Sophie Hegland Bekkerus (1888-1970)
Helene Sophie Hegland was born outside Willow City, ND on June 26, 1888. Although Willow City is in Bottineau County, according to land records, the family farm was actually located just across the county line in Rolette County. Sophie was probably named in honor of her two grandmothers, Helge and Sissel, although Gunil's younger sisters were also named Helene and Sofie. Thor's oldest child was baptized on August 26, 1888 at Willow Creek Church. Her sponsors were Ole Pedersen Haugen, Knud Bentsen, Annie Haugen, and Mari Sivertsen.
Sophie was not quite 10 when her mother died and in many ways assumed the role of mother for her sisters and brothers, as well as being the responsible older sister for her half-brothers and half-sister. She and her brother Bernhard were the only children in the "first family" to have a clear recollection of their mother Gunil. Sophie kept her mother close in her heart for the rest of her life.
Shortly after her mother's death, Thor moved the family to Polk County, Minnesota. Sophie was confirmed at Poplar River Church, rural Fosston MN, on September 13, 1903.
She, like her brothers and sister, spent time working in the summers on the farms in the Buffalo River Settlement. There Sophie met Theodore Bekkerus. Ted and Sophie were distant cousins, since they both could trace their ancestry through two different branches of the Mandt family. They were married on February 9, 1916.
Ted and Sophie had two children, Harold Amos and Bernherd Marion. Bernherd was born after Sophie's beloved brother Magnus Bernhard died and was named in his honor.
Sophie and Ted moved from their farm into Moorhead while their two sons were still young. They lived in their home in Moorhead until their deaths. Sophie was a marvelous cook and baker, an excellent seamstress, and a kind, warm, and highly opinionated woman. She was terribly lonely after she lost her husband of 50 years in 1966. Sophie was 81 years old when she died on February 27, 1970. She and Ted are buried in Concordia Lutheran Church Cemetery.