Vernal Dorthea Henriksen (July 6, 2016)

11610 photo edited ovalMarch 7, 1912 ~ July 6, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016
2:00-8:00 PM
Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home
Harlan, IA
(get directions)
The family will be present to greet friends from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.

Saturday, July 9, 2016
10:30 AM
Immanuel Lutheran Church
Harlan, IA
(get directions)
Burial will be in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, IA

1 Daughter – Glenna (Terry) Pullen of Macedonia, IA
2 Grandsons – Drew (Katie) Pullen of Elkhorn, NE
Mitchell Pullen of Council Bluffs, IA
2 Great-grandchildren – Claire Pullen of Elkhorn, NE
Dawson Pullen of Elkhorn, NE
Special Family Friend – Dale (Arlie) Ahrenholtz of Chicago, IL
Nieces & Nephews
Other Relatives & Friends

Vernal Dorthea Henriksen, daughter of Hans Peter and Mary (Petersen) Christensen, was born on March 7, 1912, in Audubon County, Iowa. She attended school in the Poplar, Iowa, area, and completed the eighth grade.

On September 2, 1940, Vernal was united in marriage to Harold Herman Henriksen. They farmed on the Henriksen family farm until Harold was forced to retire because of health problems. Harold and Vernal loved to travel and attend sports of all kinds. After Harold’s death on March 18, 1980, in Omaha, Nebraska, Vernal continued to travel with friends.

Vernal loved to bake and entertain, and was a very active and faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa. As she got older, her sports were mainly watching the Cubs and the Cardinals. She loved to play cards and especially liked to win; she continued to play until shortly before her death.

Vernal was blessed to live long enough to see her two grandsons grow up and to welcome two sweet great-grandchildren to the family. At age 97, Vernal decided it was time to move to the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, where she lived until her death.

Vernal D. Henriksen died on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa. She had reached the age of 104 years, 3 months, and 29 days.

Vernal was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harold Henriksen; and two sisters, Leona Johnson and Alma Mathiasen. She is survived by one daughter, Glenna (Terry) Pullen of Macedonia, Iowa; two grandsons, Drew (Katie) Pullen of Elkhorn, Nebraska, and Mitchell Pullen of Council Bluffs, Iowa; two great-grandchildren, Claire Pullen and Dawson Pullen, both of Elkhorn, Nebraska; a special family friend, Dale (Arlie) Ahrenholtz of Chicago, Illinois; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Phillip Nielsen officiating. Heidi Thies served as the pianist, and Diane Kastens was the soloist. Casket bearers were Drew Pullen, Laura Johnson, Mitchell Pullen, Kirk Jacobsen, Dale Ahrenholtz, Elizabeth Luoma, and Katherine Evers. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at

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2 Responses to Vernal Dorthea Henriksen (July 6, 2016)

  1. Condolences to the Henriksen family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to your whole family. Psalms 147:3 says God, “heals the broken hearted, and binds up their wounds.” May God bring you comfort and peace.

  2. Lyn Moody says:

    To the family of Vernal. Sending prayers of healing, and so sorry for your loss. I will never forget spending Christmas at Vernal’s home with my Son, when I was married to Ron. She always visited with me for as long as I lived in Harlan. Vernal was a kind, and Godly Lady. God Bless you all
    Lyn Moody

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