Sara Selensky
Scripture Readers: Leonard Haman & Dawn Hepper
Gift Bearers: The Great-grandchildren
Casket Bearers: Jayden Eischen, Morgan Oppen, David Hagel, Richard Hagel, Frank Mack, Neil Mack and Blaine Mack
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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