Bert Thomas Selness

Tuesday, May 19, 2015 2:26 pm

Bert Thomas Selness, 65, died May 15, 2015, in Hampton, after a short illness with cancer. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m., at Highland Lutheran Church, rural Decorah. Burial is in the church cemetery. Military rites will be provided by American Legion Post No. 249 of Spring Grove. Pastor Kurt Bockoven, Jr. will officiate. Friends may call Tuesday, May 19, from 4-7 p.m. at Roble Funeral Home in Spring Grove and one hour prior to services at the church Wednesday.

He was born to Harold and Helen (Dahl) Selness Dec. 31, 1949, in Decorah. Bert grew up on the Selness century farm. His boyhood days were spent playing softball, football and other outdoor activities with his siblings. Bert was baptized and confirmed at the Highland Lutheran Church. He worked alongside Harold on the family farm where his love for tractors came to be. He became an avid collector of miniature tractors throughout his life. Bert was the second of what would be 16 children to graduate from Spring Grove High School. Bert graduated in 1968. He was an active FFA member throughout high school and played football during his senior year. In 1969, Bert was drafted into the United States Army for the Vietnam War where he served one year overseas. After being discharged in 1971, he started farming with his uncle Roald Selness. Bert became a member of the VA advisory board for Winneshiek County and the Spring Grove American Legion. Bert was very patriotic, which led him to start the annual family Fourth of July celebrations. When not busy celebrating the Fourth of July or farming Bert enjoyed driving his tractor in the Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Day parade.

Bert is survived by his 15 siblings: Paula (Bob) Vogt, Karen (Alan) Erickson, Sunday (Renn) DeBoer, Barb Lund, Gary (Kristy), Steven, Mark, Diane (Tom) Poirier, Eric, Rolf (Michelle), Caroline (Kevin) Posterick, Todd, Ruth (Dan) Sponsel, David and Wendy (Mark) Willner; 25 nieces and nephews; three great-nephews and four great-nieces.

Bert’s parents, a niece and a nephew preceded him in death.


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