Geraldine Ann “Geri”, “Gramma Geri” (Birrenkott) McCloud, 83, of Faulkton passed away Sunday, December 1, 2013 at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, SD. She was surrounded by the love of her many children and grandchildren.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30a.m., Saturday, December 7, 2013 at St. Thomas Catholic Church, Faulkton with Fr. Joji Itukulapati officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 – 7:00p.m., Friday, December 6, 2013 at the church with a 7:00p.m. prayer service.
Geri Birrenkott was born June 22, 1930 to Adolph “Otto” and Elizabeth “Elsie” (Stoppelworth) Birrenkott. She lived most of her years growing up in the small home just north of the Catholic Church in Faulkton. Her youth was spent riding horses with her dear friend Jody (Roberts) Burns and playing any sport she could. She graduated from Faulkton High School in 1948.
She was united in marriage to John “Jack” Lawrence McCloud on November 3, 1948 at the St. Thomas Catholic Church. The newlyweds moved to a farm by Wecota owned by Geri’s Aunt Clara and Uncle Ernie Niederbaumer. The couple lived with and worked for them until they moved to the Mina Miller home south of Cresbard to begin working for Wendell Way. They then moved to the Doyle Bowar farm while still working for Wendell. In 1953 or ’54, they purchased the farmstead owned by Carl Blake and it was on this farm that they would raise their children. Let the memories begin!! In 1986, with finally an empty nest, the couple purchased the Larry Traver home in Faulkton which is where they lived until their passing. Their son Jeff and grandson Landon continue to operate the farm east of Faulkton, a true tribute to their love of farm life.
How do we sum up Gram Ger in a paragraph or two? Her passion and values ran deep! Her passions….Sports….Anyone who knew her don’t need an explanation for this one. Her beloved and betrothed Vikings and Twins were the subject of many a conversations. She was either watching sports on TV, listening on the radio, or there in person. The Faulkton Trojans, Rapid City Raiders, Canyon Lake Allstars, HotShots, 4-Corners Baseball, and the Orient Ball teams….will never have a truer fan. Miles were never an issue when it came to supporting her grandkids. She was looking forward to continuing to follow the Coyotes of USD and to begin following the NSU Wolves. She will have the best seat in heaven. Her passion for Cooking…Done so effortlessly…sometimes for crowds of 100. How she loved to feed us all!!! Her Christmas goodies, her fried chicken, her special burgers…will be missed and never duplicated.
And her values: Commitment…married 53 years…she would say…”If the good outweighs the bad…you stick with it”, because no marriage is perfect. Generosity…almost to a fault…always a giver and never a taker…Her generosity even led her to the casinos to donate to them occasionally. How she loved those trips with good friends! In the last few months it was hard for her to accept help from others…it was not in her nature to not be the one giving and to have to be receiving support and help. Hard work…Her hands told the story of her life as a hardworking farmwife beside her partner in life, Jack. Selflessness…It was never about her. Volunteerism…mowing the Miranda ball field, working concessions, hosting picnics, helping with 4-H, serving on committees, and cooking for fundraisers. Faith…Unwaving. Home…No home was ever more welcoming, warm and full of unconditional love. Friendship…3:00 coffee hour, Wednesday night darts, Tuesday night golf/cards, and in years past…whist card parties, cruises, snowmobile trips, dances, fish fries and of course her annual Super Bowl party. Laughter…How she valued this…Forgiveness…She never seemed to hold a grudge…well maybe against “Gardy” and “Farve”…she just didn’t life them. Mother…a title that she seemingly earned so effortlessly even though we know this title that she valued so deeply was not one without heartache. She was the kind of mom we can only strive to become. Grandma…another thing she valued beyond comprehension. Her “real” Grandkids were her pride and joy…all of her many “extra” grandkids were not far behind…how she loved each of you who so lovingly called her “Grama Geri”. Family…Her most prized possession…the value she put on this was infinite. May these values and passions live on through her family and friends.
Those who are left with grateful hearts are her daughters: Georgia (Ken) Mitchell, Eagan, MN, Janice (Dianne) McCloud, Faulkton, and JoAnn (Terry) Aesoph, Orient; her sons: Gene (Cathy) McCloud, Grand Island, NE, Jeff (Tammy) McCloud, Cresbard, and John (Mary) McCloud, Rapid City; and Jack’s brother Stanley (Jeanette) McCloud, Cresbard, who came to live with them when he was 11. Grandchildren: Bill (Dove) Mitchell, Loren and William, Eagan, MN, Mike Mitchell, El Paso, TX, Kate (John) Alfonzo, Oliver, Chicago, IL, Andrew (Ashley) McCloud, Miya, Pierre, Jackie (Justin) Goosic, Will and Jake, Grand Island, NE, Andrea (Wyatt) Simpson, Adison, Grand Island, NE, Ashley (Eric) McCloud, Sioux Falls, Meghan (Cortney) Mitchell, Shanandoa, TX, Landon McCloud, Cresbard, Maleri McCloud, SDSU, Margaret and Jack McCloud, USD, Sam and Molly, Rapid City, Makenzie Aesoph, SDSU, Sioux Falls, Kody, SDSU, Rob, NSU, Maddy and Maria, Orient; one brother Vernon (Phyliss) Birrenkott, Fresno, CA; and many nieces and nephews and in-laws.
She was greeted in heave by: husband, Jack (2001); sister, Sylvia; brother, Ves; her parents; and many family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorials will be used for athletic scholarships and the Faulk County Library.
Luce Funeral Home of Faulkton has been entrusted with Geri’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)
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