Verla DoedenVerla Doeden, 76, of Nielsville, MN, went to be with her Savior on Friday, August 16, 2013 at the Halstad Living Center in Halstad, MN.
Verla Mae Billing was born November 2, 1936, near Fertile, MN, one of eight children of Rudy and Ruth (Balstad) Billing. She was baptized at the Varnes Lutheran Church, rural Fertile and later confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Beltrami, MN. She attended school and graduated from Fertile High School. She started singing at a very young age and music continued to be a big part of her life, including teaching herself to play piano and singing at various events and in church. Verla was also a talented softball player where her team won the championship game when she was 16 years old. Verla was united in marriage to Elmer Doeden on August 28, 1954, in Beltrami. They first lived in Cummings, ND, followed by Grand Forks, and in 1960 moved to Nielsville, MN where they lived the remainder of their lives, and together raised their three daughters, Penny, Sandy, and Linda. She worked for various area farmers during the harvest season, as a Nielsville School cook where many students remember her smiling face, and for the Postal Service from 1987 to 2004 as Postmaster in Nielsville. She was a devoted member of St. Petri Lutheran Church in Nielsville where she held many positions of leadership and taught Sunday School for many years. Verla was also active in community organizations, American Legion Auxiliary, and a 4-H leader. Her passions in life were her family, friends and her faith. She was an exceptional gardener and chef, and took pride in keeping a tidy house and yard. She graciously welcomed visitors into her home where they were always served a full meal or at least coffee, sandwiches, and many of her delicious baked goods. She always made time for her family and friends and always had a kind word about everyone. She was a knowledgeable, generous, yet humble woman. In her spare time, Verla was a faithful Minnesota Twins fan, watching every game she could. After Elmer’s death, she continued to live at home before health problems caused her to enter the Halstad Living Center in February of 2013. Verla was a kind, compassionate, and loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She touched the lives and hearts of so many and will be dearly missed.