Nov. 29: Renville County West community mourns elementary teacher's death

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect comments from Renville County West superintendent Michelle Mortensen and corrected the death date.

Megan Licklider Twernbold

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect comments from Renville County West superintendent Michelle Mortensen and corrected the death date.

LITCHFIELD – Staff and students at Renville County West school in Renville, along with her family and friends, are mourning the death of Megan Licklider Twernbold, a 5th grade teacher who died over the weekend.

Twernbold, 36, died Saturday at her home in Litchfield.

RCW Superintendent Michelle Mortensen said councilors and social workers are on hand today at the school to meet the needs of both staff and students. 

"We're a very close knit bunch of people here. Everyone is taking a role. The healing of staff and students is very important to us," Mortensen said, adding everyone at RCW has Twernbold's family and friends in their thoughts. Twernbold left behind her husband, John Twernbold, a band teacher at Litchfield Public Schools, and her son, Jack Sand. She is also survived by her parents, Dan and Sandra Licklider, sister Mandy (and Aaron) Bond and niece Adina, along with grandmother Gladys Lillegaard and other family.


According to the obituary from Dirks-Blem Funeral Services, Twernbold was born May 17, 1980 in Willmar and grew up in Renville. She graduated from Belview-Danube-Renville-Sacred Heart High School in 1998, where she was involved in volleyball, choir and band.

A graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Twernbold earned a bachelor's in history and a minor in Spanish. She worked for Woodland Centers initially, while she also served as a long-term substitute teacher at Renville County West. In 2008 Twernbold began working as a elementary Spanish teacher at RCW, while earning her teaching certificate from the College of Saint Catherine. Once she earned her bachelor’s in elementary education, Twernbold began teaching 4th grade and later moved to 5th grade.

Twernbold recently married John Twernbold in July.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the First Lutheran Church in Renville, with visitation taking place Friday, from 4 to 7 p.m.and one hour prior to the service on Saturday, at the church.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to go toward an education fund for Twernbold’s son, called the Jack Sand Educational Fund, which is still being set up.


Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email or direct 320-214-4373.

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