Mena Marie Edith Burmeister, the daughter of Jens Christian and Inger (Johnson) Thogerson, was born on January 18, 1911, near Kirkman, Iowa. She lived there until she was six years old, when her father died. Mena’s family moved to Harlan, Iowa. After graduating from Harlan High School and attending Normal Training, Mena taught country school west of Harlan for seven years. On May 31, 1936, she married Harry Thede Burmeister at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa. The couple farmed for many years, retiring in 1972. Harry died on October 19, 2001, in Harlan.
Mena was a lifetime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, where she was active in the Immanuel Lutheran Church Women activities and especially enjoyed mission quilting.
Mena Burmeister died on Sunday, September 19, 2004, at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, having reached the age of 93 years, 8 months, and 1 day.
Preceding Mena in death were her parents; her husband, Harry T. Burmeister; two sisters, Marjorie Grosbeck and Frances Wigness; and two brothers, Nels Thogerson and Dolliver Thogerson. She is survived by six sons, Robert (Sharon) Burmeister of Show Low, Arizona, Richard (Sharon) Burmeister of Harlan, Iowa, Jerome (Rose) Burmeister of Ft. Dodge, Iowa, James (Sally) Burmeister and Jon (Beverly) Burmeister, both of Harlan, Iowa, and Philip (Marie) Burmeister of Mt. Ayr, Iowa; one daughter, Janet (Ed) Gose of Jefferson, Iowa; one sister, Eleanor Bramer of Harlan, Iowa; one brother, Raymond Thogerson of Lebanon, Oregon; 20 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Thursday, September 23, 2004, at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Heather Ploen and Pastor Mark Jamison officiating. Marge Ahrenholtz served as the organist and Lee Nelson was the soloist. Casket bearers were Robert H. Burmeister, James R. Burmeister, Janet K. Gose, Jon J. Burmeister, Philip A. Burmeister, Jerome C. Burmeister, and Richard H. Burmeister. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery in Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of the arrangements.