DE SMET — Jerome “Jerry” Joe Gruenhagen, 74, passed away with family by his side on October 25, 2019, after a brief and brave battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
A funeral service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at American Lutheran Church in De Smet, with Reverend Jonathon Dolan officiating. Burial will follow at De Smet Cemetery.
Jerry, the son of Gene and Carolyn (Laderer) Gruenhagen, was born on December 15, 1944, in Madison. The family lived on a farm near Wentworth, and later moved to a farm near De Smet.
Jerry graduated from De Smet High School in 1962. He married the love of his life, Jeanne Kruse, on May 2, 1965. He worked at the alfalfa plant and grain elevators in De Smet and Erwin, and later took over the family farm. This farm became lake front property in 1983-84, and by 1987, Jerry and Jeanne started a small campground, Jerry’s Country Estate, on the southwest edge of Lake Thompson.
When he was not busy on the farm, you could find Jerry at “The Lake” sharing stories and laughter with his campground family. No one could tell a story quite like Jerry. He also enjoyed every card game he played with family and friends. Hunting was an activity he began doing with his sons and continued to do with his grandsons.
Jerry always looked forward to spending time with family and following his grandchildren in their activities. He was extremely proud of everything his children and grandchildren accomplished. Jerry was a member of the American Lutheran Church and a volunteer fireman in De Smet.
Grateful for having shared in Jerry’s life is his wife, Jeanne; his children, Jason (Tristin) Gruenhagen, and Jeff (Stacie) Gruenhagen of De Smet, and Jill (Bill) Vincent of Volga; eight grandchildren, Lyric, Aria, Grayson, Gage, Gannon, Tayton, Miakken, and Talya: his brother, Greg (Mary) Gruenhagen of Minneapolis, Minn; his sister, Janelle Smith, and her fiancé, Wayne Olsen of Pierre; an uncle, Gale (Shirley) Gruenhagen of Oldham; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant sister, Debra Gruenhagen; and a brother-in-law, Rod Smith.