Deone Cerny of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away on Friday, January 20, 2023 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND, at the age of 89.
The service to celebrate Deone’s life will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at St. Pauli Lutheran Church rural Thief River Falls, MN, with Rev. Carl Hansen and Rev. Marlene Anderson officiating.
Visitation will take place from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Friday, January 27, 2023 at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church. Burial will be held at a later date at Greenwood Cemetery in Warren, MN.
Deone Cerny was born in Warren, MN on March 22, 1933, the daughter of Louis J. Cerny Jr. and Luella (Keefe) Cerny. She was baptized at the hospital in Warren, MN, and later at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Radium, MN. Deone was confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Argyle, MN.
She was a graduate of Bemidji State University-summa cum laude and also completed graduate course work at various other colleges and universities.
Deone’s work experience as a Kindergarten teacher in the state of Minnesota for 46 years led her to Mahnomen, Richfield, Owatonna, East Grand Forks and in 1968 started in Thief River Falls where she taught until her retirement in 1998. She also was a writer and teacher/consultant for the Educational Research Council, Cleveland, Ohio.
Deone was a member of MEA/NEA-R, Northland Retired Educators, Retired Educators Association of Minnesota, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International-society for women educators, Bemidji State University Alumni Association and St. Pauli Lutheran Church.
She was awarded the TRF Branch AAUW Woman of Honor and in 1998 received the TRF Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award.
Deone is survived by her sister, LoAnne Lokken of Hastings, MN; sister-in-law, Joyce Cerny of Duluth, MN; nieces and nephews, Mike Cerny of Thief River Falls, MN, Pam (Rob) Sando, of Roseau, MN, Kim Ableiter (Matt Bremer) of Duluth, MN, Mark Bjorgaard (Kashina Skye Brooks) of Lansing, MI, Rick (Mary) Bjorgaard of Fargo, ND, Lori (Mike) Lucht of Cottage Grove, MN, and Elda Willis of Mountlake Terrace, WA; great-nieces and great-nephews, Shane Sando, Courtney, Chase, and Haley Ableiter, Dr. Stacy Bjorgaard (Andrew Kuelbs), Jason (Samantha) Bjorgaard and their daughter Melanie, Brenda Lucht/Hackett (Brandon Hackett) and their children Ryler, Zander, Trexton, and Amethyst, and Allison, Emily, and Eva Lucht.
She was preceded in death by her parents; half-sister, Mayme Cerny Olson; brother, Kenton Cerny; and brothers-in-law, Gerard Olson and Leo Lokken.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” –Mother Teresa