Cover photo for Vernal Dorthea Henriksen's Obituary
Vernal Dorthea Henriksen Profile Photo

Vernal Dorthea Henriksen

d. July 6, 2016

March 7, 1912 ~ July 6, 2016


Friday, July 8, 2016

2:00-8:00 PM

Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home

Harlan, IA

(get directions)

The family will be present to greet friends from 5:00-7:00 PM at the Funeral Home.


Saturday, July 9, 2016

10:30 AM

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Harlan, IA

(get directions)

Burial will be in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, IA


1 Daughter – Glenna (Terry) Pullen of Macedonia, IA

2 Grandsons – Drew (Katie) Pullen of Elkhorn, NE

Mitchell Pullen of Council Bluffs, IA

2 Great-grandchildren – Claire Pullen of Elkhorn, NE

Dawson Pullen of Elkhorn, NE

Special Family Friend – Dale (Arlie) Ahrenholtz of Chicago, IL

Nieces & Nephews

Other Relatives & Friends

Vernal Dorthea Henriksen, daughter of Hans Peter and Mary (Petersen) Christensen, was born on March 7, 1912, in Audubon County, Iowa. She attended school in the Poplar, Iowa, area, and completed the eighth grade.

On September 2, 1940, Vernal was united in marriage to Harold Herman Henriksen. They farmed on the Henriksen family farm until Harold was forced to retire because of health problems. Harold and Vernal loved to travel and attend sports of all kinds. After Harold’s death on March 18, 1980, in Omaha, Nebraska, Vernal continued to travel with friends.

Vernal loved to bake and entertain, and was a very active and faithful member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa. As she got older, her sports were mainly watching the Cubs and the Cardinals. She loved to play cards and especially liked to win; she continued to play until shortly before her death.

Vernal was blessed to live long enough to see her two grandsons grow up and to welcome two sweet great-grandchildren to the family. At age 97, Vernal decided it was time to move to the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, where she lived until her death.

Vernal D. Henriksen died on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa. She had reached the age of 104 years, 3 months, and 29 days.

Vernal was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Harold Henriksen; and two sisters, Leona Johnson and Alma Mathiasen. She is survived by one daughter, Glenna (Terry) Pullen of Macedonia, Iowa; two grandsons, Drew (Katie) Pullen of Elkhorn, Nebraska, and Mitchell Pullen of Council Bluffs, Iowa; two great-grandchildren, Claire Pullen and Dawson Pullen, both of Elkhorn, Nebraska; a special family friend, Dale (Arlie) Ahrenholtz of Chicago, Illinois; nieces and nephews; and other relatives and friends.

The funeral service was held on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Phillip Nielsen officiating. Heidi Thies served as the pianist, and Diane Kastens was the soloist. Casket bearers were Drew Pullen, Laura Johnson, Mitchell Pullen, Kirk Jacobsen, Dale Ahrenholtz, Elizabeth Luoma, and Katherine Evers. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vernal Dorthea Henriksen, please visit our flower store.


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