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Family coping with sudden loss

The Burdorf family, from left, Simon, Joseph, Stephanie (holding Carlee), Stephanie’s son Nathan and his wife, Callie.

Losing someone close to us is a difficult thing to go through. When it is sudden and unexpected, life can just feel overwhelming.

Fortunately, family and friends are often available and willing to help pick up the pieces and give us the comfort we need. Such is the case for Stephanie Burdorf, whose husband Joe passed away suddenly Aug. 24 at the age of 41.

To help with the ongoing expenses she and her family face, a silent auction and bake sale benefit is set to be held Saturday.

Stephanie was able to share a little bit about Joe, as well as her feelings about the benefit.

“We got married on April 10, 2010,” she said. “Joe was passionate about carpentry, which he did down in Spirit Lake. That’s where his shop, Burdorf Building Services, was at. He started that from scratch before we were ever together.

“He was a caring person, always wanting to please, especially his customers” she continued. “I actually had a customer I didn’t know send me a card about a month or so after he passed. She said that he talked so proudly about me and the kids she just wanted to send us something.

“He touched so many people that I’ve never met.”

Stephanie said Joe loved their children very much. The couple had two children together, Simon and Carlee, as well as Stephanie’s son Nathan Hartmann and his wife, Callie.

“Our kids were everything to him,” she said. “He loved them so much and was overprotective of them.”

As for the benefit, she is thankful, and is looking forward to visiting with people.

“I’m just grateful,” she said. “I have amazing co-workers and people around me. It will be nice to get together with people. A lot of his friends and family are coming. Some of his friends I haven’t seen all that often, just because they were far away.”

Stephanie just recently has gone back to work at Mayo in Fairmont, where she has worked for 20 years as an X-ray tech.

Dana Timm, one of Stephanie’s co-workers and organizer of the event, said she has known Stephanie for a while and is glad to be able to help in this way.

“I’ve worked with Steph for 18-plus years and it’s been great” Timm said. “The auction will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church. We have over 100 donations so far, and we have more coming in that we haven’t received yet, but we know they’re coming so that’s exciting.”

The event is scheduled for 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Grace Lutheran Church, 300 S. Grant St., Fairmont. All are invited.

Those who would like to contribute may donate in person to the radiology department at Mayo Clinic Health System-Fairmont, or contact Dana at (507) 399-9559 or Terry at (507) 432-0538.

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