Verna Kleinsasser, age 84, of Huron, passed away Thursday, November 29, 2018, at her home. Her funeral service was held at 10:30 AM, Monday, December 3rd, at the Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church, rural Yale. Burial was in the church cemetery. Memorials may be directed to the Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church or the Jan Manolis Family Safe Center.
Verna Loretta Hofer Kleinsasser was born February 21, 1934, to Gus and Minnie Goehring at their farmhouse in Carpenter, South Dakota. Verna attended grade school at the Barrett Township School and later attended Willow Lake High School as a freshman. She then studied at the Yale High School for her sophomore and junior years where Verna met Emmett Hofer. Verna and Emmett married on June 14, 1951. The two then moved to California where Emmett was stationed as a Marine. There, their first daughter, LuAnn was born at the Marine Base Hospital. They lived in California from 1951 - 1953 when they moved back to South Dakota and lived in Emmett’s parents’ home. Verna and Emmett started farming that same year. They later had two sons, Gary, and Larry (who passed away at only two months old) and two more daughters, Sherry and Vicky.
Verna and Emmett farmed and ran an aerial spraying business until Emmett passed away on May 8, 1990. Verna continued to operate the aerial spraying business with a hired pilot and her son Gary to finish out the season and kept farming even after her husband’s death. She was very hands-on with their cattle and farm. She cared for and calved out their cattle on her own before selling them. Verna was very much involved with the work done on the farm and with running the farm equipment, her favorite being a combine. She could do it all and she did.
Verna met Willard D. Kleinsasser on a blind date and fell in love. They married on November 30, 1996, at Bethel Church. They remained happily married for 15 years until Willard's passing on November 29, 2011.
Verna had two main passions in her life, family and faith. Verna was baptized as a little girl and attended Sunday school in a small country church. As a freshman in high school, she joined the Reformed Church of Willow Lake where she enjoyed singing in the choir and attending youth group meetings. She later became a member of Bethel Mennonite Brethren Church in Yale, South Dakota. It is there that her faith grew the strongest. She was baptized in the James River on a beautiful day by Pastor Elton Berg. Her greatest joy, besides her family, was teaching Sunday school to the 2-3 year olds. She loved sharing the Lord’s word with the children and being their support through the church programs she helped put on. Though her life tested her with tribulation, loss, and pain her faith never wavered. It was the Lord who walked alongside her even when she didn’t understand why things happened as they did. Her family often quotes her by saying, “One day at a time.” A phrase she often said and lived by to get through the hardships in life.
Verna was also known for her green thumb. She loved gardening and kept the most immaculate houseplants of those who knew her. They flourished under her care, just like all things she touched in life.
For those that loved her most, Verna would be described as a faithful servant of her Lord, a loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend. She was strong and contained un-touchable perseverance. She was a steadfast caregiver to those she loved, through and through.
Grateful for having shared her life are her children, LuAnn (John) Clarke, Gary Hofer, Sherry McGillvrey, and Vicky (Al) Chancellor; her grandchildren, Christopher (Leah Kirkhorn) Grann, Megan (Justin) Luther, Steve (Whitney) Clarke, Nicole (Henrico) Erasmus, Michelle (Levi) Peters, Dustin (Natalie Bahr) Hofer, Ashley (Eric) Hiles, Joshua (Jaime) McGillvrey, Megan (Cody) Kleinsasser, Jordan and Bobby Chancellor; great-grandchildren, Hayden and Brynlee Peters, Alyssa, Hannah, Clayton, and Haylee Hiles, Trey, Kai, and Memphis McGillvrey, Jett, Paislee, and Phoenix Kleinsasser, Kendall and Bennett Clarke, Landon and Julian Luther; and her sister, Janice Tschetter.
Preceding her in death were her son, Larry Hofer; husbands, Emmett Hofer and Willard Kleinsasser; brothers, Roger and Robert Goehring; step-daughter, Bonnie Rasmussen; and daughter-in-law, Lori Hofer.Download and Print
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