Margurete Marie Hovden

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 1:28 pm

Margurete Marie Hovden, 91, of Decorah, died Sunday, July 31, 2016, at Barthell O.E.S. Home in Decorah. Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, at Washington Prairie Lutheran Church in rural Decorah, with Rev. Dr. Jennifer Edinger officiating. Burial is in church cemetery. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, one hour before the service, at the church.

Margurete was born Oct. 30, 1924, in rural Allamakee County to Albert and Elna (Stuckman) Depping. The family moved to Frankville in 1932, where Margurete attended school through her second year of high school. She went on to complete her high school education in Decorah, graduating in 1942 as the valedictorian of her class. She obtained her teacher’s certification while she was still 17. She taught at Hyde School in the years 1942-1943 and 1946-1948 and at Moneek School in 1943-1944. Margurete was married to Donald Sersland June 30, 1944. They lived in Waukon where they ran a restaurant for one year and also lived in Dubuque for a time. They later lived on the Daniels farm for two years. They had two children, Joan and John. Donald was killed in a farm accident Jan. 13, 1954, as the family was preparing to move to the Sersland home farm. In 1956 Margurete and the children moved to South Pasadena, Calif. They returned a year later. Margurete married Leonard Barth in Nov., 1957. After farming for nine years, the family moved to Decorah in 1966. Leonard died in March 1971. During this time, Margurete worked for the Winneshiek Co-op Sale Barn for 15 years and then in the Luther College Alumni and Development Office from 1966 to 1972. She married Verne Hovden June 29, 1972. Together they lived on a farm north of Ridgeway. They moved into an apartment in Decorah from 1997 to October 2004, when they moved into the assisted living portion of the Barthell O.E.S Home in Decorah. Verne died in 2006. Margurete was a member of Washington Prairie Lutheran Church. She loved her family, gardening, doing handiwork and helping others.

She is survived by her daughter, Joan (the Rev. John) Willmann of Richmond, Texas; her son, the Rev. John (Mary) Sersland of Fort Dodge; her step-son, Leslie (Audrey) Hovden of Decorah; her step-daughter, Cathy (Scott) Decker of Kasson, Minn.; by nine grandchildren; and by eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husbands Donald Sersland, Leonard Barth and Verne Hovden; her parents; and her two sisters, Hilda Olson and Verona Nelson.

Memorials may be left to the Disabled American Veterans or the Order of the Eastern Star. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

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