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Vera Elizabeth (Willander) HjelmApril 23, 1921 ~ October 11, 2017 (age 96)
Vera Elizabeth Willander Gulbranson Hjelm, 96, of Great Falls, passed away on Wednesday, October 11, 2017. A Celebration of Life will be this Friday, October 13th from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Columbus Center Chapel, 1601 2nd Ave. North. Services start at 7:00 PM. Croxford Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements.
Born in Alexandria, MN on April 23, 1921, Vera and her sister Ollie were raised by their grandparents by Lake Ida in Minnesota. She married her first husband, Milo Gulbranson, in 1940. This marriage resulted in two wonderful children, Maynard and Betty. In 1960, Vera married her second husband, Marvin Hjelm. They moved to Montana and had their son, Brad.
Vera loved car racing, cooking, camping (starting campfires), sewing, traveling, playing cards, and talking to whomever would spend time with her. She assisted Evil Knievel in and out of the Shasta Hotel, Clint Eastwood held a door open for her at the El Ranchito Inn, she talked with Hubert Humphrey on the streets of Alexandria, MN and she held up little Brad so that Brad could shake hands with President John F. Kennedy when he was in Great Falls, MT.
She was preceded in death by both husbands; her parents and grandparents; son, Maynard Gulbranson, and numerous special people.
Survivors include her daughter, Betty White of Wadena, MN; son, Brad (Jackie) Hjelm of Great Falls; Ruth Navratil of Osakis, MN; grandchildren, Brent Gulbranson of Rapid City, SD, Steven Gulbranson of Cedar Rapids, IA, Deborah Gulbranson of Pillager, MN, Chad (Sherri) Gulbranson of Osakis, MN, Valarie White of Wadena, MN, Jessica White of Wadena, MN, Brandon (Elizabeth) Malone of Alexandria, VA; great-grandchildren, Brianna, Kayla, Jordan, Conner, Aiden, Hampton, Madisen, Dean, Brooklin, Zachary, and Dena.