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Berdena Sem

Aug. 18, 1935-June 28, 2013

July 2, 2013
Minot Daily News

Berdena Sem, 77, of Minot, formerly of Williston, died Friday morning, June 28, 2013, at the Trinity Medical Center in Minot. The family rejoices in the Lord that she is now walking joyfully with her Heavenly Father in heaven.

Berdena was born Aug. 18, 1935, the first of five children, to George and Hettie (Drawbond) Melby. She was raised on the family farm in Sheridan County, near Dagmar, Mont., and first educated in rural one-room schools. She graduated from Medicine Lake High School in 1953. After high school, Berdena moved to Zahl where she worked at a local family grocery store and as the family's nanny for the children. It was in Zahl where Berdena met Allen Sem who worked for the railroad.

They married on May 1, 1955, and were later blessed with four children. Berdena was a mother and homemaker. She enjoyed baking and gardening and looked forward to family gatherings. She especially enjoyed the summer visits from the grandchildren and making trips back to the family farm for family get-togethers.

Berdena volunteered in many capacities over the years: Meals on Wheels, and Mercy Medical Center Volunteer Services for 24 years. Together with her husband, Allen, they were very active members and servants in various ministries at First Baptist Church of Williston and previously at First Baptist Church of Minot.

They enjoyed 25 years of retirement in Williston before moving to Minot in 2010 to be closer to family. Both Allen and Berdena enjoyed the loving care they received at Unsong's Assisted Living Facility in Minot.

She is survived by: her children and their families, Keith (Marla) Sem, Shirley (Leo) Holt, Sharon (Bruce) Ruppert, all of Minot, and Les (Karla) Sem, of Madelia, Minn.; grandchildren, Jason (Jessica) Sem, Melissa Brown, Lucas Ruppert, Derek Holt, Kara (Rob) Kjelshus, Steven Sem, Shaila (Tyler) Harris, Natalie (Erik) Martinson; five great-grandchildren; brothers, Raymond (Nancy) Melby, of Grants Pass, Ore., Delbert Melby and Ruth, of Westby, Mont., Ronald Melby, of Dagmar, Mont.; and sister-in-law, Susan Melby, of Crescent City, Calif.

Berdena was preceded in death by: her parents; husband, Allen H. Sem in February of this year; a brother, Harvey Melby; brothers-in-law, Phalen Sem and Byeloth Hermanson; and sisters-in-law, Dagne Sem and Darlyne Sem.

The family encourages memorials in Berdena's name be given to the Cornerstone FBC Building Fund or the Mercy Medical Center Volunteer Services, both in Williston.

Funeral services will be today, Tuesday, July 2, at 2 p.m. at the Cornerstone FBC in Williston. Rev. Sheldon Sorenson will officiate.

Interment will follow the service at Riverview Cemetery in Williston.

Friends may call at Fulkerson Funeral Home in Williston today, Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to noon and one hour prior to the services in the church.

Friends may share memories and condolences with the family online at (



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