A resident of Taos, New Mexico passed away in his sleep after a short illness on February 8, 2023 at his home in Santa Fe. He and his wife Gloria were long residents of Taos, both avid skiers and hikers and valued members of the Taos community and St. James Episcopal Church. They built strong communities of lifelong friends wherever they went. Kenneth Irid Bjerk was born in the small town of Luverne, Minnesota to parents who both came from farming families and had strong faith in the Lutheran tradition, a faith that Ken inherited. In Luverne and in Minneapolis he worked at men’s clothing stores, and valued dapper dress ever after. Upon graduation from the University of Minnesota, he took a job with the Minnesota-based corporation 3M. He met Gloria Ann Bodlund through a group of young professionals who remained lifelong friends. Ken and Gloria were married on a frigid February 1, 1969 in Minneapolis. In 1973 they built a house in West Saint Paul and joined Augustana Lutheran Church. In 1976 Ken accepted a position at 3M's Mexico offices and moved his young family to the suburbs of Mexico City for four years, in another rich cultural experience. In 1988 Ken was recruited for the position of Vice President for Purchasing at Economics Laboratory, a Saint Paul-based company specialized in industrial cleaning products, now known as Ecolab. He remained with Ecolab until his retirement in 1997. In 2003, he and Gloria moved permanently to Taos. They were avid art collectors throughout their lives, and loved both the outdoor activities of Taos as well as its rich cultural life. Ken is survived by his wife Gloria and their two sons, Paul and David, as well as his brother Bob. Memorial services are planned for April 29th at St. James Episcopal Church in Taos, and for July 1st at Augustana Lutheran Church in West Saint Paul. Memorial donations can be made to the Forte Forward Challenge at the Taos School of Music.
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