Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sherman Valgard Bearnson 1922 ~ 2009

Another 100% Icelander has gone on to that great reunion in heaven.
Spanish Fork . . .Sherman Valgard Bearnson, age 87, died Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at his home of causes incident to dementia. He was born April 25, 1922 in Spanish Fork, Utah to Icelandic immigrant parents, Gisle Bearnson (Gisli Bjarnason) and Christina Vilmina Valgardson. He was educated in Spanish Fork schools and graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1940.
He worked alongside his father as a farmer and cattleman. Although farmers were exempt from the draft in World War II, Sherman enlisted in the Navy to serve his country. He served in the South Pacific on an aircraft carrier until the end of the war.
When he returned from the war, he met and married, Beverly Boyer, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on September 1, 1949. Beverly worked hard alongside Sherm on the family farm, along with their son, Steven. Sherman and Beverly modeled honesty, integrity, and hard work for their children. Sherm worked as a farmer and cattleman from the time he was a small boy until 2000, when he retired at the age of 78. He was the President of the South Irrigation Company, where he served on the Board for 32 years. He served as Vice-President of the East Bench Irrigation Company. He served 30 years on the Soil Conservation Commission Board; he and Beverly traveled to farms throughout the United States in the service of Soil Conservation. He was named Utah County Cattleman of the year and was honored by the Icelandic Association of Utah as Icelander of the year.
Sherman was a High Priest in the LDS Church where he served as Sunday School President and home teacher. For many years he volunteered on the 5th Ward Church Farm, donating his time, farm equipment, and fuel. He attended Utah Technical College on the GI Bill, where he learned flying, welding, and auto mechanics. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and working in his shop welding and repairing equipment.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Beverly Boyer Bearnson, and five children, Susan (Richard) Huff; Steven (Michelle) Bearnson, both of Spanish Fork; Barbara Bearnson (Todd Utzinger); Patricia Bearnson; and Gill (Cathy Revere) Bearnson, all of Salt Lake City. He is also survived by 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, as well as two sisters, Geraldine Smith and Norma (Weston) Jones, of Spanish Fork. He was preceded in death by a grandson, Chet Bearnson; and siblings, Sarah Ellen Hanks, Faye Bearnson, Wilma Harmer, Mildred Hall, Elva Levanger, Bertha Johnson, Bernice Bearnson, and two cousins who were reared with the Bearnsons as siblings, Hannah and Paul Valgardson.
Funeral services will be Saturday, October 31, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at the Spanish Fork Stake Center, 1006 East 200 South. Friends may call Saturday at the church from 11:00 a.m. until 12:45 p.m. prior to services. Interment will be in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery under the direction of Walker Mortuary, where military rites will be accorded by the American Legion Post 68.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Erlendur was born 11 August 1844 at Stor i Lambhagi, Leira, Borgarfjardar. His parents are Arni Bergthorsson, born 3 May 1798 at Hafthorsstadir, Hvammur i Nordurardal, Myra; and Malfridur Gudlaugsdottir, born 21 July 1804 at Kollslaekur, Stir i As, Bordarfjardar, died 2 June 1869. Erlendur immigrated to Canada in 1876, where he spent a couple of years in the settlement called “New Iceland” on the west shores of Lake Winnipeg. Like many others, he moved on and went to the Dakota Territory. About 1880 he came to Spanish Fork, Utah. He wanted to follow the trade of goldsmith and learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a great reader and writer. He owned an agency for selling men’s suits. He would fit them and then order from a catalog. He was a practicing calligrapher. He wrote such beautiful handwriting that people would have him prepare their important records.
Erlendur married Johanna Jonsdottir, born 10 March 1856 in Rangarvalla, the daughter of Jon Bjarnason. They had two children: Autna Julius and Steinunn (Stana). Their marriage ended in divorce. He then went to Scofield and Winter Quarters in Carbon County to work in the coal mines. About this time he started to correspond with Katrin Jonsdottir, who was living in Winnipeg and working as a nurse at the time. She came to Spanish Fork in 1893 and married Erlendur 19 August 1893. They made their home in Winter Quarters, where Erlendur worked in the mines. They had six children: Katie, John, Olga, Ella, Cornella and Elma. Erlundur and Katrin split, and she went to Blaine, Washington, where she died 17 January 1944. She is buried in the Blaine Cemetery. Erlundur never went to Blaine, Washington. He died in Salt Lake City 12 September 1918 and is buried in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Erlundur is number 7 in Icelanders of Utah.