Evans Funeral Home

"Compassionate Funeral Service"

Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911

Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937

Bernice Hallsten

Bernice Ellen Hallsten, age 101, a longtime resident of Sheyenne, ND, died peacefully on Friday, November 27, 2020, at the Northwood Deaconess Health Center in Northwood, ND. She had recently resided at the Good Samaritan home in Larimore, ND.

Bernice was born in Vienna, South Dakota on December 13, 1918, to Ole and Synneva Ystaas. She was the 4th of 9 children. The family moved to Hillsdale Township in Eddy County, North Dakota where her parents purchased their farm. She attended a country school across the road from their farmstead.

Bernice married Erland Hallsten in 1941. She stayed at the farm with her parents until Erland, who served in World War II, returned from the war. They raised their four children in Sheyenne, ND.

The Sheyenne community cherished Bernice. As a First Lutheran Church member, she served as an LCR leader and assisted with Sunday School. She was also active in the VFW Auxiliary, Homemakers, and Card Clubs in her later years.

Bernice was the quintessential homemaker. She loved spending time with family and friends – visiting, telling stories, entertaining, playing pinocle, and, occasionally, singing a Norwegian tune. She was a genuinely gifted cook, baker, and hostess to all who entered her home. Bernice’s house was a place of congregation for all. She generously offered baked treats served with hot coffee, a slice of her delicious brown bread, or even a Kumla dinner to so many over the years.

Bernice greatly enjoyed holidays and traveling to be with her family… whether it was the 4th of July in Sheyenne, Thanksgiving & Christmas in Larimore, North Dakota with Steven’s family & Janice’s family, a trip to Layton, Utah to see Rod’s family (most memorably with sisters Millie and Donna (Walt) for the 2002 Winter Olympics), or spending time in Roseburg, Oregon with JoAnn’s family (including visits to Driftwood Shores Resort on the coast). She treasured frequent calls from her sister Donna in Anoka, Minnesota and, in her most recent years, was so fortunate to live near Steven, always feeling comforted by his presence. Bernice deeply loved – and was loved by – her family and friends. She will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

Bernice is survived by her daughter JoAnn (Mike) and their two children, Todd (Melinda) and Traci (Randy); daughter Janice and her two children, Mark (Jeannine) and Jeffrey (Carissa); son Rodney (Sharon) and their four children, Casidy (Olanrewaju), Christa (John), Dax (Marina) and Kyle (Michelle); son Steven (Jackie) and their two children Lindsey and Lacey (Taylor); beloved sister Donna (Walter) and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

Great Grandma Bernice was incredibly proud of her 22 great-grandchildren: Adriann, Grant, Alexandra, Zachary, Kessla, Madison, Sydney, John, Brynn, Ethan, Alexandria, Massimo, Julia, Synneva, Gemma, Ashton, George, Anna, Olen, Maggie, Leona, and Nella.

Preceding Bernice in death were her parents, Ole and Synneva Ystaas; husband, Erland; brothers Samuel, Elwood, and Norris Ystaas; and sisters Ida Ystaas, Gladys Berglund, Edna Ness, and Millie Portz.

Funeral Service will be held Friday, July 9, 2021 at 2:00PM at the First Lutheran Church, Sheyenne, ND.

Burial will be at the Riverside Cemetery, Sheyenne, ND.

Posted Condolences:


  1. We wanted to send our deepest condolences to your family. Bernice held a special place in many people’s hearts. I too remember family gatherings at her home and all of the wonderful food. We are so sorry for your loss.
    Love, Terry and Heather Altringer (Ystaas) and family.

  2. Heaven truly did gain an amazing angel. Bernice was an incredible lady who we spent countless hours with growing up. My parents were fortunate to have such amazing friends. My dad would always beg Bernice to bake just one more loaf of that “Brown Bread.”
    Bernice will be deeply missed by everyone who’s heart she touched. Lots of hugs to each and everyone of the Hallsten family. Cherish the memories of such a beautiful lady.

  3. She sounds like a wonderful lady Steve..strong family origins you must be a proud son of your mother.

  4. Steve and Jackie, we are so sorry for your loss of your mom. The obituary states that she was blessed to live by you, but you were also so blessed to have her close in her last years. I was lucky to have my mom live by me for her final four years and I will always cherish my daily visits.
    Memories are important and need to be spoken of often. Allow them to bring smiles and laughs to those that share them.
    We will keep you and your whole family in our thoughts and prayers. Sending hugs!!!

  5. We send you our deepest condolences for your loss of your beloved Bernice.
    We are very pleased, that we have met this wonderful woman and member of our American family.

  6. So sorry for your loss Steve and to the Hallsten family. I met your Mother twice when I went to Sheyenne for something with Steve in college and both times she had a big plate of baked goods waiting to be eaten. And then a care package of cookies and bars to be sent back. Wonderful and sweet lady. Condolences to you and your family.

  7. JoAnn: What a gift to have your mother in your life for so many years! Treasure the memories.
    I have thought of our college years many times and the fun we had. Dave and I are living in the Detroit Lakes area in MN.

  8. Jan and Family
    We just received the Minot paper and saw where your dear mother had passed away in November. Your mother was always so warm and welcoming when I would come to stay with you in Sheyenne. I still use many of her recipes, that you and I made when we were teaching in Williston. We would love to get back in touch to see you and your family. Please reach out to let us know where we can connect with you. Jim and I are living in Fargo and have been since 2005. My cell number is 701-721-2921. I can’t wait to hear from you!

  9. Steve and Jackie, so sorry to read of your mom’s passing. What a wonderful life she had! Prayers to you and the family.


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