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Dorothy Byer 1949 – 2023

Dorothy M. Byer, age 74 of Perham passed away in her home on June 12, 2023 after a brief battle of pancreatic cancer, with her loving family by her side.
She was born on January 12, 1949 to Norman and Helen Arildsen in Sebeka, MN. Dorothy attended Sebeka Public School and Minnesota State Technical School, obtaining a cosmetology license.
As a single mother raising her five children in Sebeka, she was employed as a waitress at the Town & Country Restaurant. It brought her great joy serving others and putting smiles on customer’s faces.
Her true passion, when raising her children, was cheering them on from the Trojan bleachers during sporting events. She braved many Minnesota blizzards as she traveled to support her children. Dorothy enjoyed crocheting while watching the Vikings and the Bison. She crocheted an afghan for her family members and special friends.
While attending Single’s Dances, she found her polka partner. On October 2, 1993, Dorothy married the love of her life, Richard Byer of Perham, MN. Dorothy acquired seven additional children whom she loved greatly. As she worked at Lakes Cafe in Perham, one of Dorothy’s favorite things was to save her tips. She would then surprise Richard with random gifts or propose a trip. When they traveled, Dorothy would crochet while Richard drove. After 30 minutes in the car, Richard would notice that Dorothy had laid her crocheting down and had fallen asleep. Her travels included China, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Oregon, and Washington to visit their children. Dorothy had a special trip where she met her favorite football quarterback, Brad Johnson.
The combined family gave Dorothy and Richard twenty-seven grandchildren that were the apples of her eye, and they made every effort to attend their grandchildren’s special events.
Dorothy’s life was changed when she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior at Gospel Fellowship in Minneapolis, MN. Dorothy was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church of Corliss where she and Richard attended each Sunday.
Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Dorothy is survived by her loving husband of 30 years, Richard; their eleven children: Thomas Wikman of Hibbing, Karen Swanson (Greg) of Fargo, ND, Kerry Stewart (Charles) of Vancouver, WA, Bradley Wikman of Brainerd, Sarah Wendt (Aaron) of Boise, ID, Mark Byer (Cindy) of Frazee, Dean Byer (Carrie) of Pengilly, Brian Byer of Fargo, ND, Gerald Byer of Nevis, Kevin Byer (Christy) of Osage, Lynn Zacher of Aberdeen, SD, 27 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
She is also survived by her siblings: Sharon Kragh of Naperville, IL, Carol Sieben (Dennis) of Oswego, Lyle Arildsen of Woodstock, GA, Laura Kimball (Glenn) of Sebeka; as well as a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Norman and Helen Arildsen; son, Darwin Byer and brother-in-law, Richard Kragh.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Corliss. Visitation will be at Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service on Friday, June 16 from 4-7 p.m. with a Prayer Service at 6:30 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at church. Dorothy will be laid to rest at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery in Corliss.
Arrangement were entrusted to Schoeneberger Funeral & Cremation Service, Perham, MN. Online condolences may be left at

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