Josephine “Josie” Beitzel

Josephine Margaret Beitzel, 91, of Bemidji, MN died peacefully on Thursday, August 27, 2020 at Sanford Medical Center. Josie was born in Hendrum, MN on July 16, 1929, the daughter of Joseph and Clara (Brodahl) Stennes. She was raised and educated in Hendrum and after high school attended nursing school in Rugby North Dakota, graduating as a Registered Nurse. At a Lutheran student mixer with neighboring Minot State Teachers College, Dick Beitzel picked Josie’s shoe from a pile and became her date. They were married 69 years and made a wonderful team. They married in 1950 prior to Dick’s deployment to Korea. After graduate school and teaching assignments in Colorado and Iowa, Dick and Josie moved to Bemidji in 1957. Josie embodied unpretentious Christian love. She was active in the First Lutheran Church prayer circles, visiting the sick and elderly, and delivering Meals on Wheels. We remember her warm smile and infectious laugh. Josie was interested in people and made everybody feel special. Her sweet memory remains with her brother Jerome Stennes; her children Earl (Lynnette) Beitzel, Kathy (Leif) Thorson, Janet (David) Pederson, Bill (Maria) Beitzel; 12 grandchildren and 8 great-children; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Dick, brother Leslie Stennes, sister Ruth Renner, and infant son Bobbie. The family wishes to thank the staff of WoodsEdge for their love and care of Josie and Dick at both Windsong and later Trillium. The family will hold a private graveside service. Memorials may be sent to the First Lutheran Church or Sanford Bemidji Hospice. Guestbook at

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