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Harlan Aakre
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Obituary for Harlan Aakre

Harlan Aakre, age 83, of Clearbrook, MN, passed away on Tuesday, January 16th, at Cornerstone Nursing and Rehab in Bagley, MN. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20th, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Clearbrook with the Rev. Bob Kirchman officiating. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, rural Clearbrook. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a 6:30 p.m. prayer service and for one hour prior to the service on Saturday. All visitation will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Arrangements are with the Carlin Funeral Home of Fosston and messages of condolence may be sent at

Harlan was born March 26, 1934 in Bagley, MN to Ingvald & Ida (Moen) Aakre. He was the second of three children born. He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. He attended school at the Rydeen School in Leon Township until 8th grade, when his dad asked him if he would like to stay home and help on the farm. It was from this moment on that he decided that farming was going to become his lifelong career and passion. He took a break from farming to serve our country as a member of the Army. He always joked that because of his flat feet he was given the option of either being a mechanic in the motor pool or a cook, and that maybe he should have considered the cooks position instead of taking the mechanic assignment. It was during his time in the service that he was able to make his first trip to Norway.

After his honorable discharge, he came back to Clearbrook and resumed farming. One Saturday night he attended a hall dance in Shevlin with some friends, and met his future wife Shirley Bjerke. Harlan and Shirley were married February 17th 1962. To this union three children were born James, Kelly, and Judy. Harlan and Shirley had a special relationship working side by side on the farm for 40 + years raising cattle specifically registered Simmental cattle; they were some of the first people to raise them in this area. Besides farming, Harlan had a deep love for nature and the outdoors that he shared with his kids and grandkids. He loved trapping, hunting and fishing. The love for this was evident in the building of a brand new hunting cabin this year in order for family members to carry on his passion for the outdoors, being so proud to tell people about the cabin. Harlan also in later years began guiding bear hunts with his grandson Devin making many friends from this venture. Harlan and Shirley sold the farm to their son James in 1994 building their retirement home on 80 acres just south of the family farm.

In retirement, he and Shirley traveled the country going to Florida to visit friends multiple times as well as Tennessee with Jim, Joyce, Carol & Wayne. Besides Travel in the United States, he and Shirley made two trips to Norway the final one accompanied by Devin and Laura. In his later years he wanted to publish a sort of autobiography / how to book that, he called 60 years of Country living in Northern Minnesota. He and Shirley traveled to many craft shows selling books. Family and Friends were very important to Harlan, always offering to lend and hand or a piece of advice. He was satisfied with the simple things in life often joking that he could have all the money in the world and he’d be content with a cup of coffee and some sort of cookie or something at the lumber yard with friends.

He was a member of Good Shepherd church serving from some time on the council and a member of the Clearbrook American Legion.

Harlan Sidney Aakre passed away January 16, 2018 surrounded by family after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

He is survived by his wife Shirley of Clearbrook, Son- James(Doreen) Aakre Clearbrook. Daughter Judy(Daryl) Bjerke Bemidji MN Daughter in Law Julie Aakre Wahpeton, ND. Grandchildren Devin Aakre, Katelyn ( Reed) Sander, Laura Aakre, Trevor Bjerke, Alesa Bjerke, Logan Bjerke, Matthew Aakre, Nathan Aakre, Nicholas Aakre. Great Grandchildren Kylee, Blake, Mia, Bentley, Brodie, Destiny, Elianah, and Karleigh. Sister- Lois Molden Clearbrook, Brother Charles (Delores) Aakre Clearbrook. Along with numerous brother and sister in laws , cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, son Kelly Aakre, and brother in law Don Molden. Blessed be his memory.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

116 State Hwy 92 SW
Clearbrook, MN 56634

Prayer service will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Funeral Service




2:00 PM
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

116 State Hwy 92 SW
Clearbrook, MN 56634

Reviewal for one hour prior to the service at the church.


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