Isla Mikkelson Bortnem, 92

Isla Mikkelson Bortnem was born in Colman, SD on Feb. 26, 1926, and she peacefully passed away on May 2 at the Belle Plaine Lutheran Home. A brief service celebrating Isla’s life will be held at 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Montgomery, MN on Monday, May 7.


Floyd and Isla Bortnem were married for 55 years. Floyd passed away in 2001. Isla was a woman who faced life head on. She attended SDSU with the intention of entering the business world but was sidetracked by Floyd to be a farmer’s wife. 


In 1958, she entered the work force and began working at Sioux Valley Electric Cooperative where she was in charge of the line crews. She loved her job. When she and Floyd retired, they wintered in Arizona and eventually moved there full time.

Isla was always busy. After retiring, she volunteered in an elementary school in SD and also in the emergency room in a hospital in Mesa AZ. She loved reading, golfing, gardening, traveling, her church and visiting with friends.


She is survived by her daughter, Cindy (Daryl) Curtis of Montgomery and son, Craig Bortnem of Portland, Oregon; granddaughters, Erin (Jay) Little of Shoreview; Alison (Brian Pesta) Curtis of Eagan and four great-grandchildren; Kellen and Carter Little, and Brody and Maycie Pesta.


Isla was preceded in death by her husband, and her sister, Myrna Mikkelson.


Arrangements are with the Schoenbauer Funeral Home in Montgomery. 507-357-6116.


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