HURON — Blanche Walter, age 91, of Huron, died Tuesday, November 6, 2012, at StoneyBrook Suites. Her funeral service will be at 2:00 PM Sunday, November 11th at Bethesda Church with Rev. Roy Burket and Rev. Jan Gross, officiating. Burial will be in the Restlawn Memory Gardens Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 8:00 PM Saturday, November 10th at the Kuhler Funeral Home with her family present from 6:00 to 7:30 PM Saturday evening. Visit www.kuhlerfuneralhome.com.
Blanche Gross was born November 22, 1920, to parents George W. and Barbara (Walter) Gross at Beadle County. She attended grade school at Lake Byron Township and high school at Huron and Hitchcock. In 1962, Blanche graduated from Southern State Teachers College at Springfield with a degree in elementary education. She taught at country schools in Beadle, Charles Mix, Hughes and Stanley counties. Blanche taught 5th grade at Fort Pierre for 19 1/2 years. She also had a ceramic shop and gave ceramic lessons in the basement of her home.
On March 12, 1940, Blanche married Andrew Kleinsasser. They lived at Doland, Huron, Lake Andes and Fort Pierre. In 1978, Blanche retired from teaching to take care of Andrew, who had suffered from a stroke. In 1979, they moved to Huron. Andrew died May 1982. Blanche then went into the craft show business attending at least 25 shows a year.
On September 4, 1985, Blanche married Melvin Merrill of Pierre. He joined her in making and selling crafts. Melvin died April 3, 1987.
On October 22, 1992, Blanche married Paul G. Walter. They enjoyed traveling and going to the Huron Senior Center, which became a very important part of Blanche’s life. Paul died February 19, 2001.
She continued to attend the senior center for lunch and games. She played Mexican Train and Hand and Foot. Blanche also started a pitch game which ran two days a week. She was always happy to have new participants and the game grew to 19 players. Blanche would continue with her crafts; donating her time making embroidered dish towels and crocheted potholders and dish cloths for the senior center. She also volunteered taking lunch tickets two days a week, giving her a chance to visit with her many friends. Blanche celebrated her 90th birthday at the Huron Senior Center with friends and family. Approximately 200 people attended her birthday party.
Blanche had a stroke February 2011, which affected her memory. This really bothered her as she was very proud of the sharp memory she was used to all of her life. In April 2011, Blanche moved to StoneyBrook Suites. She continued to crochet, making dish cloths and potholders, which were given to sell at the senior center, while others were given to family, friends and staff. The pitch players welcomed her back, and her sister, Dolores, always made sure to get her to the senior center, while someone always volunteered to take her home.
She was preceded in death by her parents; three husbands; an infant son, Donald Dean; two sisters, Valeria Kleinsasser and Joan Wuestewald; and one brother, Gaylord Gross.
Grateful for having shared in her life are her one son, Jerry (Barbara) Kleinsasser of Fort Pierre; one daughter, Doris Dunn of Arroyo Grande, California; four grandchildren, Kelsey (Heather) Kleinsasser of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Mitchell Kleinsasser of Fort Pierre, Michael Kudrna of Costa Mesa, California and Kevin (Courtney) Kudrna of Colorado Springs, Colorado; three great-grandsons; three great-granddaughters; one step great grandson; one sister, Dolores (Rueben) Tschetter of Huron; and two brothers, Emery (Leola) Gross of Rapid City and Morris (Gloria) Gross of Brooten, Minnesota. She is also survived by two step-sons, Ray (Karen) Merrill of California and Larry (Carol) Merrill of Sturgis; four step-daughters, Norma Gourlie of Menasha, Wisconsin, Elaine (Lyle) Wagner of Pierre, Lois Mudge of Rapid City and Glenda (Ken) Huse of Pierre; step son-in-law, Wes Decker; and several step grandchildren and step great-grandchildren.
For the complete article see the 11-09-2012 issue.
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